Small businesses to be exempt from staff training rights

The Government has been told it needs to be bolder in scrapping business legislation inherited from Labour after announcing the first results of its business review.
Employees in companies with fewer than 49 employees will lose the right to ask for time off for training following a decision to exempt small firms from the provisions of Labour’s Right to Train programme.
Mark Prisk, business minister, said the move, which has been widely applauded, would produce savings of £270m a year, however the British Chambers of Commerce feels that he has not gone far enough and has described this decision as “a token.”
The BCC’s policy director, Adam Marshall, said: “If the Government wants private sector companies to deliver both growth and jobs it should extend the exemption to medium-sized companies and pare back other regulations that stop companies taking on staff.”
The chamber of commerce is also concerned that whilst many of these changes in legislation are to be applauded, cuts in Government marketing & awareness spending are making it more difficult for business to keep up to date with new legislation. 
The previous government regarded the Right to Train regulations as one of its flagship programmes. They were introduced in April this year when 11m people in companies with more than 250 employees had the right to ask for time off to carry out training which they believed would help them and their employers. The programme was then timetabled to be extended to firms with less than 49 employees next April.
Employers have been highly critical of the programme because of the potential disruption to their business but they have the right to reject the request if they feel it would affect their operations.
Employers hope the promised review of all employment laws, announced in the Budget, will result in fewer and less onerous regulations. The Government is also promising to provide details of all forthcoming regulation that it is looking to introduce within the next month.
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