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The right to request ‘time to train’
If you are an employee and you work in an organisation with 250 or more employees you have the statutory (legal) right to request time for study or training. This right is known as ‘time to train’.
From 6 April 2011 the right will apply to all employees working in organisations of all sizes, regardless of how many employees there are.
You do not have to use the right for every training request. If you already have a system with your employer for making training requests you can continue to use that.
To make a statutory request for ‘time to train’ you must:
- be an employee
- have worked for your employer continuously for at least 26 weeks before you apply
You will not be able to make a request for ‘time to train’ if you are:
- an agency worker
- a member of the armed forces
- compulsory school age (‘school age’ in Scotland)
- a young person who already has a statutory right to paid time off to undertake study or training
- 16-18 years old and already expected to take part in education or training
Types of training you can request
You only have the right to request time for certain types of training. Before you consider making a request, you should make sure you have the right to request the training you want to complete.
Making your request
If you decide to make a ‘time to train’ request, there are several things you should think about. You must then make sure that you include all of the necessary information in your application.
Discussing your request
Once you have made your request, your employer has certain responsibilities about how they consider it. They should do this within a set period and arrange a meeting with you if they need to discuss your request.
Your employer’s decision about your request
Your employer has a duty to consider your request. They will only be able to turn it down when they have a good business reason. Once they have made their decision they should follow the correct process for telling you what it is.
Appealing a decision
If you are not happy with your employer’s decision, there is an appeal process you can follow. If you are still not happy after that, there are further steps you can take. However, it is always best to try to resolve problems with your employer informally.