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February 22, 2011

Time to Train laws postponed for small firms

Regulations forcing small firms to offer staff the right to request training from this April have been postponed until the full impact of the reforms on businesses can be assessed.

The Time to Train regulations were introduced for larger firms in April 2010 and were due to come into force for small firms in April 2011. The regulations require businesses to go through a formal process when an employee asks for training, including reporting back in writing and addressing an appeal if the request is turned down.

Commenting on the delay in introducing the reforms, further education, skills and lifelong learning minister, John Hayes said: “It’s vital that the right balance is struck between support for training and the need to minimise the burden of regulation for smaller companies. We’ve delayed implementation to allow further, thorough discussion, scrutiny and evaluation.”

The Institute of Directors (IoD) said it was important the postponement didn’t prove to be a “false dawn” in the Government’s de-regulatory efforts.

“Postponement is a start, but this Government will be judged on its final decision regarding the future of Time to Train,” said IoD head of regulation, Alexander Ehmann. “Anything less than the repeal of the burdensome Time to Train requirements on businesses of all sizes will be a failure. It’s not enough for the Government to stem the flow of employment regulation, it also has to deregulate in some areas.”