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Do union activities count as ‘working time’

14 November 2014: Even though an employer may not ‘recognise’ a union formally, there may still be union representatives within the business who have union work to attend to.


In Edwards and another v Encirc Ltd (ET/2412489/13) a health and safety representative and a shop steward brought claims against their employer after it refused to take into account time spent on their union activities when calculating the 11 hour rest period that the employees were entitled to within a 24 hour period.


However the Employment Tribunal held that time spent by trade union representatives attending union meetings was not “working time” under the Working Time Regulations.


Such time could not count as working time, because it was not time spent at their employer’s disposal, nor carrying out their duties, and was not classified as working time under any relevant agreement.


Reculver Solicitors is a firm of employment lawyers and solicitors based in central London WC1 advising on all aspects of employment law including the Working Time Regulations. Call us today on  0207 118 0950 or email us at See us at


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