Reforms to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974
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Known as the Trade Union (Facility Time Publication Requirements) Regulations 2017 (the “Regulations”) they require any relevant public sector employer to publish information, annually, regarding facility time.
Facility time is time off that is permitted by the institution to enable a relevant union official to:
The Regulations set out a list of the bodies who are required to provide facility time reports. These include:
The annual reporting requirement applies to all bodies with more than 49 employees during the entirety of any seven month period within the 12-month reporting period beginning on 01 April in any given year. The first relevant period is between 01 April 2017 and 31 March 2018.
The information that must be published by such bodies must cover the 12 month period. The information gathered must be published on the employer’s website and in their annual report no later than 31 July of the calendar year in which the relevant period ends.
The information that must be published (as set out in Schedule 2) is as follows:
The total number of employees who were relevant union officials and the number of full-time equivalent representatives employed in the relevant time period.
A breakdown of those relevant union officials employed during the relevant period who spent the following portion of their working hours on facility time:
This information must be provided in a table with the relevant numbers of employees entered alongside each of the four different percentage ranges.
A body is required to give three specific figures:
Calculation of the hourly cost of each employee who is a relevant union official during the relevant 12 month period and multiply the hourly cost by the number of paid facility time hours spent by that employee on facility time during the relevant 12 month period. In circumstances where there is more than one employee who is a relevant union official, add together each of the amounts produced in the step above.
You are also required to publish, as a percentage of total paid facility time hours, how many hours were spent by relevant union officials undertaking paid trade union ‘activities’ as opposed to ‘duties’ during the relevant 12 month period. Paid trade union ‘activities’ is the time taken off by relevant union officials during their working hours for the purpose of taking part in any activities in relation to which they are acting as a representative of the union and for which they receive wages from the institution, for example, such as meetings with full-time union officers to discuss issues relevant to the workplace. Total paid facility time hours, therefore, means the total of all hours spent on facility Time (whether a duty or an activity) by relevant union officials.
It is important to remember that it does not include trade union activities for which employees are not paid by the employer.
If these Regulations apply to you and your employees, we would advise that you take action now, as the 31 July deadline is fast approaching.
For more information about facility time reporting, please contact us on 01332 226 149 or complete the form below.
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