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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50161
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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So I want to resign from my position of student veterinary

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Hi so I want to resign from my position of student veterinary nurse. My contract states that
[If the trainee nurse chooses to leave the employers service or discontinue the trainee nurses training at any time or within the first twelve months of employment after qualification, the trainee nurse shall on demand repay, and the employer shall to deduct and withhold from any remuneration due to the trainee nurse, any fees, expenses or out goings expended and paid by the employer to any third party directly in connection with the trainee nurses trying.]
I have read on a few websites how ever that if the employer has gained significantly from my training that they may not be able to reclaim the full cost of my training. I feel they definitely have has I have been performing the exact same dutys as a fully qualified veterinary nurse for almost all of my employment over the past 3 years. They have also gained from accommodating me in practice accommodations and having me do a significant amount more out of hours work then my colleges with out paying me for it.
Some advice would be great thanks.
Hello, my name is***** am a solicitor on this site and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Is there a sliding scale for the recovery of these fees?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Not as far as I'm aware. That's the only part of my contract that relates to re-payment of fees.
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.
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.
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.
So you can use some of the above to try and negotiate with the employer although you cannot force them to accept anything. It is then for them to decide whether to take it further and if it goes to court only it can decide what is a fair and reasonable amount to repay.
I trust this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page). If for any reason you are unhappy with my response or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
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