Allow paid time off
If you have union-appointed health and safety representatives or representatives elected by employees in your workplace, then you have a duty to:
- let them have time with pay during their normal working hours as is necessary to carry out their functions.
- let them have time with pay as is necessary to be trained to perform their functions, as reasonable in the circumstances.
Training for health and safety representatives is vital to enable them to carry out their roles effectively. You should follow the provisions in the regulations, so for more information see Consulting employees on health and safety - Approved Code of Practice and guidance L146. This is very important, because failure to allow paid time as is necessary to attend training or perform their roles could result in an employment tribunal.
If you have a union-appointed health and safety representative, the trade union will arrange and pay for their training and relevant travel and subsistence costs in most cases. Sometimes, they may ask for employers to pay some costs, for example if the trade union is providing joint training on behalf of the employer.
Unions will decide what training their appointed health and safety representative will need, but there does need to be agreement between you and the unions on how the training is arranged to ensure smooth running of your business.
You should take account of the Approved Code of Practice and case law in this area.
If you have elected representatives, then you have to pay the reasonable cost of their training - including travel and subsistence.
During the election, you also have to allow candidates reasonable time with pay to carry out their functions as a candidate.