No Image Available


Read more from TrainingZone

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1705321608055-0’); });

Right to request training ‘to come in by 2010’


Twenty-five million employees are expected to gain the right to request time at work for training within two years.

Under The Children, Skills and Learning Bill, to be put before Parliament next year, all employees who have worked for their employer for more that 26 weeks requests could ask to undertake accredited courses that lead to a qualification or for unaccredited training.

The right relates to skills that are relevant to the employee's job, but employers would be required to consider seriously the requests they receive, using the same sort of processes they have in place to manage requests for flexible working.

Research suggests that currently one third of employers do not train their staff and eight million workers received no kind of training last year.

Skills Secretary John Denham said: "Businesses that invest in skills and training are far more likely to succeed and weather the downturn. Research last year showed firms that don't train are two and half times more likely to fail than those that do.” According to a government survey, 67% of English respondents said the measures could help skills development in their organisations.

The right is expected to come into force in 2010, and managers would not have to agree to a request if they could not see a good business reason to do so.

The proposals in detail:

What rights will staff have?
The proposals will give employees the right to request time to do relevant training. Employees will have to be clear what training they want to do and how it will help the business. Employers must decide if this is true and following a discussion with the employee, make a judgement on whether they should agree to the request or not.

Will employers have to agree to all requests?
No. The proposed new right will be a right to request time to train. Employers will not have to agree to every request as long as there is a good business reason not to do so. The government is to provide advice on what those reasons could be. For instance, in broad terms employers will not have to agree to a request if they think the training will not improve business performance.

Will the same rules apply to all firms, whatever their size?
Yes. However, the government says small firms are likely to have more good business reasons not to do so.

Who pays for the training?
This legislation will not force employers to pay for training - but the government expects most businesses will do so if it is related to what the business does. Some government funding is available for some training and employers can get advice through Train to Gain.

Is there funding to cover the wage costs of someone who is on a training course?
There is some government help for businesses with fewer than 50 employees. They can receive a wage subsidy when releasing eligible employees for training through Train to Gain.

How often can staff ask to have time to train?
An employee can only expect their employer to consider a request once in any 12 month period under these provisions. But there is nothing stopping employees or employers discussing training needs informally at any time.

If employee's request is refused, can the company be taken to an Employment Tribunal?
An employee who wants to challenge a decision will first have to appeal against a decision to the employer and then following that if there are still problems may complain to an Employment Tribunal. But complaints to a Tribunal may only be allowed if the employer has failed to properly consider a request.

Will time to train proposals be good or bad for L&D and organisations as a whole? Have your say by posting a comment below

Read more on proposals in the Queen's speech here


Get the latest from TrainingZone.

Elevate your L&D expertise by subscribing to TrainingZone’s newsletter! Get curated insights, premium reports, and event updates from industry leaders.


Thank you!