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How to recoup training costs from an employee who leaves

Author: Tina Elliott

Summary

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  • To ensure a legal right to recover training fees from an employee, make certain that there is an express written agreement between the parties.
  • Be aware that this agreement could form part of the employee's contract of employment, but will more commonly be contained in a separate training fees agreement.
  • Enter into the training fees agreement before the employee embarks on the training.
  • Consider drawing up a sliding scale so that the employee's liability reduces, the longer they stay with the company.
  • To protect against unlawful deductions from wages claims, make sure that the agreement includes the express right to deduct any outstanding training fees from pay.
  • Be aware that a retrospective agreement will not satisfy the requirements for a lawful deduction from wages.
  • If the employee leaves and their final pay does not cover all of the outstanding cost, take into account the right to recover the balance as a debt under the terms of the agreement.
  • Consider the value of the amount outstanding and the employee's means before embarking on civil proceedings to recover it.