Representation of fixed-term and hourly paid members on branch committees

Although not specified in the model branch rules, all branches are encouraged to facilitate fixed-term and hourly paid members serving on the branch committee.

You may wish to have a specified fixed-term and hourly post position or have a reserved place to ensure that at least one member of the committee is on such a contract.

It's equally import to have representation of fixed-term and hourly paid staff on your negotiating committee to ensure that the views and needs of all members are met during negotiations.

Those branches that have made the most progress in recruiting, organising and negotiating on behalf of fixed-term and hourly paid staff are those with active fixed-term and hourly paid committee members.

Many staff on fixed-term, hourly paid or other casual contracts find it difficult to become fully active within the union due to a variety of factors.

Branches are urged to encourage such members to become involved by:

  • getting a commitment from your employer that no member of staff will suffer any detriment as a result of undertaking union duties or activities (this should include contract renewal and allocation of work specifically)
  • advising members of their legal rights in relation to undertaking trade union duties*
  • ensuring that any facility time provided is used to enable hourly paid and other part-time staff to take part in the union without loss of pay or to be paid (at their normal rate of pay) for any duties undertaken outside of their normal working hours.

*Elected trade union representatives have the right to reasonable paid time off during working hours to carry out trade union duties. Such duties would include carrying out negotiations and representing members at grievance and disciplinary hearings. Paid time off should also be provided for relevant training. Part-time staff should be paid in the same way as full-time staff.

Your local recognition or facilities agreement may expand or enhance your legal minimum entitlement.

There are specific provisions relating to union learning representatives and health and safety representatives.

For further information see the ACAS code of practice in time off for trade union duties and activities (.pdf)

Last updated: 22 October 2008