Here at the Co-op we want to encourage everyone to play a full role in their community.

We’re committed to supporting colleagues who hold a public role and need time off work to carry out their duties – talk to your manager about your situation so you can make arrangements for the time you need.

Crucial bits

We’ll agree to reasonable requests for time off work for public duties. This could include attending meetings, events or other official activities involved with the role. By public duties, we mean that colleagues are (members of):

  • Justice of the Peace (Magistrate)
  • A Local Authority - e.g. a Local Councillor
  • Statutory Tribunal - e.g. an Employment Tribunal
  • Board of Prison Visitors or Prison Visiting Committee
  • Relevant Health Body
  • Relevant Education Body - e.g. a School Governor
  • Relevant Police Authority
  • The Environment Agency, Scottish Environment Protection Agency or Scottish Water

If you hold a public role which isn’t listed above, talk to your manager about your situation and agree what support can be offered. Just as a reminder, we have separate policies covering Jury Service and Reserve Forces.

We’ll never ask you to make up time you take off for public duties, but you can always offer to do so if you like.

Things to think about

If you’re thinking about taking on a public role, it’s good to talk to your manager about it first and give them an idea of the amount of time off you think you’ll need. It’s also useful to agree how much notice you need to give them when you need time off. Your manager may also ask for evidence of your appointment to the role.

We’ll do what we can to agree to requests for time off, but we may need to turn your request down if it’s going to cause problems for the business.

Your manager will decide if you’ll get paid for any time you take off work, so talk to them about your circumstances.

If we can’t give you paid time off we’ll do our best to limit the effect on your pay wherever we can, like agreeing for you to make up the time where it’s possible, or agreeing for you to take holiday. We want your pay to be right, so this should be recorded as either Paid or Unpaid Public Duties, as agreed with your manager.

If your manager gives you paid time off and you also receive any payment or allowance from the public body, you will need to pay us back this amount.

If you need further support

If you have any questions about time off for public duties, please speak to your manager. If managers need advice they should contact ER Services.