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New Acas Code of Practice on time off for trade union duties and activities comes into effect

Acas' new Code of Practice on time off for trade union duties and activities came into effect on New Year's Day.

The Code will give employers guidance on the provision of cover when employees take time off, payment for time off, training and the importance of e-learning, the responsibilities of line managers and union representatives in ensuring time off arrangements are effective and access to facilities and the use of electronic communication technology.
The new code, which replaces an earlier code on the same subject, has been updated to reflect the changing workplace of the 21st Century.
Commenting on the code Ed Sweeney (pictured), Acas chairman said: "Union representatives play an important role in the modern workplace. They not only provide support to individual employees but can also play a positive role in helping businesses adapt to meet the challenges of modern competitive pressures. To carry out their role it is however essential that union representatives receive appropriate time off.
"The new code that comes into effect today will help both union representatives and the organisations they work for understand the law relating to time off and also manage in a fair and effective manner the practical day to day issues that arise when requests for time off are made."