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Education Education

Introduce a new right to request leave for training

Last updated: 05:17pm 12 January 2019

We will help all workers seeking to develop their skills in their existing jobs by introducing a new right to request leave for training for all employees.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.53

Our verdict

The right to request leave for training already exists, under section 63D of the Employment Rights Act 1996. The government’s website lays out the details of who can and can’t ask for time off to train.

This policy promise is to introduce a “new right” for “all employees”. It remains unclear what exactly this means. One reasonable interpretation is that we might expect legislation which extends the existing right beyond those currently eligible, to incorporate everyone who counts as an employee.

In October 2017 the government published an Appraisal of the Right to Request Time to Train Regulations authored by the Institute for Employment Studies. It looked at how the current regulations function as well as the potential effect of extending the right to include small and medium sized enterprises. But since then we have not seen further developments.

Introducing a “new right” would require a change to existing regulations, and we can find no evidence of legislation in this area under the current government. We are marking this as ‘not started’. We’ll be keeping an eye out for officially proposed new regulations or further consultation on this issue, looking for anything that justifies moving the status to ‘in progress’. Follow this policy to stay up to date.

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