Your right to time off for training
Time off for briefings?
Officials of recognised trade unions are entitled to time off from work for trade union training. Section 168(2) of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 states that an employer must permit trade union representatives to take time off during their working hours for the purpose of undergoing training in aspects of industrial relations.
The law states that trade union representatives should be given 'reasonable' time off for training. An employer who unreasonably refuses time off to officials of recognised trade unions for the purpose of training as described above is ultimately answerable to an Employment/Industrial Tribunal. This is similarly the case for withholding pay.
An NASUWT Representative must be paid for this time off at the level they would have earned had they worked during the time taken off. The right to payment for time off includes a right to be paid for all time off, including that covered by a separate contract with the same employer (e.g. during the lunch hour or after the end of school). The additional implication of this is that all directed hours that the NASUWT Representative would have worked on the days taken off for training must be credited to the Representative as though s/he had actually worked them.
Informing the employer
The NASUWT Representative should always give the employer as much notice as possible of their wish to attend the NASUWT training course. If the employer asks for a copy of the course programme, the Representative should provide one. The NASUWT Representative should also inform the employer of where the course is being held and how much time off is required.