The right to request time off for training will come into force in April 2010 but only at that stage for employers with 250 or more employees.
Employers with less than 250 employees will be brought into the scope of the regulations from April 2011. This is confirmed in the Government's Forward Regulatory Programme.
The right is modelled on the right to request flexible working, such that employers must seriously consider a request but can refuse if there is a good business reason for doing so. They are not expected to fund the training or time off.
Employees will be permitted to make one request in any 12-month period. The new right is to be included in the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Bill, which having passed through the House of Commons is currently being debated in the House of Lords.