Smallest Businesses to be Exempt from Training Requests
Only the smallest firms will be exempt from Time to Train requests when reforms on staff training are introduced next April, small business minister Mark Prisk has said.
In a House of Commons Written Answer session published earlier this month, Prisk said that firms with fewer than 50 employees would be exempt from the new Time to Train regulations. However, businesses with 50 to 250 employees will still be obliged to implement the changes – despite calls from business groups that they should be exempt.
The reforms 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 Time to Train regulations were implemented for larger firms in April 2010, and are due to come in for small firms in April 2011.
The Institute of Directors (IoD) head of parliamentary and regulatory affairs, Alexander Ehmann, said that all small and medium-sized firms (SMEs) should be exempt from the regulations, particularly as most already have an effective training policy in place.
“We are disappointed that Prisk has revealed that only the smallest firms will be exempt from the Time to Train regulations. Most small firms, with up to 250 employees, have finite resources for training and so they assess their business’ needs and employees’ requests, and balance that with what they can afford.”
“It would be easy to exempt all small and medium-sized firms from the regulations as it is has not been implemented yet.”
However, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) claimed that a decision had not yet been made on which firms will be exempt and that it was still under consideration.
“We are carefully considering the differing views expressed and will announce the way forward in due course.”
said a BIS spokesman.