Are school governors entitled to time off work to fulfil their duties?

Under s.50 of the Employment Rights Act 1996, an employer is obliged to permit employees who are members of certain bodies to take time off during their working hours to perform their duties. The bodies include a managing or governing body of an educational establishment maintained by a local authority; a governing body of a further or higher education corporation or sixth form college corporation; and, in Scotland, a school council or parent council, the governing body of a designated or central institution, or the board of management of a college of further education.

There is no statutory right to remuneration for time off work in these circumstances. In deciding when and how much time is to be taken off and what is reasonable in the circumstances, the employer should consider: how much time off is required for the performance of the school governor duties; how much time off has already been permitted for the performance of any other relevant public duty or trade union duty or activity; and the circumstances of its business and the effect of the employee's absence on the running of the business.