Time off for training temps on the cards

Agency workers may soon have the right to request time off for training from their employers, under plans being discussed by the government.

A Department for Innovation, Universities and Science (DIUS) spokeswoman told Personnel Today that including temporary staff within this right would help them to secure permanent jobs, and progress beyond temporary roles that paid just £6.50 an hour, a move that its claims would boost the economy as a whole.

She said: “The government is considering extending the right to request time off to train to agency workers.

“There are some agency workers who [temp] by choice, and they usually command a healthy salary, but there are also many agency workers who want a permanent job and aren’t qualified for one.”

Her comments followed the New Opportunities White Paper, out last week, aimed at improving social mobility.

“Employers won’t be under any obligation to provide training, but research shows it keeps even temporary employees motivated, and can therefore contribute more to the business,” the spokeswoman added.

DIUS first mooted plans to allow permanent staff the right to request time off for training last year. Legislation to enable this right was “going through parliament”, according to the White Paper.

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