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Employment Act 2002

Putting Union learning representatives (ULR) on a statutory footing

210.The objective of this provision is to improve the skills of the workforce by increasing the number of ULRs and improving their effectiveness. The provision will further reduce the current uncertainty regarding the position of the ULRs and the time and resources they may use to fulfil their task.

211.There are benefits to employers and employees. Employers gain from enhanced workforce skills leading to improved productivity, complementary effects between ULRs and the human resources team, increased confidence in staff and improved employment relations and a sense of partnership in the workplace. As far as these benefits are quantifiable, they are estimated to be between £16-33 million, steadily rising with increased effectiveness to between £70-140 million in the eighth year after introduction of this provision.

212.There are some costs to employers which are due to the time spent on training ULRs, the time the ULRs spend in fulfilling their task and the administrative costs of understanding the legislation, handling notices and requests for time off. The increased use of ULRs will increase the first two items of this list. Total costs increase from £7 million in the first year to £26 million in the eighth year after the introduction of the provision.

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