The Value of Facility Time
Facility time generates benefits for employees, managers and the wider community from effective joint working between union representatives and employers.
A number of studies have shown that union workplaces tend to be safer and that trade unions help to promote skills and training in workplace. Somerset County Council benefits from Union Facility Time in a number of ways:
- Provision of a ready-made structure for meaningful consultation and negotiation saves money and reassures members that their views are valued in decision-making.
- Facilitation of partnership working with trade unions improves workplace relations and the reputation of an employer as ‘a good place to work’.
- Earlier intervention in relation to complaints, grievances and disciplinary action prevents escalation into more serious problems and saves organisations (and taxpayers) money by reducing the impact on staff time and possible legal costs.
- Better communication during restructuring and redundancy processes improves understanding of decisions, minimises negative impacts and reduces the number of working days lost through industrial action.
The facility time data legally required by the Trade Union (Facility Time Publication Requirements) Regulations 2017, should be set in the context of the vast benefits that facility time bring to the workforce and to the employer, as set out above.
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