Volunteering at trade unions will be specifically banned under the Tories' new 'paid volunteering leave' plan

Trade unions will explicitly be banned from the legislation governing the rules

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Indy Politics

People making use of the Conservatives’ planned ‘paid volunteering leave’ will be banned from volunteering at trade unions, the party has said.

The Trades Union Congress this morning welcomed the Tories’ announcement that they would legislate to give employees at large companies three days paid leave in order do work at voluntary organisations.

“The TUC has long called for a Community Day Bank Holiday to encourage volunteering and community engagement,” TUC general secretary Francis O’Grady said.

“We therefore welcome any move that makes employers recognise the benefits of volunteering and social action.

“Trade unions are the UK’s biggest voluntary groups. This new right will give every union member a guaranteed three days for time off to get involved with union activities.”

But hours after the TUC welcomed their new policy a Conservative spokesperson told the Independent that unions would be specifically excluded from using the leave.

“It definitely won’t include trade unions,” the party spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said the party would write the trade union ban into the policy’s legislation and emphasised that the Tories were actually working to reduce paid civil service trade union facility time.


David Cameron said the policy as a whole was “the clearest demonstration of the Big Society in action - and I'm proud it's a Conservative government that will deliver it”.

The policy would apply to workers at firms with at least 250 staff and give three days paid annual volunteering leave on top of the 28 days paid holiday all workers are already entitled to.

Labour said the policy would cost the civil service millions of pounds.

"If just half of public sector workers took this up it would be the time equivalent of around 2,000 nurses, 800 police and almost 3,000 teachers,” shadow minister Lisa Nandy said.