Questioning time off for training

29/09/2008 - 00:00
Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, today (29 September) launched a targeted consultation on whether employees in Scotland should be given the right to request time off to train.

The UK Government has also recently consulted on whether the Employment Rights Act - legislation which is reserved to Westminster - should be amended for employees in England to give them the right to ask for time off to undertake training which would support business needs, as well as helping to develop the individual. There will be no obligation on employers to approve such requests. Hyslop commented on the issue: "The Scottish Government recognises that skills development is crucial to creating a smarter, fairer country in which everyone has an opportunity to develop to their full potential and can contribute towards our efforts of delivering higher levels of sustainable economic growth. "Businesses and employees both have much to gain from encouraging and participating in lifelong learning opportunities. The introduction of a right to request time off to train would further encourage a lifelong learning culture in the workplace and empower employees to have a serious dialogue with their employer about how best to meet their skills needs, benefitting them and the business. "The Scottish Government has taken the lead in extending the territorial scope of the UK Government's proposals. Clearly, however, we also recognise that that there are challenges as well as opportunities, particularly for smaller businesses, which may arise from these changes. That's why we want to encourage Scottish employers, trade unions and individuals to ensure their views are heard on this important issue." The key proposals in the consultation launched today are that:

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