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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 49834
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I operate a small plumbing and heating company in Nottingham

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I operate a small plumbing and heating company in Nottingham and i have a issue that requires clarification.
One of my engineers has handed in his notice to leave the company with the reason that his 6 year relationship has come to an end. He has just completed a commercial gas training course that was asked for by him and paid for by the company £1175.00 . This was 3 weeks ago and he has now handed in his notice now that the certificate to work has just landed,the certificate is in his name .
We now find that not only are we down the costs of the training course but also out of pocket for the week lost of training .We have commercial jobs also booked in that we may have to cancel.
We have a written statement of employment that has no mention of training costs .
Can we make a legal claim against the losses caused to the business , could we look at premeditated job/training gain ?
For the record we have held discussions to increase wages and added bonus but this has been refused.
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified solicitor and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Was there a clause in his contract allowing for recovery of such costs?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Ben,
No there was not and he knew this . i realise we are on dodgy ground without this but as he has not even used the training with my business then my business will not and has not had any productive gain . I wondered how the law viewed this?
Can you prove that all of this was premeditated, that hew knew he was leaving and intentionally asked for the course?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No i think that would not be possible to prove ? Its all a question of timing that makes it suspicious? We have not fallen out ,intact he is being really helpful and getting on with his work .I have known him along time and i have employed him before in previous companies .He has always been loyal . I know we need proof or contracts with signatures on but the facts remain that we are at a loss as a business with no reason as to why he is leaving ?
The issue you will face here is that you could only realistically pursue the person for the training costs if there was a dedicated training costs recovery clause in his contract, which he would have been aware of and agreed to. Without such a clause, it would be very difficult to make him liable for the costs and force him to pay. If you were to take this to court, which is the only place you can formally challenge this, it is unlikely that they would agree to make the employee legally liable for repayment of these fees. To have any chance of success you would have to show that he had known of his circumstances, that he had misled you deliberately over them and gained an advantage in that way. Not mentioning an intention to leave is not misleading – you need to show that he had made specific promises that he would not be leaving and would remain in your business for some time, making the training option attractive to you. I understand it is suspicious timing but it could easily be a coincidence and for a court that is not good enough. It may be an expensive lesson, but you really need to ensure that you protect your position by having a clear and specific clause which deals with the repayment of training costs should an employee leave within a set time after the provision of training by you. 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
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