New publishing rules on trade union facility timeĀ 


The Trade Union (Facility Time Publication Requirements) Regulations 2017 took effect on 1 April, this means that NHS employers are now required to publish certain information on trade union officials and facility time on their website. 

NHS employers will be subject to the new rules if they have at least one employee who is a trade union official, a trade union learning representative or a safety representative and you will need to publish information on this role.

What does facility time cover?

As part of these new regulations, facility time will cover duties carried out for the trade union or as a union learning representative, for example, accompanying an employee to disciplinary or grievance hearing. It will also cover training received and duties carried out under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Information to be published

The regulations require the following information to be published on the employer's website:

  • table 1: the number of employees who were relevant union officials during the relevant period, and the number of full time equivalent employees
  • table 2: the percentage of time spent on facility time for each relevant union official
  • table 3: the percentage of pay bill spent on facility time
  • table 4: the number of hours spent by relevant union officials on paid trade union activities as a percentage of total paid facility time hours.

The first year for which this data needs to be published is the financial year 2017/18.  The reporting deadline is 31 July 2018.

Next step

The government intends to publish guidance for employers later in 2017.  The Trade Union (Facility Time Publication Requirements) Regulations 2017 also gives the government the power to make further regulations (after three years) if these measures do not lead to efficiency savings and deliver value for money for the tax payer. 

Further information

You can find further details on the new regulations and Trade Union Act on the website. 

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