Employees working in organisations with 250 or more staff are, from 6 April, eligible to request time off under the Time to Train scheme, which will be extended to all employees from April 2011.
Legal changes have come into effect from 6 April 2010, which give employees the right to request time for study or training. Time to Train will give workers in businesses, which employ more than 250 people the legal right to request time off to take up relevant training. The right will be made available to all employees from April 2011.
Employees requesting training must ensure it is relevant to their current role and should improve their effectivness in their job as well as helping bolser the overall business performance and productivity of the organisation.
In addition, an application does not automatically mean time off will be granted, but each request must be seriously considered by the employer and the emlployee must be given a good business reason if they are turned down.
Commenting on the move, Skills minister Kevin Brennan said: "We need to empower people to speak about training opportunities and the benefits they can bring to a business’ success.
"Many companies and organisations are very good at training their staff, but we need to make sure that all businesses are advising employees on what is on offer," he added.