Can an employee bring a tribunal claim in relation to a statutory study or training request?
An employee can bring a claim on the basis that the employer has failed to follow the procedural requirements, for example failed to hold a meeting to discuss the request or failed to notify the employee of the outcome of the meeting. An employee can also bring a claim if the employer's refusal is based on incorrect facts, for example the employer refuses the application because the training would cost a certain amount, but the employee shows that it would, in fact, cost less. A complaint in relation to the reason for the refusal of a request can be brought only if the procedure has been completed and the employee's appeal has been rejected. The normal three-month time limit applies in respect of such claims.
If the tribunal upholds a claim, it will make a declaration to that effect. It may order the employer to reconsider the employee's request and may also make an award of compensation of up to eight weeks' pay. This is subject to the statutory limit on a week's pay.
Employees have the right not to be subjected to a detriment because they have made a request under the legislation. An employment tribunal that finds that an employee has suffered a detriment can make an award of compensation of an amount that it considers just and equitable in all the circumstances. If an employee is dismissed for making a request under the provisions, the dismissal will be automatically unfair and the employee will not need to have completed two years' service to bring a claim of unfair dismissal.