Ministry Of Defence: Trade Unions

Ministry of Defence written question – answered on 3rd November 2015.

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Photo of Tom Pursglove Tom Pursglove Conservative, Corby

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many civil servants in his Department are members of trades unions; how much working hours facility time is claimed by each such civil servant; and what the cost of that facility time is to his Department.

Photo of Mark Lancaster Mark Lancaster The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) no longer holds data on employees who are members of Trades Unions (TUs), following the removal of automatic TU subscription-fee deductions from employees' salary in January 2015.

The MOD makes certain facilities available to civilian employees who are accredited representatives, but not paid officials of, TUs recognised by the Department. The amount of time off and the purposes for which it is allowed is in accordance with the ACAS Code of Practice Time off for Trade Union duties and activities. This is recorded as facility time (FT).

In FY 2014-15 some 9,865 staff days were spent on FT at a cost of £1.13 million, which is significantly lower than comparable figures for FY 2011-12 when an estimated 27,060 staff days were spent on FT at a cost of £3.65 million. The number of Departmental staff who were recorded as being 100% FT has also fallen from 53 in 2013 to zero in 2015.

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