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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 49773
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I work hair salon in Bath and have been there

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I work for Headmasters hair salon in Bath and have been there one month. My employer has booked me on a 2 week course in London, starting this Monday 3rd August and told me about 2 weeks ago that I must pay for my own travel, accommodation and food.
I earn about £400 and can get some commission for selling product, but not much yet. The best price I can get for a hotel is £370 a week but simply cannot afford it.
My Manager said if I do not attend, then I must pay for the course which is £1000, for failure to attend. My Manager has though paid for the rail travel which is about £170.
I don't know what to do, can you help me please?
Hello, my name is***** am a solicitor on this site and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. If you cannot afford to attend what would your employer do, would they consider dismissal?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

At this stage they have not suggested getting rid of me, my manager has just said that I will have to pay for not attending the course

There is no legal requirement on the employer to pay you for any of the course’s ancillary costs such as travel or accommodation. They could certainly decide that they would but they cannot be forced to and that is something left entirely to them. Had your contract stated that they would cover such expenses then you can hold them liable for them but in this case it was silent on the matter so you cannot argue that they are responsible for them. So regardless of whether the course was compulsory or not, they do not have to pay any of these costs. As mentioned, a reasonable employer may decide to cover all or part of them but that is left entirely at their discretion. Just another point in relation to the potential repercussions, if you have been continuously employed at your place of work for less than 2 years then your employment rights will unfortunately be somewhat limited. Most importantly, you will not be protected against unfair dismissal. This means that your employer can dismiss you for more or less any reason, and without following a fair procedure, as long as their decision is not based on discriminatory grounds (i.e. because of gender, race, religion, age, a disability, sexual orientation, etc.) or because you were trying to assert any of your statutory rights (e.g. requesting maternity/paternity leave, etc.). So if you refuse to attend the course, they could legally dismiss you without you being able to challenge it. So you should bear this in mind when deciding on how to proceed. 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
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I am due to finish work today at 5pm and could do with knowing what I should do as I am supposed to catch a train at 8pm tomorrow to London

answer above, let me know if you have further queries
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I am still confused though. How can my employer make me pay more than I earn to attend a course that I cannot afford to pay for?

Legally they can, they do not have to take into account the costs of travel or accommodation. Sometimes they may be more than what you earn but that does not change their liabilities in this situation. They just cannot be forced to pay these costs, regardless of whether the course was compulsory or not.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

But I was given little notice about the course and cant afford to go!

If I say that I am not going, can they make me pay if I don't have the money?

I suppose I will have to hand in my notice then. Can they chase me for the £1000 course fees? The contract sais they will deduct from my final salary and as I only got paid two weeks ago I have only earnt about £200 this month. Can they come after me for the rest?

You may wish to see first if they are able to postpone the course to allow you to arrange the finances in terms of covering these costs. If you have to leave and not do the course then the first issue would be if the employer has had to pay for the course in full and if they have managed to get any money back. They cannot charge you for losses which they have not incurred. If they have lost training costs then they could potentially pursue you for them but that is not a very common occurrence. It is easier for them to try and get whatever they can from your wages but the rest they would have to go to court for and that takes time and costs money and is not guaranteed that they will get anything back from you. So a large majority of employers would not bother going down that route.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Sounds like I am stuffed. Nowhere in my job offer did it say I have to pay my on way on training courses, if it did I probably would not have taken the job.

The course is only an induction to the company as well I have just learnt, not even hair styling courses or anything like that.

I suppose I am in there hands then as I cant afford to go to London

I understand but the fact it was not mentioned does not mean the employer had agreed to pay these costs. If there was nothing mentioned about these then you must assume you are responsible for them, only if the employer specifically states they would cover them would they be liable for them. But try and negotiate with them still, as mentioned they may agree to postpone this if possible
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

OK, not hopeful though

Thank you


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