By Max Clarke

The right for employees to request time for training to improve their skills has been available to employees of large organisations with 250 or more employees since April 2010.

Following a recent consultation covering a wide range of businesses and employee groups, Ministers are taking further time to examine the potential impact of the regulation on smaller firms.

Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning Minister, John Hayes said:

“It is vital to the economy and individuals that everyone has access to the training they need. That is why we are investing in apprenticeships, protecting adult and community learning, and freeing colleges to respond to local needs.

“But it is vital that the right balance is struck between support for training and the need to minimise the burden of regulation for smaller companies.

“We have delayed implementation to allow further, thorough discussion, scrutiny and evaluation.”

Business groups will welcome the news not to further complicate the employment process with more red tape as the nation’s SMEs struggle in the face of rising inflation.

Since its election, the coalition government has implemented several measures intended to ease the burden of regulation on small businesses and allow them to grow, though in practice such measures have not been working and over regulation continues to stifle Britain’s SME recovery, according to the British Chambers of Commerce.