Belfast Telegraph

Future of employees' right to train under review

By Amanda Poole

A consultation has been launched by the government on the future of employees' right to request time to train.

The legal right for workers in large businesses to request time to train came into effect on April 6 2010. Currently only businesses with over 250 employees are involved. A phased approach has been adopted to allow small and medium businesses time to prepare for their April 2011 deadline.

To help reduce the burden on companies, a review of the regulations will go ahead to gather opinions from employees, businesses and any other interested parties.

John Hayes, Further Education Skills and Lifelong Learning minister said: "Before we make any decisions about the future of the right to request time to train, it is important that we gauge views of the regulation and whether it is improving training opportunities for employees.

"We believe it is important all regulations are properly scrutinised and we are therefore interested in hearing views on the future of this right and its role in promoting training in the workplace, which I see as vital to our economic success. I have asked my officials to ensure that we get a broad range of views."

The shorter than usual consultation period will close on September 15.