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Government starts consultation on the right to request time off for training

12 August 2010 #Employment

Despite only coming into force in April 2010 for employers with over 250 employees, and not yet being applicable to smaller firms, the Coalition Government is considering scrapping the right to request time off for training (which was given by the previous Labour Government).
A 5 week consultation period has been announced by the Skills Minister, John Hayes, to seek businesses` opinions on whether the right is improving staff training or is merely another legislative burden on employers.
Adam Marshall, director of policy at the British Chambers of Commerce, believes that the right should be abolished. He stated: "We strongly believe that the time to train regulations should be scrapped in their entirety. The process obligations they impose on smaller businesses are inappropriate, costly and potentially confusing when they are combined with other legal obligations."

"Regulations such as these also provide yet another route to employment tribunal, allowing disgruntled employees an opportunity to threaten legal action due to paperwork and bureaucracy."
The TUC however would like to see the right retained. Its general secretary, Brendan Barber, has said: "The right to request time to train has opened new doors for workers to get the skills they need to further their careers. We are concerned that this latest consultation will simply weaken the right as a favour to business organisations who consider support to train staff as nothing more than burdensome red tape" 

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