Hello, thanks for getting back to me. Generally, training repayment clauses are legal and can be used by employers to recover any payments made by them in training their employees. After all, employers can spend a considerable amount of money on training their employees, only to see them leave shortly afterwards. In order to ensure that the employer can provide an employee with training and that the employee does not take advantage of the situation by leaving soon afterwards, it is common practice to have a repayment provision in the contract of employment. Under it the training costs are deemed to constitute a loan to the employee, which becomes repayable if they leave their employment within a certain period after the training completes.
However, one argument you can use to your advantage is if the pay you were offered was actually below the National Minimum Wage (NMW) as that would be unlawful and your reasons for leaving would be valid and can make the whole contract void and unenforceable.
You are entitled by law to be paid the NMW for any time which amounts to working time. So you have to look at what you are being asked to do and whether it amounts to working time then determine if the pay you have been offered means you get paid above the NMW for that time (currently it is £7.20ph from 1 April 2016, before that it was £6.70ph).
If you are conducting work during the day then that will obviously amount to working time so the issue is whether the sleep in time will also count as working time and if it can be included in the calculation of your pay.
The courts have held that all "on-call" time constitutes working time if the employee is required to be in the workplace rather than at home, even if the worker is asleep (at the workplace) for some or all of that time.
So if you were getting below the NMW overall you can use this to your advantage to challenge the proposed repayment of the training costs.
This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of how to take this further if that is the case, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there I no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you