How To Protect Your Investment When Training Employees

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Employing Students
Training an employee can be costly for small businesses and if the employee leaves shortly after the training, the employer often feels they didn’t benefit or receive a return on their investment from the training they paid for. This in turn makes them reluctant to pay for future training which is detrimental to growth and success of the Company.

Although there are no laws in the employers favour to recover training costs from employees, what can be relied upon is the terms and conditions of employment stated within the Contract of Employment and an additional Training Agreement.

The Contract of Employment must contain a clause referring to the deduction of monies from the employee’s salary/wage where there are monies owed to the Company. The employee signing the Contract therefore agrees to the clause.

A Training Agreement is much more specific and should refer to the training programme, the qualification the employee is looking to achieve and what happens if they leave within a time period after having taken the training.

The time period in which an employee leaves and has to repay some of the training costs must be reasonable and in relation to the cost of the training, usually as a sliding scale. It would be unreasonable for an employer to try to recover the whole cost of the training 2 years after the training was completed. It would be considered fairer to recover 40% or less of the training costs by this stage. These are agreed between the employer and employee and it depends on the level of training, the relevance to the role and the cost.

The Training Agreement must be signed and agreed to by the employee otherwise it is unenforceable. The employee should always know beforehand what they are agreeing to and how much they would need to repay if they left.

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