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Are there any legal rights to facilities time?

Yes. Union lay officials, including shop stewards, staff reps and branch secretaries of recognised unions, have the right to time off with pay to carry out trade union duties (see section 168 Trade Union and Labour Relations Consolidation Act 1992).

Trade union duties are those concerned with negotiation with the employer over what are termed 'section 178(2) matters'. These include terms and conditions, recruitment, suspension, dismissal, work allocation, discipline, union membership, time off facilities and procedures.

All members of recognised unions, not just representatives, have the right to reasonable time off to take part in trade union activities. What is 'reasonable' is a matter for negotiation.

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