Time off to be a governor

Serving as a governor helps employees develop board-level skills and experience that they may not otherwise develop until much later in their careers.

The learning and development benefits are therefore significant and more than compensate for the flexibility and time off that staff may need to fulfil their governor duties. The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has stated clearly that is sees a robust business case for more employers supporting their staff to volunteer as governors. 

By law, employers must give employees who are school governors in maintained schools ‘reasonable time off' to carry out their duties. The employee and employer must agree on what is ‘reasonable time off'. Among the points they should discuss are:

  • how much time is needed overall to perform the duties
  • whether the employee is also being given time off from work for other activities
  • the particular circumstances of the employer's business and
  • the likely effect that the employee's absence may have on it.

Employers may give time off with pay but do not have to do so. This is for discussion between the employee and the employer. Guidance on time off for public duties is available on the GOV.UK website.

If the employee and employer cannot agree on any of these questions, either of them can ask for help from the Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS), which will try to settle any differences informally. An employee who is still not satisfied may complain to an Employment Tribunal.

More help like this can be found in the DFE Governors' Handbook

This page was last updated on 25 October 2016

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