Government rejects calls to make employers give union reps paid time off for training

Employers will not be forced to grant union representatives paid time off for training after the government rejected calls for a change in the law.

A push for statutory rights to be extended to union environmental and equality reps has also been dismissed. But the government has promised to beef up the Acas code of practice, which provides guidance on time off and facilities for union reps.

A government review found some reps had difficulties performing their functions because of organisational change, management pressures, and the complex nature of the role.

The review said it recognised the status of workplace reps “was in decline”, and that there was limited knowledge of their role. As a result, a joint statement by employers’ organisations and the TUC, stating the positive role and benefits union reps bring to the workplace, will be produced.

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