This guidance is designed to assist branches in negotiating facility time.

Facility time

Facility time is essential to directly support members within colleges and to improve colleges as a workplace by campaigning for local collective agreements and improvements.

There is a legal requirement for employers to give recognised trade unions a reasonable amount of time off with pay to carry out trade union duties. Guidance on this has been issued by ACAS:

Some of the tasks which local reps may undertake:

• Advising members of their statutory and contractual rights.

• Representation in disciplinary, grievance and capability hearings.

• Accompanying members and supporting members in redundancy and restructuring processes.

• Consultation at college level on education and academic matters, e.g. curriculum changes.

• Consultation on local employment issues such as; mergers, TUPE transfers, restructuring exercises and associated contractual changes.

• Training.

• Development and negotiation of Policies and procedures for implementation at the college.

• Representing members on equality issues and promoting equality issues – both through named equality reps and wider branch structures.

• Health and Safety issues.

• Consultation and communication with members.

• Representing members at Board and regional level.

To ensure adequate local facility time and taking into account the challenges presented by larger, merged colleges, we propose the formula overleaf be used as a guideline calculator for facility time.

This calculator is intended to give a ‘pot’ of facility time to be agreed in the local RPA, and to be divided by the branch according to the structures agreed at their AGM.
The formula does not include national work arising from membership of EIS national bodies or the national bargaining process.

This formula does not include the time off for Health & Safety Representatives, which should be argued for separately as it comes under a different area of law.

Formula for calculation of minimum local facility time

Each hour refers to one hour of remission from teaching, i.e. paid time off work duties.

The formula has three elements:

  • Number of EIS members in the branch
  • Number of campuses in the branch
  • Travelling time allowance

Note that accredited Learning Reps also have the right to time off under legislation, and this should be separate and distinct from time off negotiated under the local RPA.

The formula to be applied as follows:

3 hours per 40 members or part thereof

+ 2 hours per campus

+ travelling time of 0.5 hours (if more than one campus) plus an additional 0.5 hours per 5 miles between campuses or part thereof.


College A has 250 members spread across three campuses. From the main campus, one campus is 5 miles away and the other campus is 22 miles away.

Guideline minimum facility time:

2 hours x 3 campuses = 6 hours plus

250 members = 3 hours x 7 lots of 40 members = 21 hours plus

3 hours travel time allowance

Total = 30 hours


College B has 420 members spread over two campuses which are less than 5 miles apart.

Guideline minimum facility time:

2 hours x 2 campuses = 4 hours plus

420 members = 3 hours x 11 lots of 40 members = 33 hours plus

30 mins travel time allowance

Total = 37.5 hours

College C has 55 members on two campuses, 30 miles apart.

Guideline minimum facility time:

2 hours x 2 campuses = 4 hours plus

55 members = 3 hours x 2 lots of 40 members = 6 hours plus

3.5 hours travel time allowance

Total = 13.5 hours