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Website URL : http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=2789

New Acas Code of Practice on Time Off for Trade Union Duties and Activities comes into effect

Wednesday 23 December 2009

Today Acas' new Code of Practice on Time Off for Trade Union Duties and Activities comes into effect.

The new code, which replaces an earlier code on the same subject, has been updated to reflect the changing workplace of the 21st Century.

As well as dealing with all the issues covered in the previous code the new code provides updated guidance on:

  • the provision of cover when employees take time off
  • payment for time off
  • training and the importance of e-learning
  • the responsibilities of line managers and union representatives in ensuring time off arrangements are effective
  • access to facilities and the use of electronic communication technology.

Commenting on the code Ed Sweeney, Acas Chair said:

"Union representatives play an important role in the modern workplace. They not only provide support to individual employees but can also play a positive role in helping businesses adapt to meet the challenges of modern competitive pressures. To carry out their role it is however essential that union representatives receive appropriate time off.

"The new code that comes into effect today will help both union representatives and the organisations they work for understand the law relating to time off and also manage in a fair and effective manner the practical day to day issues that arise when requests for time off are made."

Notes for editors

  1. Acas' aim is to improve organisations and working life through better employment relations. It provides information, advice, training and a range of services working with employers and employees to prevent or resolve problems and improve performance. It is an independent statutory body governed by a Council consisting of the Acas Chair and employer, trade union and independent members.
  2. Acas codes of practice are statutory documents that employment tribunals are required to take into account when considering relevant cases.
  3. In support of its new Code Acas has also produced two new guides on representatives in the workplace:

    "Trade Union Representation in the workplace"

    "Non-union Representation in the Workplace"

    These Guides provide more detailed information on facilities and facility time for workplace representatives and cover all types of representatives found in the contemporary workplace both statutory and non-statutory.

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