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1st August 2017

I Am Experiencing An Issue With Employees Leaving Right After They Have Completed External Training That I Have Paid For; In Some Cases Without Even Giving Their Contractual Period Of Notice. What Can I Do?

Where employers encourage the progression and development of their employees, it is sometimes the case that the employee will leave the company taking their newly obtained skills and knowledge elsewhere, either while undertaking paid external training, or shortly after having completed it.

Can I Recoup Any External Training Costs?

This can be very frustrating and, potentially, financially damaging for employers who have spent valuable resources supporting their employee. Employers may want to consider drafting and signing a Training Fees Agreement between both parties for the purpose of protecting the company’s investment in the event of the employee leaving. Such an agreement should outline the cost of the external training courses for which the employer is paying. It should stipulate that if the employee leaves within a certain time period, then the employee is financially liable. They may have some, if not all, of the cost of the course deducted from their final pay cheque. Alternatively, dependent on the cost of the external training, employers could put together a Loan Agreement. This can stipulate that the company pays for the cost of the external training upfront. However, the employee would have reasonable deductions from their pay until fees are repaid.

How Is This Enforceable?

As for instances where the employee has left without giving their contractual notice obligation, inserting an additional costs clause into their contract of employment should help deter employees from doing so. However, such a clause is only likely to be enforceable at tribunal if the employer has suffered a genuine loss that they can demonstrate as a result of the employee leaving without giving their correct notice e.g. if the employer has had to use agency staff to cover the employee’s notice period.


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