Frequently Asked Employment Questions

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Document updated/added on 21.12.2020

Topic: Contracts

Can we require training costs to be repaid?

Yes - most employers operate their "claw back on training costs" rule on a sliding scale for either one or two years after the training has been completed, i.e. the sooner an employee leaves, the greater the amount they are expected to pay back. So, assuming you have a two year tie-in, any sum owed will reduce by 1/24th for each complete month that they remain in your employment. Equally, if you only require an employee to stay for a year, it will be 1/12th per complete month. For short training courses, it's better if the tie-in is no more than one year, but if you have part-funded, say, a degree course, two years after course completion would be appropriate. To ensure you can reclaim some or all of the costs you should have: (1) a clause in the employment contract or a separate written agreement allowing this deduction; (2) stated that any deduction made will come specifically from the employee's wages; and (3) entered into the agreement before the training or study started. Finally, be careful if the training was a mandatory requirement as opposed to undertaken on a voluntary basis by the employee – a contingent deduction agreement in respect of mandatory training will reduce the employee’s pay for national minimum wage purposes, so they must still be left with at least the applicable national living or national minimum wage rate after the potential deduction has been taken into account.