Although there’s no legal requirement for your employer to allow you extra time off for training, many employers are happy to do so because of the
you’ll bring back to the workplace. If you want to ask your employer for extra time off, spend a little time planning how you’re going to do it, and trying to pre-empt some of the concerns you think your employer may have. transferable skills Extra training courses
You might like to volunteer for extra training courses and other duties in addition to your basic commitments, particularly if you’re aiming for a specific qualification or promotion. These extra training courses may cover topics such as health and safety, problem solving, communication, organisation and presentation – all very useful transerable skills which you might be able use in your day-to-day job. If you can see them being of use to your employer, make sure you keep them fully informed because it could make all the difference to their decision to grant you time off.
How to ask your employer for time off for training
It’s important to have a proper meeting with your manager rather than a hurried conversation in a corridor or send a quick email. If time is short, assure them that it should take no longer than ten minutes.
You can use the meeting to your advantage, not only discuss your training dates but also to help increase your employer’s understanding of what you do and to gain their support. This will be particularly useful if you’re mobilised in the future.
Before the meeting Check if your organisation has a policy on employing Reservists. Some allow paid and/or unpaid time off. If your organisation does have such a policy, take a copy with you to your meeting as you may need to remind your manager of what it says. Write down the dates of all the training you’re planning to attend, and make a note of any which may conflict with your civilian working hours. Consider whether you really need to attend training on those dates. Many military courses are run more than once a year, so you may be able to offer your employer a choice of dates. If you still have dates which could cause a problem at work, think of ways around it (e.g. swapping shifts, working additional hours before you go away, proposing a new date for a delivery or presentation, using annual holiday, etc) and again, write it down Work out the benefits of the training in question and decide how to present it to your boss so they will see what’s in it for them. You can download our E-Briefcase ‘Requesting time off’ to help you to do this. Take a look at for some tips on outlining the skills you would be bringing back with you from your training. benefits to your employer
At the meeting Outline at the start that you wish to confirm the dates for your Reservist training, and that you’d like to do this now to give your boss as much notice as possible. Point out all those dates that you’ll be taking in your own free time, so that your employer realises that much of your training is being undertaken outside of work time. Discuss the dates which conflict with your civilian working hours, which you would like to take time off for, then show that you’ve anticipated any problems for your employer by suggesting arrangements to resolve them. If there is a choice of dates, ask your boss which they’d prefer. Tell them about the training you’ll be doing, and explain the experience you’ll gain in a way which shows your employer how it will be of benefit to them. If you feel that your employer would benefit from more information or that they’re not being as supportive as they could be, suggest they take a look at this website which offers a great deal of information for employers. They can also get in touch with their Regional SaBRE Campaign Director who will be pleased to offer any help they need.
After the meeting Email or hand your employer a copy of the training dates you’ve been discussing, with a note of what’s been decided. Also note any dates that your employer turned down or that you’re still waiting for a decision on from your employer. Send in holiday form as usual for any time you take off. Make sure you follow up any dates you’re still waiting for a decision on. If there are any changes to your agreed training dates then let your employer know as soon as possible.