Small Businesses: Comment on ‘Time to Train’ Regulations

Small Businesses are being offered the chance to say whether they think their staff should have a formal right to request training (Time to Train).

As part of a Government review of the ‘time to train’ regulations, small and medium-sized business owners are being invited to say whether the rules should be scrapped, retained or extended to SMEs as planned.

The time to train regulations were introduced to larger firms in April 2010, and are due to be come into force for small businesses 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.

“The regulations were introduced so that employees can lay out what kind of training they think would be of benefit for their work and to speak to their boss about whether it is viable,”

a Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) spokeswoman said.

Small business groups are objecting to the new rules. The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), for example, said the regulations were an obligation too far for overstretched small firms.

“The obligations the process puts on smaller businesses are inappropriate, costly and potentially confusing when combined with other legal obligations,”

said the BCC’s director of policy, Dr Adam Marshall.

“We strongly believe that the time to train regulations should be scrapped in their entirety.”

The BIS spokeswoman countered:

“We recognise it can be costly for small firms to offer training and that is why we are phasing it in, to give them time to prepare for it and get advice on how best to implement it.”

“As part of our drive to reduce the regulatory burden on businesses, we are trying to gather as many views as possible from businesses and employers to see if they have had or think they will have any benefit from the time to train regulations.”

The consultation closes on 15th September. Firms wishing to take part can visit the BIS website to respond to the Consultation on the future of the right to request time to train policy.

Small Businesses: Comment on Time to Train Regulations

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