How should an employer respond to a statutory request in relation to study or training?

The employer must hold a meeting with the employee to discuss his or her request, within 28 days of receiving the application. A meeting is not required if the employer agrees to the request and notifies the employee of this in writing within 28 days of receiving the application.

The employee has the right to be accompanied at the meeting by another worker employed by the employer.

The employer must notify the employee of its decision in writing within 14 days of the meeting. If the decision is to agree to the request, the notification must set out the subject of the study or the training, where and when it will take place, who will provide or supervise it, and what (if any) qualification it will lead to. In addition, it must specify how the direct costs of the training will be met. The notice must also make clear whether or not the employee will be paid for any time spent engaged in the study or training, and set out any changes that will be made to the employee's working hours to allow him or her to take part in the training.

If the decision is to refuse the request, the employer must set out the grounds for the refusal (from the list of specified grounds in s.63F(7) of the Employment Rights Act 1996) and explain why those grounds apply. The employer must notify the employee of his or her right to appeal and, if the employee appeals in writing within 14 days of the decision, must hold an appeal meeting. The employer must notify the employee of the appeal decision in writing, within 14 days of the meeting, and must set out the grounds for the refusal and an explanation of why those grounds apply, if it rejects the appeal.