GMB London branch officer wins employment tribunal case
GMB London branch officer wins employment tribunal case against London borough of Camden to be allowed time off for training.
We hope that we can now move forward in a positive way to improve industrial relations and our representatives can go about their business without obstruction says GMB London.
An employment tribunal in London Central has ruled in favour of Grant Bennett, a GMB branch officer from Hertfordshire, against London Borough of Camden on the right to time off for training under the Trade Union and Labour Relations Act (TULRA) 1992.
Grant Bennett is the Health and Safety branch officer for GMB, responsible for the Camden Branch, and was eligible under TULRA to time off for training to enable him to carry out his duties. [see notes to editors for section 168 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations Act 1992]
Mr Bennett, employed by Camden since 2002 and currently a bus driver for Camden’s Accessible Travel Solutions department, has been awarded £2,500 in compensation plus the Employment Tribunal fees incurred.
Helen Purcell, GMB London organiser said:
“GMB are over the moon about the tribunal's decision. Grant's dogged determination throughout this whole process is to be commended. It is disappointing that Camden Council sought to block our representative and defended the claim at tribunal.
“Grant is delighted with the outcome and has maintained throughout that it is the declaration that is important to him.
“We hope that we can now move forward in a positive way to improve industrial relations and our representatives can go about their business without obstruction.”
Elizabeth Stephenson, Deputy Head of Employment, Pattinson and Brewer Solicitors said:
“This case exemplifies how tirelessly union reps work to improve health and safety for their colleagues, and acknowledges the crucial role unions have to play in these matters.
“The claimant is a knowledgeable and committed union rep, whose desire to learn more about health and safety would benefit us all. This shows that employers can't just dismiss such requests out of hand, but should take them seriously."
Contact: Helen Purcell on 07813 542046, Elizabeth Stephenson on 0207 653 3255
Notes to editors:
- Section 168, Time off for Trade Union duties and activities
(1) An employer shall permit an employee of his who is an official of an independent trade union recognised by the employer to take time off during his working hours for the purpose of carrying out any duties of his, as such an official concerned with:
a) negotiations with the employer related to or connected with matters falling within section 178(2) (collective bargaining) in relation to which the trade union is recognised by the employer, or
b) the performance on behalf of employees of the employer of functions related to or connected with matters falling within that provision which the employer has agreed may be so performed by the trade union.
(2) He shall also permit such an employee to take time off during his working hours for the purpose of undergoing training in aspects of industrial relations:
a) relevant to the carrying out of such duties as are mentioned in subsection (1), and
b) approved by the Trades Union Congress or by the independent trade union of which he is an official.
(3) The amount of time off which an employee is to be permitted to take under this section and the purposes for which, the occasions on which and any conditions subject to which time off may be so taken are those that are reasonable in all the circumstances having regard to any relevant provisions of a Code of Practice issued by ACAS.
(4) An employee may present a complaint to an industrial tribunal that his employer has failed to permit him to take time off as required by this section.