Employers are increasingly inserting into their contract of employment with their staff, clauses allowing them to recoup the costs of training provided to the employee. These clauses are valid and binding, subject to only a very few limited exceptions.
Typical examples will say that when the employee leaves, whether of their own volition or because their contract is terminated, the employee should pay back the training costs on a sliding scale. For example, they should repay all of the costs if they leave within six months reducing to 25% of the costs if they leave within two years and nothing thereafter. These are genuine pre estimates of the money lost by the employer.
Some of these training courses are expensive and it is only over a period of time that the employer gets back the benefit of paying for the employee’s increased skill set. Turning that argument on its head, if an employee avails themselves of an expensive training course at that employer’s expense and then leaves soon thereafter then they have gained a valuable benefit for nothing which they can be expected to repay on the sliding scale.
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