What are an employers obligations with regards to time off for public duties?

What do employers need to be aware of when an employee wants to take time off for public duties and volunteering?

In this episode of the podcast I answer a question from a listener about employers legal obligations when an employee requests time off to undertake public duties or volunteering.  

In this episode I will cover:

  • The circumstances in which employees have the legal right to time off for public duties.
  • The consequences for failing to allow an employee time off in these circumstances.
  • When you can exercise your discretion for volunteering roles such as school governors or charity trustees etc.
  • Why allowing your employees time off on occasion for volunteering and/or community roles can be beneficial to your business.
  • What you need to consider if an employee is called for jury service.
  • Legal obligations and consequences when you have reservists within your employment.

Action Points

  1. Put in place a ‘Time off for public duties’ policy or at least consider what your position would be in the event that an employee makes a request.
  2. Understand what the legal obligations are in respect of public duties as set out in section 50 of the Employment Rights Act.
  3. Review the guidance on employing reservists and consider applying for the armed forces covenant.

Useful Links

Armed Forced Covenant

Employing Reservists

Employers Toolkit for Reservists

Section 50 Employment Rights Act 1996

Legal Updates from Real Employment Law Advice

Please do leave any comments, ideas and best practice below. Please ensure that any comments are respectful to all views and opinions.

As part of our HR Harbour annual subscription service for employers we provide guidance and training on the Equality Act 2010. If you would like to know more about the HR Harbour Service and how you can get unlimited support from as little as £180 per month please contact me for a no obligation discussion – alison@realemploymentlawadvice.co.uk or you can find full details here: HR Harbour

Don’t forget you can contact us by telephone 01983 897003, 01722 653001 or 023 8098 2006

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The information contained in this Podcast and post is provided for guidance and is a snapshot of the law at the time. It is provided for your information only and should not be used as a substitute for obtaining legal advice that it specific to your particular circumstances.

The guidance should not be relied upon in any decision making process. It is strongly recommended that you seek advice before taking action.

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