Construction union Ucatt warns changes could put lives at risk

The business secretary Vince Cable has announced workers at companies with less than 250 employees will lose the right to request time off to train.

The plan was disclosed as part of the government’s bid to free small firms from red tape.

Construction union Ucatt warned the change could put the lives of workers at risk.

 A Ucatt spokesperson said: “The announcement has very serious implications for the construction industry.

“As the industry recovers from recession there are genuine concerns that fatalities and injuries will increase.

“If companies make short-term knee jerk decisions and high levels of safety training are not provided to new entrants, those dangers will increase.”

Cable also announced that plans to enable parents of 17-year-olds to apply for flexible working have also been scrapped.

Cable added new firms and those with fewer than 10 staff will be exempt from new employment regulations for the next three years.