16 February 2011
The government announced today that time to train regulations will not be extended to small and medium enterprises this April.
The legislation, which was brought in for larger businesses in April 2010, gives employees the right to request time off to conduct training or study, but there is no obligation for the employer to permit them to take that time.
Instead, employers are duty bound to consider their employees’ request, but are permitted to turn their staff down if they feel they cannot afford to approve the request, if they do not believe the training would improve the worker’s performance in their business, if they feel the worker taking time off would detrimentally affect their business and if they are planning to make structural changes to their firm during the period the employee has requested off.
These vague criteria, which surely almost every business could say applies to them, mean there are very few instances indeed when an employer would actually be forced to approve a worker’s request for time off to train.
But despite this, the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills has decided it is simply too much of a burden on small businesses to provide their staff with the legal right to make such a request in the first place.
This absurd view lays bare the anti-worker ideology driving the government, which it attempts to hide under the guise of ‘cost-cutting’ and ‘supporting businesses’.