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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Hi,I recently left a college where I was employed for 3

Resolved Question:

Hi,
I recently left a college where I was employed for 3 years as a recruitment team leader to move to another role.
Whilst at the college I was told I had to undertake an NVQ in Advice & Guidance L3 as they wanted all team leaders to have this qualification for when they were Ofsted inspected. They had to get someone externally to deliver it and so made all staff sign an agreement form stating we had to pay back £650 if we left within 2 years with an incrementally reducing scale.
I was told I had to sign this form even though I didn't want to get the qualification as it would not add to my employability or skills set having already achieved the level 2. If I didn't sign the form I would not have the qualification and hence it was intimated that this could be damaging to my employment.
When I came to hand my notice in they told me they would take the fees directly from my wages which I successfully challenged after consulting ACAS and emailing them my findings.
I explained that I was not happy to pay for the training as I was told by the man delivering it I would need to pay an additional £250 to continue and complete the course. As well as the fact that it would not benefit me in my career or provide me additional skills within my role. I felt, and still do feel, very strongly that they college should be paying for the training as it was something they wanted not myself.
I was also made aware of another member of staff who undertook a qualification with the college and had signed the same agreement to be let off the charge. So begs the question why I am being pursued and they were not. I do know for certain they weren't pursued as I was told by a friend in senior management.
Since leaving they have sent two letters saying they are chasing the payment and now their solicitors have sent a letter threatening legal action.
The question I have is if I decide to challenge this legally would it stand up in court? Or am I better to concede that they would win in court and pay the fees.
Thank you for any advice in advance.
Ady
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 2 years ago.
Hello,
I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.
I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.
Thank you!
Nicola
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Nicola,

I would be happy to give it another couple of days. How long do you expect it to take to find someone?

Kind regards

Ady

Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 2 years ago.
Hello Ady,
We will continue to look for a Professional to assist you. I'm afraid JustAnswer cannot guarantee a time but most questions are answered in a timely manner.
Thank you for your patience,
Nicola
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
Did the employer say you would be responsible for course fees if you left?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Alex,

Yes, they made me sign an agreement starting this and said if I didn't i wouldn't be able to continue in employment.

I didn't send it through and I received a call from my line manager very bluntly ordering me to sign it and send it back.

Kind regards

Ady

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Thats bad news, this is a contract and as such you are liable for the fees.
If you contest the fees the they could issue court proceedings against you and you would lose. So sadly you are liable for the fees because you agreed you would be,
I am sorry if this is not the answer you want and certainly not the one I want to give you, but I have a duty to be honest.
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Alex
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Alex,

My understanding is that from a legal perspective then the training needs to be proportionate. In that it needs to as value to the career of the staff member or as new skills.

Also as well does it not matter that I am being pursued whilst others who have signed the very same agreement have not been pursued?

Kind regards

Ady

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
That would be a matter for a court to decide what is and is not proportionate.
If you are happy to let this go to court then that is something that can be argued.
But they want the fee, if you don't pay it they can take it to court and you can argue the proportionality point there. What I am saying is that in theory you are liable.
Does that help?
Alex
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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