Human Resources

Facility Time

Information about Facility Time at the University.

What is Facility Time?

Facility time is the provision of paid time off from an employee’s normal role to undertake trade union duties as a trade union representative.

The following Facility Time Agreement, effective 1 August 2022, sets out the time-off provisions provided by the University to enable branch officials and representatives of UCU, UNSON and Unite to fulfil their union duties properly and effectively.

Facility Time Agreement

Information for Managers and Trade Union Representatives

The University recognises that a truly representative union and joint and effective working between unions are vital components of its commitment to partnership working and effective employee relations. Trade union representatives are entitled by law to carry out their duties and to take part in approved trade union activities without loss of earnings or suffering any detriment. New and existing representatives are also entitled to reasonable time off to be trained to fulfil these duties.

Facility time is received when an employee takes time off from their post to carry out duties as a trade union representative. HR will arrange a regular facility time payment to enable managers to backfill an employees’ role whilst they are undertaking their trade union role.

New representatives will be afforded reasonable time off for training from their substantive post before being allocated facility time by their union, and therefore undertaking any union duties allocated to them. Existing representatives will be afforded time off for new and refresher training from within their allocated facility time. With the advance agreement of the University’s Senior HR Partner for Employee Relations and Employment Policy, representatives who work part time or on a GH contract will be paid for the additional hours spent undertaking their approved training, to a combined maximum of 35 hours per week.

For further information on your responsibility as the line manager, please see the Government guidance:

Rights of Trade Union Reps

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have any questions relating to Facility Time, please contact the Employee Relations and Employee Policy team at ER.EP@ed.ac.uk