If the person who would normally deal with a statutory request in relation to study or training is off work, does this affect the procedure that the employer is required to follow?

Yes. Where the individual who would normally consider the request in relation to study or training is absent when the application is made, due to annual leave or sickness, the procedure can be delayed. The 28-day time limit for holding a meeting to discuss the employee's request begins on the day the person returns to work, or 28 days after the application was made, whichever is sooner.