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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50191
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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Can my employer (a UK FE college) charge me PGCE course

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Can my employer (a UK FE college) charge me for a PGCE course they deliver mostly in-house - and insist upon? As a college lecturer (in engineering) I have heard that I do not require a PGCE.
I was asked at interview whether I would be willing to work towards this, but no mention was made by them of having to fund this (> £7k) myself.
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long have you worked there for?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Almost a year. Started February 2015.
Have they said what would happen if you do not take this course?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Only that it is expected that anyone without a PGCE or Cert Ed (if they do not already hold a degree) have started within two years and completed within five years. I don not have a problem with doing it (albeit the reviews from those who've embarked upon the course make motivation difficult per se), but it is having to pay for something they demand to remain in the job.I am already considering moving into commercial training before summer 2017. The above is partly why.
The main issue you would face here is linked to your length of service. Until you have at least 2 years’ service with an employer you are not actually protected against unfair dismissal. This means that they can terminate your employment for more or less any reason, as long as it is not linked to discrimination, such as race gender, religion, etc. I see no evidence of discrimination here so what they could do is if you refuse to undertake this training or pay for it, they could simply say that they cannot employ you any further and dismiss you legally and fairly, without you being able to challenge it. So even the fact that you may not need this qualification or that you paying for it was not discussed at the outset, would not change your legal rights. They could still dismiss if they really wanted to. So it is really a matter of negotiating with them and trying to agree on something that works for both, be it that you do not do this training or that they pay for all or part of it. However, bear in mind your legal position if you outright refuse to abide by their requests, even if you believe them to be unfair. I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. 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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