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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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I am leaving my current employer in 2 months and they are

Resolved Question:

I am leaving my current employer in 2 months and they are seeking to recover the cost of training I have been provided to the amount of £20k. I was never shown or told about any terms, conditions or agreement for repayment of these fees and have never signed an agreement to that effect. Do they have grounds to claim the money back?
Kind Regards
CM
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I should add that they are claiming by accepting the money it constituted as an agreement...
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello is there a training costs repayment agreement between you?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No, no agreement was verbalised or signed
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

In the absence of any training costs repayment agreement it is highly unlikely that they would be able to recover the training costs. It is inevitable that some costs will be expended on training employees in a new job and if the employer wanted to employee does not just leave after that, the employer could have a repayment agreement in place. 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.

The simple fact that you accepted the training and the associated costs does not mean it becomes a loan or an amount to be repaid – that is nonsense. This would only happen if it was specifically pre-agreed that this was a loan to you, an amount which you were clearly advised has to be repaid and also something which was agreed in writing under a dedicated repayment agreement.

None of this happened here so it would be quite unlikely that they would be able to recover these costs. There are a couple of ways in which they may try to do it and I can provide more details of these.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the options they have to try and recover these costs, 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 is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you

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Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. There are a couple of ways for the employer to try and recover these fees - by deducting them direct from the employee's wages or, if the employee has already left and paid up fully - by taking them to court.

Any deductions from the employee's wages can only lawfully take place if there was a clear written agreement by the employee allowing the employer to do this, such as a contractual clause or a separate agreement which they signed. In the absence of such an agreement the deduction will be unlawful and can be recovered by the employee.

If the matter goes to court, it would be for the employer to show that the repayment clause was reasonably drafted and that the costs they are trying to recover are reasonable in the circumstances.