Everyone has some rights to be educated and trained. Some form of education is compulsory to the age of 18, but there are also rights that apply at all ages, and to all workers. This page lists your rights as either 'employees' or 'workers' and provides links and resources so you will be able to find out more.

The Right to Request Time off for Training

In April 2010 the last Labour government introduced a limited new right to request time off to train. From April 2011 the right was extended to all employees in the UK. To find out more about how to use this right go to the government information website.

Training rights for apprentices

Apprentices have rights to a minimum wage and a host of other rights including the right to a contract of employment, holiday pay and a full induction into the workplace. The unionlearn website, the training and education arm of the TUC, has really specific information around rights for apprentices and you can also look on the ACAS website.

Rights for freelancers

There are no legal rights to training for freelance members but there are other related rights which can help with access to training.

This advice refers to members who are registered as self-employed. Money spent on training courses can be counted as legitimate 'business expenditure' as long as the course is 'wholly and exclusively' for the business and certain other conditions are met, including not being capital expenditure and not being from a class of non-allowable expenditures. All the details are on the HMRC website. You will need to be careful that the expenditure is an expense (to enable your business to succeed) and not an investment (to take on new areas and opportunities), as the latter may be counted as capital and therefore excluded. Take advice from your accountant first, but you should be able to deduct the costs of training from your business income before calculating tax

Freelancers should also check the Sector Skils Councils to see if they are offering any financial support for freelance training. For example Creative Skillset has specific freelance training funds (covering film, TV and radio) which call for applications at various points during the year.