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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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signed a pre-employment contract in April 2013 with my organisation.

Resolved Question:

signed a pre-employment contract in April 2013 with my organisation. The pre-employment contract stated that I needed to complete two courses myself and pass all exams ready day of employment. A week before my official start with them, they put me on a different course (not stated in the pre-employment contract). all of this was done with a commitment from me to pay back a specified amount of money if I did not take on permanent employment.
My full contract now states that I need to provide 6 months notice if I were to choose a different employer. I have been head-hunted by an organisation ho is in a completely different field than my current one.
As it has been two years since my employment,
1. Do I still have to adhere to the £5000 fee stated in the pre-employment contract?
2. Provide a notice period of 6 months when the employer only has to give 1 week?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Ben Jones :

, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Does the fee cover the full costs of the course?

Customer:

it was meant to cover two courses. Only one of the ones stated in the pre-employment contract was done

Ben Jones :

Was the new course of any use to you and your ability to perform your job?

Customer:

No, although they may argue differently. The intention was to perform it but the pass mark I got from the new course was not good enough to perform the job, although I satisfied the pass requirement

Ben Jones :

ok thanks let me get my response ready please

Customer:

ok

Ben Jones :

In relation to the repayment of the fees, you would still likely have some responsibility, at least course which was agreed before your employment and which you ended up taking. The other course, having not been provided by the employer, and there having been no separate agreement or an update to the existing one to reflect the change in course, could be argued that it should not be repaid. Whilst the employer could go ahead and try to argue differently, it is to prove that there was an agreement in existence requiring you to repay that course, and as such agreement does not exist it could be difficult to take it further. However, as mentioned you may still have some liability other course, which was agreed.

As to the notice period, it would not generally matter that the employer has a shorter notice period to give you – you would still be bound by the contractual notice period that you agreed or was issued with at the start of your employment.

If you fail to honour this notice period then you will be acting in breach of contract. The employer then has the option of suing you to seek compensation resulting from their breach. However, in reality such claims are very rarely made. This is mainly due to the costs and time involved, also the relatively small damages that can be recovered. Also the employer has to show that actual losses have been incurred through this. So whilst there is no way of predicting whether the employer will take this any further or not, chances are that they will not. A more likely outcome is that the employer refuses to provide a reference in the future or if they do, it could mention that you had breached your contract.

Customer:

Right. So it would be in my interest to make sure this ends amicably?

Ben Jones :

Ideally, yes - as mentioned no one can predict whether the employer will decide to take this further or not - they could make a lot of noise and threats but not actually issue a claim and that means not much will happen, but if they actually decide to issue legal proceedings then you will have the inconvenience of defending the claim

Customer:

ok

Customer:

Thank you

Ben Jones :

you are most welcome

Customer:

I am unable to rate you. Is that something you release your side?

Ben Jones :

Apologies , there is a bug in the system which we sometimes get and it prevents you from posting your rating. Instead, you can just type your selection on here (e.g. OK, Good, Excellent) then we will process it manually later. Thank you

Customer:

Excellent. Thank you

Ben Jones :

many thanks, noted

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