By Max Clarke

The Government is considering extending the right for employees to request time off for training to smaller businesses.

The Government initially shied away from extending the right to businesses of 250 employees or fewer amid pleas from business organisations claiming that the regulation would be a burden small business.

Karen Thomson, Associate Director of Policy, Research and Strategic Visibility at the Chartered Institute for Payroll Professionals, says “Although we are disappointed that opportunities for employees to request time to train in small and medium organisations will not be afforded we recognise the feedback received by BIS and the reasons for not extending it. According to survey feedback from the CIPP members 80% said that it should be extended to small and medium but with a division on whether the regulations should be delayed”.

In the CIPP survey it was asked if the right to request time off for training should only apply in organisations with 250+ employees, and not be extended to small and medium sized organisations. 80% disagreed and said that it should be extended as planned. Therefore, as detailed in the consultation if the economic climate improves, employees of SMEs could find the right is extended to them in the future.

The consultation details that ‘This decision will allow time for the evidence base to support the effectiveness of the policy to develop over time. The position will be kept under review. Any future decision on the policy will take account of evidence about levels of employer and employee investment in skills, as set out in The Plan for Growth (23 March 2011)’.

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