According to the law you can take time off work to carry out various public duties and services. But, the rights and responsibilities for employers and employees varies.
PUBLIC DUTIES: It depends most what the actual duty or service is for and what you will be doing.
Typical examples of who takes time off work to perform public duties would be a magistrate or a school governor.
This page highlights the rights and responsibilities for employees and for their employers.
Employers can choose whether to their pay staff for taking time off work for public duties. But, UK employment legislation does not require them to do so.
Note: All employers must allow their employees time off work to attend jury service.
As an employee you are eligible for a 'reasonable' amount of time off work to perform public duties if you are also a:
There is no set amount of time for this type of absence from work written in statute. Thus, the employer and the employee should form an agreement beforehand. Various circumstances may form the basis of a reasonable time, such as:
Employers can refuse a request by staff for time off if they believe it to be 'unreasonable'. But, they cannot refuse a request by their staff for time away from work to perform jury service.
Apart from jury service, employees cannot ask for time off work for public duties if they are:
All employees can choose to raise a grievance at work. It is the right path to take if you feel an employer is not allowing you enough time off to perform public duties.
Different rules apply for employees in the Army Reserves or other reserve forces. They have some protection under employment law if they get called up for public service.
The rules also differ for employers of reservists. Employers have particular rights and obligations in situations such as these. In some cases, they can claim financial assistance or they can apply for an exemption.
Acas stands for the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service. You can contact them for free help and advice about having time off for public duties.
Taking Time Off Work for Public Duties in the United Kingdom