Trade union facility time and the Scottish Government: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Information requested

  1. A copy of any agreement with your recognised trade unions on trade union facilities time. In the absence of a specific agreement, a copy of a recognition or other agreement that references facilities time.
  2. With reference to the amount of facility time reported under Trade Union (Facility Time Publication Requirements) Regulations 2017 for the year 2020-21. Where there any particular factors (negotiations, projects etc.) that influenced the amount of facility time that year?
  3. List up to three ways how you believe union facility time has benefitted the organisation.
  4. List any issues or challenges that have arisen as a result of facility time for your organisation. For example, what works well, or doesn’t work well and any solutions you have applied.
  5. List any disputes with your recognised trade unions or employment tribunal claims over facility time in the last five years not covered above.
  6. In relation to the Scottish Government's main bargaining unit, are there specific facility time arrangements? If so, please describe them and indicate how much of your reported time relates to this bargaining unit.


Some of the information you have requested is available from our Facility Time statement on the value of facility time, which the chair of the Council of Scottish Government Unions is a signatory to. This is available at Facility time by Scottish Government trade union representatives: 2020-21 and states the benefits of facility time and that Covid-19 has been a major factor in the use of facility time this year. Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you. If, however, you do not have internet access to obtain this information from the website(s) listed, then please contact me again and I will send you a paper copy.

In answer to your remaining questions, I have attached the relevant Annex on facility time from the Partnership Agreement we have in place with our recognised trade unions, which also addresses your query regarding arrangements in place with the Scottish Government Main bargaining unit. Of the 121.14 FTE union officials in receipt of facility time last year, 6 represented the Marine bargaining unit and the remainder represented the Scottish Government Main bargaining unit.

The Scottish Government values facility time and the benefits it brings for employees, managers and the wider community. There have been no disputes with our recognised trade unions o  employment tribunal claims over facility time in the last five years.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at

202200291010_Partnership Agreement Annex


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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