Facility time is paid time-off taken by trade union representatives to carry out ‘duties’. It has been the focus of major reforms in central and local government, as well as the civil service over the past few years.
The TaxPayers’ Alliance has previously revealed how trade unions have received large amounts of taxpayers’ money. In 2014, TPA research showed that £108 million of taxpayers’ money had gone to trade unions, both directly and through facility time. Trade unions have also benefited from office space provided free of charge.
Our research shows that local authorities continue to provide millions of pounds worth of facility time to unions. Local authorities do not make their data on trade union payments easily available, and the most recently-available data varies by year. This means that our figures significantly downplay the overall total amounts. For instance, our ‘total amount spent’ figure is the total of all the most recent figures we could find going back to 2012/2013, so the real costs across the years described are much higher.