Background

The University offers a wide range of training opportunities to its staff. Many departments have their own local arrangements in place for reviewing staff training needs, which might be part of the annual Personal Development Review process, or ad hoc responses to training needs as and when they arise, which are simply facilitated through normal lines of communication between staff and their line-managers.  Since the primary focus of the “time to train” entitlement is to encourage discussion and agreement between employers and employees about relevant training, by and large these arrangements can continue.

Since April 6 2010, all employees who have at least 26 weeks’ continuous service have the right to request time off for training.  This was introduced under the Apprenticeship, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009, and incorporated into the Employment Rights Act 1996.

The new arrangements cover all training requested which is considered likely to improve “the employee’s effectiveness in the employer’s business” and “the performance of the employer’s business”.

The Time for Training regulations give employers certain duties: in particular there are statutory timescales for responding to requests made under the scheme.  Departments which have appropriate procedures or lines of dialogue in place for staff to request training, and for line-managers to consider and respond to such requests promptly, are not required to make any specific changes to their practice.  In such cases it is sufficient to ensure that line-managers are aware of the employee’s statutory right, and the associated required response requirement, so that any formal requests that are received may be responded to in line with the regulations.