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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50161
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I am in the process of working my notice period. I

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I am in the process of working my notice period.
I have received the following email from the HR department advising that they will recoup the cost of training from my final salary:
I understand that you completed the Graduate Certificate of Professional Practice achieving it on 26 Nov 2015 and the Best Interest Assessor Award achieving it on 30 July 2015. The costs were £575 for GCPP and £950 for BIA, in accordance with your contract these costs will be recovered your final salary in March.
My contract of employment does state the following:
The contract states 100% of the current/final years course fees for qualification/accreditation training if you fail to complete the course or if you leave the course within two years of completion.
I believe that my employer has in no way (financial or otherwise) suffered any loss as a result of me undertaking this training and has actually gained as a result of this.
Are you able to advise if I would have a case to challenge this, I have tried to challenge HR but they have said that they will not enter into any discussion regarding this matter.
Hello are they trying to deduct these from your pay or ask you to voluntarily pay them?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hello Ben JonesThey have said that they will deduct from my pay
Thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and laws and will get back to you as soon as I can. Please do not respond to this message as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you
Many thanks for your patience. 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. This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the steps you need to follow should you decide to challenge this in court, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you
As far as I am aware there is nothing I have signed to agree to allow deductions from my salary however I may need to re read my contract to double check this.
It is my belief that they have not suffered any loss as a result of my doing the training and have actually benefitted from my new skills.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hello Ben Jones
I am now considering taking time off sick as this is beginning to stress me to the extent that I am finding it hard to do my work. I feel that I am being penalised for taking training which has benefited me and the department
It is important to check the contract and whilst that would allow them to make the deductions now it does not mean you cannot challenge them. But do not see this as being penalised, it is standard for employers to try and recoup training costs, it is just how much they can recover that is often an issue