Right to Request Time to Train Subject to Further Consultation
The right to request time to train was included in the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act which came into force for employees in large organisations (employers with more than 250 employees) from April 2010, with plans for it to be extended to all employers in April 2011.
The right allows any employee with 26 weeks service to apply for time off for training. The employer has various reasons they can decline this request, but the burden of formalities necessary to deal with the application (unless the application is approved, a meeting must be held within 28 days, followed by written reasons for the decision) would always arise. An Impact Assessment put the cost of this regulation at £359m per annum for SMEs.
As the Government is now reviewing all regulations, a further consultation has now been announced that will consider this right further – whether the right should be repealed; if it should be extended to smaller businesses or retained only for larger organisations; or whether the process should be amended, making compliance less of a burden on employers.
The consultation period is short, responses necessary by 15 September, followed by a decision in December.