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Since April 2011, all employees will have the right to request time off for training. Employers do not have to fund the training or pay the employee while they attend training courses. 
 
Employers do have to follow a right to request time off for training procedure.
 

Which Employees have the Right to Request Time off for Training?

 
Employees will have the right to request time off for training or studying relevant to the business if they have more than 26 weeks' continuous service
 
Right to Request Time off for Training Procedure
 
  • The right to request time off for training has a similar procedure to the right to request flexible working:-Employers must either accept or arrange a meeting with the employee making the request for time off for training within 28 days;
  • The employee requesting time off for training can be accompanied to the meeting by another colleague or union representative;
  • The Employer must make the decision to accept or refuse the time off for training request within 14 days.  It is possible for employers to partially accept a request;
  • If the employer refuses the request, the employee has a right to appeal.
 
Employers also have the right to refuse requests for time off for training.
 

Grounds for Refusal of a Request for Time off for Training

 
Grounds for refusal may include:-
 
  • Training not relevant to business needs or not applicable to the role of the employee;
  • Suitable training not available;
  • Detrimental effect on the ability of employer to meet customer demand or provide quality customer service if training request is accommodated;
  • Inability to reorganise or re-allocate work to colleagues or recruit temporary staff to accommodate training;
  • Where the training is in conflict with a planned structural change.
 
Employment Tribunals will consider claims where employers have not followed the correct procedure but are very unlikely to consider claims where the dispute centres on the merits of the training.
 
If you have any queries about handling requests for time off for training, please contact Ashley Hunt, Vaishali Thakerar or Carrie-Ann Randall now on 0116 212 1000 or complete one of the on-line forms.