The government’s ‘Time to Train’ rules are an unnecessary burden on retailers and will not deliver greater training opportunities for those working in local shops, the Association of Convenience Stores has argued.

Time to Train, which gives employees the right to request time off for training, is already applicable to employers with more than 250 employees and will be applicable to small businesses in April 2011.

Local shops that do not operate with the formal human resources functions of larger companies are more likely to be burdened than helped by the requirements of these rules.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “We want to actively encourage training and development in the sector but the Time to Train scheme is not the best way to deliver this.

“Local shops have been using Skillsmart and the National Skills Academy to deliver training schemes appropriate to the needs of individual retailers. By imposing a form filling procedure around what should be a two-way dialogue between employers and employees Time to Train is a prime example of a regulation that disincentivises rather than encourages the desired outcome.”