The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is calling on the government to reduce the burden of regulation on smaller companies ahead of the introduction of new worker training rights.

Last month, Skills Secretary John Denham published a consultation into proposals which would give employees the right to request time off for training.

While the FSB has acknowledged that training is extremely beneficial, it is concerned that small firms will be hit with an extra layer of bureaucracy if they are forced to undertake formal meetings with employees who make requests.

Instead, requests should be handled informally to reduce red tape and allow for better communication between employees and staff, suggested Colin Willman, the organisation’s education and skills chairman.

"We believe the best way to engage small businesses with the policy is to keep it informal between employer and employee, making it easier to identify the necessary training," he remarked.

Earlier this year, it was also proposed that the right to request flexible working should be extended to all employees with children under the age of 16.