Time off for trade union duties/activities
The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has held that the employment tribunal adopted an unduly restrictive approach when deciding that the time spent by two trade union representatives attending union meetings during the day was not "working time". The EAT said that the correct approach is to take into account the aims of the EU Directive relating to working time.
David Malamatenios is partner, Linda Quinn, Colin Makin and Krishna Santra are senior associates, and Dominic Speedie is an associate at Colman Coyle Solicitors. They round up the latest rulings.
Ceri Hughes, David Parry, and Carly Mather, associates at Addleshaw Goddard, detail the latest rulings.
An employee cannot complain that he or she has been refused time off for trade union duties unless it is established that a request for time off was made which came to the notice of the employer's appropriate representative, and that they either refused it, ignored it or failed to respond to it, holds the EAT in Ryford Ltd v Drinkwater.
In Hairsine v Kingston-upon-Hull City Council, the EAT holds that a trade union official's right to paid time off work for training is limited to those hours when the employee would normally be at work. If the training course falls outside those hours, the employee is not entitled to paid time off "in lieu" during his or her contractual working hours.
An industrial tribunal was entitled to find that, in the circumstances of this case, lobbying of Parliament was not a trade union activity entitling union members to time off.
In assessing the reasonableness of the amount of paid time off for trade union duties under s.27(2) of the EP(C)A, the terms of a collectively agreed time off scheme ought to be taken into account, suggests the EAT in Ashley v Ministry of Defence.
Employment law cases: HR and legal information and guidance relating to time off for trade union duties/activities.
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