Considering requests and timescales

Considering applications

Requests made outside the scheme through normal departmental channels should continue to be dealt with according to normal departmental procedures.

Any requests that are received which meet the eligibility criteria must be responded to in writing within 28 days (if the person who would normally deal with such a request is on leave then the 28 day period begins when they return from leave as long as the leave period is no longer than 28 days).

If the request is unclear then line managers may ask to meet with the individual to discuss the request.  Meetings must be followed up with a written outcome within 14 days.

Unless you intend to approve the request in full, you should meet with the employee to discuss the request before reaching a decision and confirming it in writing to the employee.  The employee will have the right to be accompanied by a colleague from within the University or a trade union representative. (see pro-forma letter 2)

Refusing Applications

Where it is not possible to accommodate a request, you must inform the employee of your decision in writing (see pro-forma letter 3), setting out:

  • The reason for turning down the request (see below)
  • Why the reasons(s) apply in their circumstances
  • The right of appeal

The refusal must be made for one of the following reasons, which should be described in the letter of refusal:

  • the proposed study or training would not improve the individual’s effectiveness in their current role;
  • the proposed study or training would not improve the performance of the department, or would have a detrimental impact on performance;
  • the burden of the additional costs involved would be too great;
  • the proposed study or training would have a detrimental effect on the department/section’s  ability to meet customer demand;
  • it would not be possible to reorganise work amongst the individual’s colleagues or recruit additional staff to cover the absence;
  • if the requested training would involve a change to working hours and there would be insufficient work for the individual to do during the periods they propose to work;
  • there are planned structural changes during the proposed study or training period

In some cases although it may not be possible to accommodate all aspects of a request for training, departments may wish to suggest that the training need is met in an alternative way, for example suggesting some in-house training in place of an external course.  In such cases it will be important to meet with the individual and at such meetings the employee should be given the opportunity to be accompanied by a work colleague or Trades Union representative. Meetings should be followed up in writing within 14 days.