Human Resources

Public duties

This policy provides details of Birkbeck’s approach towards requests for reasonable time off for statutory public, political, civic and judicial activities and to clarify the associated terms and procedure under which time off may be granted and for what purpose.

Birkbeck considers it desirable that its employees participate in the political and civic life of the communities in which they live and work.

All employees are entitled to:

  • stand for election as local councillors;

  • act as magistrates;

  • serve on other local bodies associated with statutory and community services;

  • join the Territorial Army, the Royal Naval Reserve, the Royal Marines Reserve, the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, or the Special Police Force (or equivalent) (“Reserve Forces”);

  • attend jury service and act as a witness in court.

All employees are free to stand for parliament and assemblies, but must resign from Birkbeck’s employment if elected. However, any employee considering such a move must inform his/her line manager at a very early stage that he/she is considering standing for parliament/assemblies or playing a public part in parliamentary elections and give assurance that these activities can be exercised without conflict of interest with his/her duty as an employee. At the line manager's discretion, unpaid leave (up to one month) may be given to an employee who is standing for parliament/assemblies to assist in carrying out his/her campaign.

Birkbeck will give reasonable facilities, including (where necessary and appropriate) time off, to enable all employees to undertake their share of civic duties.

Appropriate arrangements will also be made for those who are required to attend courts or tribunals in a quasi-judicial or similar capacity e.g. witnesses, advocates, jury service etc.

Absence related to public duties must be recorded on the leave record form by the individual employee. The form must then be forwarded to their line manager for approval.

Employees must inform Birkbeck if they have any employment outside Birkbeck in accordance with the Outside Business Activities Policy.

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The HR team is based on the first floor of Egmont House
Postal address: Human Resources, Birkbeck, University of London, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX