RMT Education - Reimbursement of Expenses

Circular No. NP/029/14

    10th February 2014

To: All Branches & Regional Councils, Regional Organisers and Head Office Officers & Staff.

Dear Colleague


I would like to take the opportunity to set out the arrangements for the reimbursement of expenses when attending RMT Trade Union Education courses. Members will be aware the Union has an extensive programme of Trade Union Education courses that are delivered at the RMT’s National Education Centre and from time to time locally in Regions. The Council of Executives are committed to encouraging as many members of our union as possible to take up these education opportunities and to provide a system of reimbursement of expenses that is both fair and transparent. I therefore set out below for your information the ‘rules’ that apply for the reimbursement of expenses for attending RMT Trade Union Education Courses:

Loss of Wages/Salary: Under Sections 168 and 169 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992, Trade Union Representatives have the right to paid time off from work in order to attend trade union courses ‘approved by… the independent trade union of which he/she is an official.’ The RMT’s Education Programme is a legitimate recognised trade union training programme that fulfils the requirements of this act with employers where we have recognition agreements in place.
In addition for all members/Officials who have been accepted to attend an RMT Trade Union Course, the member should request from their employer ‘paid leave from their place of work’. If this is refused then the advice and assistance of the members Regional Organiser (RO) should be sought. If the RO confirms that paid release is not available then the member shall be able to claim the net amount of income they have lost for each day it is actually lost up to the agreed maximum daily rate. If no loss of wages/salary is incurred then no claim should be made.
Leave & Rest Periods: The Council of Executives does not encourage or expect members to use their leave entitlement or rest periods from work, to attend Trade Union Courses. Of course if a member does decide to attend a course using their personal leave or rest period (s) then that is a matter for the individual member. In these circumstances to make a claim for loss of wages/salary the member must provide evidence of an actual loss of wages/salary during this leave or rest period.

Travel: All reasonable travel expenses to and from a course will be reimbursed on production of a receipt (s). If the travel is by car then a receipt for fuel will be required (as proof of purchase, HMRC requirement) and the RMT Mileage rates will used to calculate the amount to be claimed back.

Food & Accommodation: All food and accommodation is provided free to those attending courses at the National Education Centre. For courses delivered in regional locations arrangements for meals and accommodation will be made where necessary at no cost to the member.

I hope this clarification is helpful and sets out the process to assist all when attending any RMT Trade Union Course. I should point out the above applies also to members attending courses run under the auspices of the RMT Union Learning project.

Yours sincerely

Bob Crow
General Secretary