By Claire West

With the Government’s consultation on the future of the right to request time to train policy closed as of yesterday, and all outside responses now being handed to the Government’s Regulatory Policy Committee for review, the Institute of Directors(IOD) makes the following statement:

· The IOD sees the review of Time to Train as a major test of the Government’s determination to reduce business regulation. If the Government does not opt for complete repeal, employers will immediately question the true degree of its commitment to that agenda.

· The right to request time off for training is an unnecessary, poorly thought-through and badly designed regulation which not only imposes significantly underestimated costs on employers, but will undermine existing good practice in the planning and delivery of workplace training.

· In a recent survey of IOD members, 37% said that employees exercising their right to request training would prompt their organisation to grant training requests on the basis of individual demands rather than organisational need — the displacement of strategic management by a ‘first come, first served’ free for all.

· The fact that the IOD is arguing for abolition should not lead anyone to conclude that we do not take the UK’s skills challenge, or training, seriously. Quite the opposite. There is a strong belief within our membership that investing in the skills of their employees is fundamental to meeting business objectives. Most IOD members’ organisations have managed to maintain, or even increase, training investment through the recession.

Commenting Alexander Ehmann, Head of Regulatory Affairs at the Institute of Directors, said:

“Time to Train is a spectacularly bad policy — defective from conception to implementation. It epitomises the way in which governments too often proceed on the premise that ‘something must be done’ so they can justify a poorly conceived State solution.

He added:

“Time to Train won’t just fail to work as planned — it will wreak considerable damage, as it undermines existing good practice in the planning and delivery of workplace training. The only satisfactory way of addressing this problem is to repeal the legislation completely.”

To read the IoD’s response to Time to Train Consultation on the future of the right to request time to train policy, please click here