Few companies aware of impending training regulatory changes

Budget gives micro firms further three years to implement right-to-train

Many small and medium-sized companies are unaware of an impending regulatory change which will give employees the right to request time off for training, new research has discovered.

According to the study , while employees’ rights to extra paternity leave are widely understood, less than half of employers know of the new right to ask for leave to study or train – due to be introduced next month.

However, in yesterday’s Budget announcement, it was revealed that the smallest firms will be given a further three years to implement the changes.

Vicky Whiting, associate director for market research agency BDRC Continental, which commissioned the research, commented: “The Budget has just thrown small businesses a lifeline over the change to employee’s rights by giving businesses employing less than 10 people a further three years before having to implement the new regulations.”

The research also revealed  that businesses employing between10 and 49 staff are least aware of the impending change to training rights; 46% of firms in this category are aware, compared to 58% of larger companies.

While more than half of the companies surveyed (57%) support the new regulations introducing time off for training, 55% of small and medium firms say the additional regulations will be an added burden on business. For those companies employing five to nine employees the figure was higher still – at 68%.

Small and medium firms were divided as to whether the new regulations would make them reluctant to take on more staff – 29% felt it would, 15% said ‘definitely,’ another third (34%) said it would make no difference, and 37% have no plans to hire staff anyway.

“It will clearly make a difference to the pressure those businesses are under. However, it isn’t all doom and gloom; some businesses do report that the regulations could make them reluctant to take on more staff, but one third of businesses felt it wouldn’t make a difference”, added Whiting.

© Crimson Business. Ltd 2011

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