Many companies unaware of new right-to-train regulations

Budget gives micro firms further three years to implement changes


Few small and medium-sized firms are aware of an impending regulatory change which will give employees the right to request time off for training, according to new research.

The study claims that, while employees’ rights to additional paternity leave are well 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.

The research also shows that companies 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 businesses.

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%.

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.”

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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