The Government has published a consultation on granting employees the right to request time away from their mainstream duties to undertake relevant training, provided they have worked for their employer for 26 weeks. The procedure for making and responding to such request will be similar to that used for the right to request flexible working. The legislation will contain a list of acceptable business reasons which can be used by an employer to turn down a request. These include relevance of training to business productivity and performance and burden of additional costs e.g. for arranging cover while the employee undertakes training. Training can be accredited programmes leading to a qualification or unaccredited training to develop job-related skills. There are no proposals to specify how training can be taken, whether on or off the job, or how much time employees should take for training – this will be for employer and employee to agree. Employees will be limited to one request per year. It is unlikely that the Government will implement this right before 2010.

Click here for consultation paper.