The Right for Time Off for Study or Training

Site updated on February 17, 2020


The Right for Time Off for Study or Training is split into two sections: one is for Young people to complete or attain some basic educational skills. The other is for employees with 26 weeks service in companies with more that 250 staff.

Section one – Young person rights.

Since 1999 young employees who are eligible have been entitled to reasonable paid time off  for study or training purposes.

Under the Right to Time Off for study or training, employees:

  • Who are aged 16 or 17 and who left school or college with few, if any, qualifications are entitled to reasonable paid time off for study or training to get NVQ Level 2 or specified equivalents.
  • Who are 18 and who had already begun their study or training with another employer and who subsequently changed jobs. In this situation, the young person will be entitled to complete their course or study or reach the age of 19.

These rights apply where the 16 or 17 year old worker in question has not reached the prescribed standard of education or training and is not receiving full time secondary or further education.

The Regulations have put no figure on how much time off would be considered reasonable, but a government guide  suggests that one day per week would be reasonable.

Section Two – time off for training

To request the training or study:

  • you must be classed as an ‘employee’
  • you must have worked for your employer for at least 26 weeks
  • the training must  be aimed at helping you do your  job better
  • at least 250 people must work in the organisation

Time off is usually unpaid unless the employer agrees to pay it.

Who can’t request time off to train

You can’t ask for time off for training or study if you are:

  • an agency worker
  • in the armed forces
  • of compulsory school age
  • a young person who’s already got the right to take paid time off for study or training (see above)
  • 16-18 and already expected to take part in education or training

Requesting time off

You should follow your organisation’s rules to request time off. If there aren’t any they can write to them saying it’s a request ‘under Section 63D of the Employment Rights Act 1996’ with the following details:

  • the date
  • the subject matter of the study or training
  • where and when it would take place
  • who will be providing the training
  • the name of the qualification you could get (if any)
  • why you think this study or training will help make you do your job better and help your employer’s business
  • if you’ve made a request before and when

If all this information is not included an employer doesn’t have to consider your request.

You Employer must either agree your request or set up a meeting with you. You can take a companion to the meeting. If your request is turned down, you have the right to Appeal and wherever possible a different person should meet with you.

Contact us for further advice if you have any problems with a request.

© Your Job Rights 2016

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