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Fife councillor wins case to get days off

11 August 2005

Fife councillor Jim Tolson has won his case at an employment tribunal to get more time off to carry out council duties.

The Scottish Liberal Democrats' opposition spokesman for adult services on Fife Council works for Sky Subscribers Services Ltd. He said that he needed more time off to attend meetings, do site visits and advise community councils than was permitted by his employer.

His representative at the tribunal argued that it would be reasonable for him to have 24 days off a year, or 48 half days.

However, Sky Subscribers argued that he was already given four full days off and that his request was excessive and unreasonable, because the company would have to cover his time off with another employee working overtime.

The tribunal ruled that his absence could not be described as significant and that Sky had failed to permit Mr Tolson to take time off for public duties.

Mr Tolson brought his action to tribunal under section 51 of the Employment Rights Act 1996.