Union learning representatives (ULRs) have the same status as union officials and are allowed paid time off to carry out their duties.
Union learning representatives are:
- representatives of a recognised union who provide advice to union members about their training, educational and developmental needs
- elected or appointed in accordance with the union's rules
- trained in line with statutory training conditions
- notified to the employer in writing
Rights of ULRs
ULRs have a legal right to reasonable paid time off during working hours to carry out their duties, which may include:
- undertaking relevant training
- analysing the learning or training needs of union members
- providing information and advice on learning or training
- arranging learning or training
- consulting the employer about learning and training
- preparing for the above
The law does not assign a negotiating role to ULRs. However, some employers have voluntarily negotiated learning agreements with their ULRs.
Advantages of ULRs for employers
ULRs can be a source of expert advice. They cost you comparatively little and can help with identifying the training needs of staff and encouraging a learning culture within the company.