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Time Off for Study or Training: Your Rights

Employees who meet certain conditions have the right to ask for time off to train or study while they stay in the job.

Use this guide to check whether you can ask for time off to train, how to ask your employer, and how to respond to their decision.

Who Can Ask for Time Off to Train or Study

Despite being unpaid in most cases, to request time away from work for training or study while in a job, you must:

Note: Another section explains how your employment status (e.g. employee, director, office holder) affects your employment rights and the responsibilities of employers in the workplace.

When You Can't Ask for Time Off to Train

As a rule, employees will not be able to ask for time off work for training or for study, if they are a young person with the right to take paid time off, or you are:

How to Ask for Time Off

Most organisations set out their own rules about asking for time off work for training and study. Thus, employees should follow their employer's particular requirements.

If not, you can write to your employer stating it as a request made 'under Section 63D of the Employment Rights Act 1996'.

Your letter should include the date of the request, the subject matter of the training or study, along with:

Important: Employees can make one (1) request a year. But, employers can refuse to consider the request for time off if any of the relevant information is missing.

If You Change Your Mind

Employees must notify their employer if they:

Decision and Employer Responsibilities

After receiving an employee request for time off for study or training, the employer would have twenty eight (28) days to (either):

Employees can choose to take a work colleague or a trade union representative to a meeting (or postpone it if their companion is unavailable).

But, employers must make a decision about the request within fourteen (14) days of holding any meeting. The exception would be if the employee agrees to extend the deadline (submitted in writing).

Note: Getting a response may take longer if the appropriate person for making the decision is absent from work at the time.

Employers can only turn down a request for training if:

Paying for Training or Study at Work

None of the UK employment rules and regulations force employers to pay employees when taking time off work for training or study. Nonetheless, many will make a contribution if they believe it will help their company.

Appealing Against a Decision

Employees can make an appeal if their employer refuses to grant their request to take time off for training or study. You must make the appeal within fourteen (14) days of getting a decision and:

Appeal Meetings

Employers have fourteen days to arrange a meeting to discuss the appeal with their employee. Following that, they have another fourteen days to give a written decision about the result of the appeal.

If the Problem Remains Unresolved

Employees can either raise a grievance at work or contact Acas (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) if the issue doesn't get resolved.

Telephone: 0300 123 1100
Textphone: 18001 0300 123 1100
Monday to Friday: 8am to 8pm
Saturday: 9am to 1pm
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If this fails, employees can make an employment tribunal claim (within three months) if the employer (either):

Your Rights for Training or Study at Work in United Kingdom