Why employee training is important?
Every employer wants their employees to do the best job possible. Making sure that employees are appropriately skilled and competent isn’t just important for profitability, it is also crucial to ensure compliance with your legal duties, particularly those relating to health and safety.
For an employer, investing in training has several benefits; staff who have been trained feel valued, are less likely to leave and can carry out their duties more effectively.
Training staff is also an insurance policy for the employer, mitigating against legal risk. For example, staff who have been trained on data protection are less likely to breach data protection law which can result in a large fine for the employer.
What employee training is required by law?
Employees (but not workers) of large employers (250+ employees) who have been employed for at least six months can request time off for training which will improve their performance. However, even if an employer grants such a request, it is not required to pay for the training itself, or to pay the employee for the time spent away from the workplace (although they may choose to).
Whether training is required by law largely depends upon the sector in which the employer operates and the role the employee performs. Some industries or professions require employees to have mandated qualifications and to maintain these through regular training.
In general, there is no specific type of training laid down by law that all employees have to be given. However, training all staff regularly on health and safety matters is recommended as one way for employers to satisfy their legal duties to maintain a safe system of work.
Keeping staff up-to-date with equality and diversity training can greatly assist an employer’s defence in the event that it has to deal with a discrimination claim.
Employers are advised to train employees on any area where a failure could result in a large fine or compensation becoming payable by the employer. One example which applies to all organisations is data protection.
Can an employee refuse training?
On the face of it, no, if the employer’s request to do the training is reasonable.
Assuming the employer can justify why it needs the employee to undergo the training and the request was reasonable, failure to do the training could be treated as a disciplinary matter and dealt with under the employer’s disciplinary procedure.
Educate your staff and minimise risk
We believe that prevention is better than cure. Training your managers in employment law protects your business and gives them the freedom to go about their jobs confidently.
Our bespoke interactive training covers all employment law issues. Including role plays, case studies and mock tribunals, it keeps managers up to date with regulations and helps your business avoid costly tribunal proceedings.
Expertise for employers
Starting employment: contracts and policies
During employment: handling staff problems
Common issues raised by staff
- Bullying and harassment
- Constructive dismissal
- Family rights and flexible working
- Holiday and working time
- Pay and pensions