Guidance published on the new right to request time off for training has been backed by the industry.
Earlier this week, the Department for Business published material on BusinessLink informing employers of their obligations 12 weeks before the right to request time off to train begins on 6 April 2010.
Guidance was also published on the DirectGov website to inform employees about how they make a request under this new right.
John Castledine, director of learning solutions at the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM), said: “We welcome this guidance published today and hope this new right will open up many more opportunities for employees to access vital leadership and management training, and as a result improve business efficiency across the UK.”
He added that the government could go a step further, however. He said: “We now want to see a campaign in place that not only compels employers to ensure that training and development provision is fit-for-purpose, but also raises awareness among employees of their legal right to training and the many benefits of undertaking workplace development.”
Skills minister Kevin Brennan said: “Now, more than ever, we need learning and training opportunities in place that empower people to gain the skills and training they need to get on.
“Many businesses and organisations are really good at training their staff and already recognise the benefits of having a highly skilled and motivated workforce. While two-thirds of businesses do train their staff, we need to encourage employers and employees who do not to speak about training opportunities.”
The right to request time to train was included in the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act, which received Royal Assent in November 2009.
The introduction of the right will be phased and will be made available to employees in organisations with 250 or more employees from April 2010 before being extended to all employees from April 2011. This will give smaller organisations and businesses more time to prepare for the introduction of the new right.