Letter rejecting an employee's appeal against the employer's refusal to grant a request in relation to study or training
Author: Lynda Macdonald
When to use this model letter on the right to make a request in relation to study or training
Use this model letter to inform an employee that their appeal against the employer's refusal to grant a request in relation to study or training has been refused.
Dear [ ]
I refer to the appeal hearing held on [date], in which we discussed your appeal against the organisation's earlier decision to refuse your request in relation to study or training.
Having given the matter thorough consideration, I regret that the organisation is unable to uphold your appeal. The ground(s) for this is/are that we think that the proposed study or training would [list the appropriate points and expand on them as necessary]:
- [not improve your effectiveness at work;
- not improve the performance of the business;
- create an unreasonable burden of additional costs on the organisation;
- have a detrimental effect on our ability to meet our customers' demands;
- have a detrimental impact on quality;
- have a detrimental impact on performance;
- make it unacceptably difficult for us to provide cover for you during the periods of time off that you proposed as we would be unable to [make arrangements to allocate your work among other staff/recruit additional staff to cover for you];
- be inappropriate due to planned structural changes within the organisation.]
The reason why this is relevant to your application in relation to study or training is [explain further how the reason(s) for refusal apply in the employee's case].
As your appeal has now been dealt with, and there is no further right of appeal, the matter is concluded.
If you have any queries on the above, please do not hesitate to contact me.
How to use this document
This is an example document and should be adapted to suit your circumstances.
Law relating to this document
Employment Rights Act 1996
Employee Study and Training (Qualifying Period of Employment) Regulations 2010 (SI 2010/800)
Employee Study and Training (Procedural Requirements) Regulations 2010 (SI 2010/155)
Employee Study and Training (Eligibility, Complaints and Remedies) Regulations 2010 (SI 2010/156)
The right to make a request in relation to study or training applies to employees in organisations with 250 or more employees. The right does not extend to employees in organisations with fewer than 250 employees.
What type of study or training is within its scope?
Employees may submit requests in relation to any type of study or training that they believe will improve their effectiveness in their organisation and the performance of the business.
Although the right is commonly referred to as the right to request time off for training, it is not limited to requests for time off. The application must be made "for the purpose of enabling the employee to undertake study or training (or both)". Most requests made under this provision will involve time off, but an employee may make a request that the employer organise, provide or pay for training. Valid requests under the new right would include:
- a request to be given one day off a week to attend a further education college;
- a request that the employer facilitate "on the job" training in relation to particular work;
- a request that the employer allow the employee to work part time while they complete a degree course;
- a request that the employer pay the employee's college fees; and
- a request that the employer design and implement a comprehensive training programme for the employee.
The application may relate to more than one description of study or training.
Requests can be to undertake accredited programmes leading to the award of a recognised qualification, or for unaccredited training to help the employee develop specific skills relevant to their job, workplace or the business.
The training can be:
- undertaken on the employer's premises or elsewhere, including at the employee's home;
- delivered during the time the employee is working, or separately;
- provided or supervised by the employer, a local college or training provider, or undertaken without supervision; and
- undertaken within or outside the UK.
Payment for time off granted for study or training
Employers are not obliged to pay an employee for any time off granted for study or training. However, employers may choose to pay for the time off, in recognition of the value of the investment.
In granting a request for time off, the employer may agree with the employee that they will work flexibly to make up for the time off work granted for study or training. Any changes to the employee's hours of work or pay implemented as a result of an agreement to grant time off work must be expressly agreed with the employee.
Employers are not obliged automatically to agree to a request in relation to study or training, but are under a duty to consider a valid request and adhere to a prescribed procedure. The employer must grant the right of appeal where a request is refused.
The employee is entitled to lodge an appeal against their employer's rejection of a valid request in relation to study or training. The appeal, which must be in writing, must be lodged within 14 days of the refusal and the employee must set out the grounds for their appeal. The employer must hear the appeal within another 14 days and communicate the outcome in writing to the employee within a further 14 days. Ideally, the appeal should be heard by a different manager, ie not the manager who took the original decision to refuse the request. If the appeal is refused, the employer must set out in writing the grounds on which the refusal is based.
Where a request is agreed
Where the employer decides to uphold the employee's appeal, it must write to the employee setting out:
- the subject of the study or training;
- where and when the study or training will take place;
- who will provide or supervise the study or training; and
- to what qualification (if any) the study or training will lead.
The employer must also state clearly:
- whether or not the employee will be paid in respect of the time spent on the study or training;
- any changes to the employee's working hours agreed to accommodate the study or training; and
- how any tuition fees or other direct costs of the agreed study or training will be met.
Where the employer and employee have agreed at the meeting that the employee's training needs can be met in a way that is different from the way originally requested by the employee, the written notification should confirm the details of that agreement, including evidence of the employee's agreement to it.
If, following a failure to follow the correct procedure or a refusal to grant a request in relation to study or training based on incorrect facts, the employee submits a claim to an employment tribunal and that claim is successful, the tribunal can order the employer to reconsider the employee's request and/or award the employee compensation of up to eight weeks' pay (subject to the statutory cap on the amount of a week's pay imposed by the Government from time to time).
If the employer does not allow the employee to be accompanied at the meeting to consider the employee's request, or at the appeal meeting, the tribunal can order compensation of up to two weeks' pay.
An employee with less than the usual required minimum qualifying service may bring a complaint of unfair dismissal where the dismissal is connected with the exercise of the right to make a request in relation to study or training.