Do employees have to give notice of their intention to take time off for public duties?

The provisions relating to time off for public duties do not require employees to give a specific period of notice or follow a particular procedure when requesting time off. However, employers may set conditions on the exercise of the entitlement to take time off and it is reasonable for employers to expect their employees to comply with notice requirements.

Any "condition subject to which time off may be so taken", including conditions relating to notice, must be "reasonable in all the circumstances" (under s.50(4) of the Employment Rights Act 1996). Therefore, employers should ensure that notice requirements are realistic and workable.