Government to repeal regulations on time off for SMEs

The government has given small and medium-sized (SME) travel businesses a boost in the run up to the Budget, but disappointed staff who may have been planning more time off work to study or look after children.

Business secretary Vince Cable announced on Friday that he will not extend workers’ rights to request training time outside work at firms employing fewer than 250 staff. He also said he would repeal regulations giving parents of children up to the age of 17 the right to request flexible working arrangements. This right was due to come into force next month.

There will also be a three-year moratorium on new regulations for firms employing fewer than 10 staff. Cable told the Federation of Small Businesses of the changes on Friday. However, the Confederation of British Industry wanted him to go further, demanding SMEs should have the right to review flexible working arrangements agreed with staff each year.

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