Trade Unions

Work and Pensions written question – answered at on 23 May 2011.

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Photo of Dominic Raab Dominic Raab Conservative, Esher and Walton

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many staff of (a) his Department, (b) Jobcentre Plus and (c) the Pension, Disability and Carers Service are entitled to work (i) full-time as trade union representatives and (ii) part-time on trade union activities; how many such staff are paid more than £25,900 annually; and what the cost to the public purse of employing such staff on such duties was in the latest period for which figures are available.

Photo of Chris Grayling Chris Grayling The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

The Department's policy on time off for trade union representatives complies with the law and reflects the code of practice issued by the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service. Under this, the Department currently allows 16 staff to work full-time as trade union representatives, which equates to around 0.01% of our workforce. Of these, eight are employed by Jobcentre Plus and two by the Pension and Disability Carers Service

The Department is unable to provide data on the number of part-time representatives operating across the country as this changes on a frequent basis. However, the amount of time available, including full-time posts, is capped at 0.2% of total staffing.

Of the 16 staff currently working full-time on trade union activities, only four earn more than £25,900 annually.

The cost to the public purse of the 16 staff currently engaged full-time on trade union activities is £416,000 per year on salaries, which is around 0.02% of the Department's total pay bill.

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