© Crown copyright 2019
This publication is licensed under the terms of the Open Government Licence v3.0 except where otherwise stated. To view this licence, visit nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/3 or write to the Information Policy Team, The National Archives, Kew, London TW9 4DU, or email: email@example.com.
Where we have identified any third party copyright information you will need to obtain permission from the copyright holders concerned.
This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/trade-union-facility-time-publication-service-2018-19/report-trade-union-facility-time-data
Facility Time data is data that you need to collect, report and publish under the Trade Union Facility Time Publication Requirements Regulations 2017.
As a public sector employer, you must report and publish information on facility time for your employees who are trade union representatives.
Facility time is when an employee takes time off from their normal role to carry out their duties and activities as a trade union representative.
You need to report and publish this information once a year every year.
1. Check if you need to report trade union facility time data
You must report and publish facility time information if you’re a public sector employer and both:
- have at least one trade union representative
- had more than 49 full time equivalent employees during any seven months of the relevant period.
1.1 Public sector employers
Public sector employers include:
- local authorities
- National Health Service
- maintained schools, academies or other educational institutions
- UK government departments – except the Secret Intelligence Service, the Security Service and the Government Communications Headquarters
- Scottish Ministers
Refer to the list in Schedule 1 of the regulations for a full list of public sector employers who need to report this data.
1.2 Exceptions to the reporting requirement
You can choose whether to report the data if you had fewer than 49 full time equivalent employees during any seven months of the period between 1 April 2018 and 31 March 2019.
You do not need to report the data if you’re in Northern Ireland or you’re a devolved Welsh authority.
2. How to report the data and when to report it by
By 31 July 2019, you must:
- report the data on GOV.UK using its online trade union facility time reporting service – the service will be available from 1 June 2019
- publish the data on your website – the easiest way to do this is by publishing your answers from the online service
- include the data in your annual report and accounts if you have one
If you choose to publish your own data on your website, you’ll also need to calculate and add the:
percentage of pay spent on facility time
percentage of total paid facility time spent on paid trade union activities
When reporting your data on Gov.uk using the online Trade Union Facility Time Reporting Service, the service will automatically calculate these figures for you.
3. What you need to report
You need to collect and report facility time information to cover the period from 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019.
3.1 Data you need to collect
Keep a record of the:
- total number of trade union representatives your organisation employed - include employees who were not representatives for the full 12 months
- total full time equivalent number of representatives
- total amount of time representatives spent on facility time
- percentage of working hours each representative spent on facility time – you’ll need to select from an option of 0%, 1 to 50%, 51 to 99%, or 100% when you report this on GOV.UK
- total amount of time representatives spent on paid facility time – paid union duties and activities
- total amount of time representatives spent on paid union activities
- total amount of time representatives spent on unpaid union activities
- total pay bill – for all employees not just union representatives
- total cost of facility time
You may find it helpful to use a spreadsheet to collate the information.
4. Calculations you need to make
4.1 Full time equivalent number (FTE)
The individual full time equivalent number is an employee’s individual hours divided by the employer’s full time hours. For example, the FTE for a part time employee who works 18.5 hours a week based on a full time week of 37 hours is 0.5.
To get the total FTE number, add the number of full time employees who are representatives and the individual FTE for representatives who work part time.
Count the total number of hours representatives are employed, not just the hours they spend on facility time.
4.2 Full time equivalent number example
This is based on full time hours of 37 hours a week.
|2 full time employees||2 FTE employees|
|1 part time (18.5 hours)||0.5 FTE employees|
|1 part time (25 hours)||0.7 FTE employees|
|Total FTE||3.2 FTE employees|
4.3 Total pay bill
This is the total gross amount for all employees spent on wages plus the total pension contributions plus total National Insurance contributions.
4.4 Total cost of facility time
The individual cost of facility time is the hourly cost for each representative multiplied by the number of paid facility time hours.
The hourly cost is the gross amount spent on wages for each employee plus pension contributions plus National Insurance contributions divided by the number of working hours during the period.
To get the total cost of facility time, add together the facility time costs for each representative. For example, if a representative’s hourly cost is £10 and they did 56 paid facility time hours then their individual facility time cost would be £560. If there is only one other representative and that person’s facility time cost is £360 then the total facility time cost would be £920.
5. If you’re a local authority
If you’re a local authority, you need to report the data separately for trade union representatives in each of the following categories:
- central function
- education function
- fire and rescue function
5.1 Facility time cost
You need to subtract from the total cost of facility time any money received from other parties.
Divide your total contribution by the total number of union representatives and multiply that result by the number of representatives in the function you’re reporting on.
|Function reporting on||Education|
|Total number of trade union representatives||3|
|Number of representatives in the education function||2|
|Total facility time cost||£60,000|
|Money received from other participants||£10,000|
|Facility time cost for the education function||£33,333|
6. If you’re a school
If you’re a maintained school, the local authority should report the data on your behalf. If you’re an academy, you need to report your own data.
Include TUPE, non-TUPE, teachers and support staff representatives in your data.
Read the Department for Education guidance on trade union facility time in schools.
7. If you have a pooled arrangement
A pooled arrangement is when a number of employers share trade union representatives to save costs. It is usually run by a local authority but can also be run by a multi-academy trust.
A pooled arrangement can also refer to when a local authority shares its union representatives across several functions. For example, a local authority that employs a union representative in its fire and rescue function who also undertakes union work for the education function.
The cost of the representatives is shared by the participants in the arrangement. Each party puts money into a shared pot.
7.1 Reporting the data
Only the employer of the union representative needs to collate and report the facility time data.
If you’re the employer, you need to record the time your union representative spends on paid facility time for each organisation.
8. What happens to the data
The data will be published on GOV.UK by the end of August.
9. Trade union duties and activities
Trade union duties are when an employee has paid time off during working hours to carry out recognised trade union duties.
Working hours refers to any time when an employee has to be at work according to their employment contract.
Trade union duties are paid. Trade union activities can be paid or unpaid. Trade union representatives are entitled to reasonable paid time off to carry out trade union duties. They are not entitled to paid time off for trade union activities but an employer can choose to pay for this time.
Find out more about the rights of trade union representatives to paid time off.
9.1 Examples of trade union duties
- duties connected with collective bargaining – for example, on terms and conditions of employment, redundancy, allocation of work
- taking part in a negotiation or consultation process – including meeting and corresponding with managers, and informing union members of progress and outcomes
- attending a disciplinary or grievance hearing, with trade unions, including allowing reasonable time to prepare
- attending training for the trade union representative role
9.2 Examples of trade union activities
- discussing internal union matters
- dealing with internal administration of the union – for example, answering union correspondence meetings other than as part of the negotiating or consultation process
9.3 For academies
Trade union duties tend to be related to employment within the academy – for example, supporting colleagues in disciplinary hearings.
Trade union activities tend not to be directly related to academy needs – for example, attending an annual trade union conference or voting in union elections.