Please, please… no more legislation. Too late!

Reading back through Renee Mackay’s blogs I caught myself with a smug smile on my lips.

Ha! Legislation in training? Not likely.

Oh, dear. Now it’s our turn in the training industry for the most ridiculous piece of legislation on the statute books. (Apart, perhaps, from the law that says that every man in the country still needs to practice the long-bow for one hour every Sunday.)

From 6th April 2010 (for businesses with more than 250 employees) and 6th April 2011 for everyone else, employees have the right to ask for training and, unless there’s a good business reason for not granting it, the employer has to agree.

The bones of the legislation fit together something like this:

  • Once a year an employee can ask for training
  • It could be a one day course on writing skills or a one year college course
  • The employer has to agree to request unless their a good business reasons not to
  • The employer is legally bound to show they have taken the request seriously
  • They don’t necessarily have to pay for the training and cost could be a business reason for turning down a request
  • The employer has 28 days from the date of the request to make a decision and, if they turn it down, the employee has 14 days to appeal

…and guess where the request could end up if the employee wants to take it that far?

Yep, industrial tribunal where the employer would have to prove they took the request seriously in the first place and they turned it down only for sound business reasons.

Finally, the training can be accredited or non-accredited, which on the surface, sounds like a good thing for businesses such as mine – training providers.

Not a bit of it!

If employers are forced into offering training because they are rightly scared of the industrial tribunal threat, they will simply go through a ‘tick box’ exercise and supply the lowest cost (and therefore, the lowest value) training they can get their hands on. If the employee has to pay for it, they will probably go for the lowest cost, too.

Whatever happens, the value and reputation of training will decline.

It’s much better for a business to go through the process of working out what they need their people to do in order to create a training plan that really works for them, and to get the best training possible for the best value.

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