Introduction to this document

Time to train policy

Use our statement to set out your policy on time for employee training and the procedure that you will follow when dealing with a time to train request. You’re free to extend your policy beyond the statutory right for eligible employees to request time to train, or you can confine it to compliance with statutory requirements only.

Employee threshold

The statutory provisions only apply to employers with 250 or more employees. So if your business is smaller than the “250 employee” threshold, you don’t need to worry about putting a policy in place.

Policy provisions

Our policy sets out the statutory right and how it operates (including eligibility and the types of training that may be requested), the time to train application procedure, payment for agreed training and the grounds for refusal.  Be aware that it’s a right to request training only, not a right to be granted it. You are also free to make other arrangements with your staff in relation to study or training which fall outside the statutory right. Likewise, you may still consider requests from employees who are not eligible for the statutory right.  With this in mind, we’ve inserted a section into our policy which provides that you will consider requests for time off for study or training from all employees, not just those with a statutory right, but with priority to those who do have the statutory right. If you don’t want to extend your policy this far, simply delete this section.

Frequency of requests

You’re generally only obliged to consider one employee request in any twelve-month period (excluding any requests that were initially rejected as invalid). Our policy therefore makes this clear. If your employee withdraws a request at any point before you’ve notified them of your decision, it will still count as a request that has been received for the purposes of the legislation, so they can’t make another request for twelve months. However, if training is agreed under the procedure but then is subsequently cancelled or couldn’t commence because of some unforeseen circumstance beyond the employee’s control, the employee won’t have to wait twelve months before making another request.

Payment for traiining

There’s no statutory obligation on you whatsoever to pay any costs of agreed training, such as external course fees. You’re also not obliged to pay the employee their wage for any time off work that you grant to accommodate the training. Any time off can be unpaid. Our policy sets this out but goes on to provide for a discretion to pay wages or to pay for, or contribute towards, training fees. If you’re adamant you don’t want to pay for anything, just amend this section accordingly.