From education to employment

SME Time to Train regulations delayed

Time to Train regulations will not be extended to employees in small and medium-sized businesses this April as originally intended.

Following consultation between businesses and employee groups, ministers are taking further time to examine the potential impact of current regulations on smaller firms.

Changes forcing smaller firms to offer staff the right to request training were due to come into force in April 2011.

Time to Train operates on a similar basis to the right to request flexible working. Under Time to Train, employees are entitled to request time off to undertake work relevant training.

The legal right to allow workers in large businesses with more than 250 employees to request time to take up relevant training came into action in April last year.

Currently, employees in larger firms can request to undertake any training that they believe will improve their effectiveness in their sector, and the performance of the business they work in.

Commenting on the delay, Skills Minister John Hayes said: “It is vital to the economy and individuals that everyone has access to the training they need. That is why we are investing in Apprenticeships, protecting adult and community learning, and freeing colleges to respond to local needs.”

“But it is vital that the right balance is stuck between support for training and the need to minimise the burden of regulation for smaller companies.”

“We have delayed implementation to allow further, through discussion, scrutiny and evaluation.”

Mark Astley

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