How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Ben Jones Your Own Question

Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 45378
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
29905560
Type Your Law Question Here...
Ben Jones is online now

I recently left a job where I was employed in an ICAS

Resolved Question:

Hi, i recently left a job where I was employed in an ICAS training contract. I was there 7 months and sat 4 TC Exams and my salary was £15,500 per annum where I was informed the salary was so low to accommodate the fees being paid by the firm to put me through charteredship training. When i decided to leave, they informed me I must pay the fees back which were over £4,000 and to that date I had earned approximately £8,000 (net). I have paid the fees but this has damaged me financially and has discouraged me from the profession as i feel i wasn't trained in my role at all. There was a clause in my contract (1 sentence) saying if i were to leave on my own volition then i would be liable for the training costs incurred. Please advise if there is anything I can do as i do not feel this is fair.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 months ago.

Hi there, 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.

Whilst it is legal to have such clauses, employers must be cautious to ensure that the amount of costs they are trying to recover is a genuine pre-estimate of the damages which they have suffered as a result of the employee leaving early. In the event that it is not, such clauses could be considered a penalty against the employee, which would make it legally unenforceable. Therefore, if the employer has derived some benefit from the employee undertaking the training course during the fixed repayment period (e.g. where an employer has been able to charge customers more for an employee’s services by virtue of that training or qualification) then the amounts which may be recovered from the employee should be reduced to reflect that benefit.

The contract should also contain a sliding scale of repayment whereby the repayment amount reduces according to the length of time the employee remains with the employer after the training has been completed. For example, 100% of the fees to be repaid if the employee leaves within 0-12 months after the training has finished, 50% if they leave 12-24 months after, 25% if they leave 24 - 36 months after.

The issue here is that you have now voluntarily repaid the money they were pursuing. It would be rather difficult to go and make a claim against them to try and recover these now. You would have been better off refusing to pay and let them take it further and if they eventually mad a court claim – defend that by arguing the total fees repayment is unreasonable. However, it is a little bit late for that unfortunately.

I'm sorry if this is not necessarily the answer you were hoping for, however I do have a duty to be honest and explain the law as it actually stands. This does mean delivering bad news from time to time. I hope you understand and would be happy to provide any further clarification if needed. If you are still satisfied with the level of service you have received I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page. Thank you

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Surely the employer has to provide you with estimates of training costs before beginning your training contract though? There was no sliding scale provided to me regarding training costs. As said before, one sentence in training contract. I don't feel it's right to be paid nearly minimum wage in order to receive training and then be expected to repay this training?! The firm is offsetting their risk by paying a low wage. It's a con.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 months ago.

A pre-estimate should have been given to you so you know what liabilities you are potentially taking on. However a sliding scale is not a legal requirement, it is good practice.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
If costs were within an employee handbook, would this be deemed provision of the examination/class costs? Or should his have been provided when discussing contract and signing of contract? I do appreciate your help.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 months ago.

if it was just hidden somewhere in a handbook and not brought to your attention it would be difficult to argue that they had given yo a clear estimate of what you may be liable for

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Okay thanks Ben. Could you recommend a route going forward? The reason I repaid these fees was to save a reference and I didn't feel there was any way around this. Upon leaving and having a think of what had happened, I felt it necessary to start querying this with professionals such as yourself.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 5 months ago.

your only option now is to get back to them and negotiate for a return of some of these, but that will only happen if they are willing to do this. If not, you are solely left with a court claim

Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 45378
Experience: Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
< Previous | Next >
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
  • A quick response, a succinct and helpful answer in simple English. I believe I can now confront the counter party with confidence -- worth the 30 bucks! Rick
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Jo C.

    Jo C.

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    30316
    Over 5 years in practice
< Previous | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/EM/emus/2015-7-7_192327_bigstockportraitofconfidentfemale.64x64.jpg Jo C.'s Avatar

    Jo C.

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    30316
    Over 5 years in practice
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BE/benjones/2015-12-1_0437_ennew.64x64.jpg Ben Jones's Avatar

    Ben Jones

    UK Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    11553
    Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BU/Buachaill/2012-5-25_211156_barrister5.64x64.jpg Buachaill's Avatar

    Buachaill

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    1754
    Barrister 17 years experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JO/jojobi/2013-3-19_0265_maxlowryphoto.64x64.jpg Max Lowry's Avatar

    Max Lowry

    Advocate

    Satisfied Customers:

    894
    LLB, 10 years post qualification experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/UK/UKLawyer/2012-4-12_9849_F2.64x64.jpg UK_Lawyer's Avatar

    UK_Lawyer

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    750
    I am a qualified solicitor and an expert in UK law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KA/Kasare/kasare.64x64.jpg Kasare's Avatar

    Kasare

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    402
    Solicitor, 10 yrs plus experience in civil litigation, employment and family law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/OS/osh/2015-7-7_19268_gettyimagesb.64x64.jpg Joshua's Avatar

    Joshua

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8199
    LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice