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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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In my previous job my employer had paid for my university

Resolved Question:

Hi,
In my previous job my employer had paid for my university fees (so they said) for a 3-year course. On my leaving date they gave me a letter in which they confirmed they had paid the full amount for the three years (£4,500) and that a monthly payment plan would be arranged between me and them.
Until there all good. The problem is that the third year is due to commence next week and it turns out my previous employer had NOT paid £4,500 and just £3,000. The balance for last year is still pending which is £1,500. Obviously they have offered to reduce the number of payments.
My problem is, this all was part of a monetary agreement including a non-complete clause that I was asked to sign, and now I feel like the conditions of that agreement have not turned out to be true.
Is my previous employer responsible to pay those £1,500?
Many thanks,
Andres
Submitted: 25 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 25 days ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 25 days ago.

How long ago exactly did you leave and what has your former employer said regarding the extra amount?

Customer: replied 25 days ago.
Hi Ben, this was two months ago. They were trying to dodge the bullet I think by saying that the responsibility to pay for the final year is mine as I am no longer an employee of the company, but I believe I am protected by the document I signed and unfortunately was their mistake. I have already asked them to consider that, but they have not replied. Are they forced to pay as it was their mistake?
Customer: replied 25 days ago.
Funny enough my previous employer has just replied agreeing to pay the full amount... I am still happy to pay for your time as I agreed to. Just to wrap up with all this, if they had said no, am I protected by that document? I would assume so otherwise they would not have come with such a quick answer... Thanks.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 25 days ago.

OK thank you for your response and for the update. Leave it with me for now. I am in court for the rest of today so will prepare my advice in a while and get back to you at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Also, please do not respond to this message as it will just push your questions to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 24 days ago.

Many thanks for your patience. If there was a clear agreement in writing which confirmed that they had paid for the full course (I.e. the 3 years) and also stipulated the amount to be paid, they would be contractually bound by it. Whilst errors do happen, they would have to prove that this was in fact a mistake and that it was clear they had not meant to agree to it - that may not be that easy to do. Even if that was the case, you could go back and argue that any other conditions that had been agreed at the time would not be binding, such as the non-compete clauses. But to challenge this they would really need to go to court and convince it that this was the case. I think the fact they have now come back and agreed to pay them does show that they have realised there was an error by them and that they are actually bound by what was agreed and they should now honour the promise they made to pay the full fees. If they fail to do so, you can accuse them of acting in breach of contract and even consider taking this further to get what they had promised to contribute. Hopefully it would not come to that though.

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