08 June 2018
Under the Employment Rights Act 1996, an employer must allow employees time off for public duties. The Time off for Public Duties Order 2018 comes into force on 1st October 2018 and extends these rights. The right will now also be available to individuals who monitor conditions in places such as court custody, Scottish prisons, immigration removal centres and immigration facilities at ports and airports.
Such requests are not common for most employers and, as such, they may not be immediately recognised. Employers should, therefore, be mindful that there is a right to time off for public duties and, if faced with a request, should seek advice from their HR or legal advisers to see whether the statutory right applies, certainly before any refusal to allow the time off.