In Need of civvi deductions from pay LEGAL advice !


War Hero

I am looking for some fast and 'safe' legal advice! I hope that someone can help.

Rough Story

Did a course while in this job 10 months ago. I have now put my notice in and I leave on Friday. Yesterday , I was told that my final pay cheque will show a deduction of £1295 (plus a further £300) to pay for the course I did 10 months ago. They say that I agreed that if I left the employment within 12 months of the course I would pay back course costs in full! I have not signed anything and they are faxing me the letter they sent in March 06.

As a little bit more info, I did the course away from home and paid my own hotel, food and travel costs for which I did not claim! These have not been mentioned.

So what do civvis do (new tto this) do I roll over and let them take the cash or is there something 'legal' I can do/say etc??

I know what my military mind and heart are telling me o do, but any proper advice would be great!

Any web sites (CAB have a back log and will take ages for an appointment) or contacts would be great too!

Thanks in advance!


Lawyers cost a lot of money and take time, though if you pick up a yellow pages and look for a solicitor they will be able to help you: if they have no-one in their own practice who does employment law then they will know a company that has.

Avoid flesh-eaters: they just pish off tribunals. Normally a reasoned letter from a solicitor is enough to make people think (especially if their company has neglected to buy Directors and Officers cover).

As for paying for your own accommodation, transport etc on a civvie course, why did you not claim it then? Was there an agreement in place before the course? If not then you are a serious muppet for doing this: why should you subsidise a company who is only loyal to its owners and cares nothing for you?

No need to answer the questions here: have answers ready for any solicitor that you talk to. You can also take the hit and then sue the company through the small claims court: the limit is now 5,000 GBP and has a simple process allowing you to do it yourself or at least keep legal costs low.

Good luck.


War Hero
Thanks Dread

Like I said, I am new to this civvi employment thingy!
If your employer wrote to you and caveated the fact that you would be liable for course costs, and furthermore if you did not dispute it at the time, then they are acting within employment law.

The fact you did not claim back your expenses is your fault unfortunately. However, if you have the receipts still (and provided it states in your contract that expenses can be claimed back) then you should be able to produce the receipts and offset it against the money they are clawing back from you.

Speak to ACAS, the are the CAB for the employment world using the link below;

Any employment law solicitor will tell you the same. If they put it in writing, then it's tough sadly.


War Hero
Thanks again all.

Bottom line, trust no one and read the small print!

Lesson learnt, fingers burnt.

thanks again all


For what its worth, it does sound like your backed up against the wall.

If the letter that they say they sent you stipulates that you are liable for course costs, and you then proceeded to go on the course, this would most likely be percieved as acceptance of those terms.

In order for a contract to be legally binding and be upheld 4 main elements are required:

1. Offer - This was in the form of their letter stipulating terms etc.
2. Acceptance- By going on the course you automatically accepted
3. Consideration- Their paying for the course
4. Intention to be legally binding- This could be your get out clause...Slim though.

Although they sent you a letter, and the law recognises the fact that once posted, a letter is considered received. However if they can not prove that they sent a letter then you can argue you knew nothing of the clause for repayment and went in good faith. Thus no intention to create legal relations.

Tell them this then and come to an agreement. Say, the course cost £1295 divided by the number of months your tied in by (say 12 months)
that means £107.91 a month. You have done 10 of them =£1079.

By way of agreement, and you not kicking up a fuss, court, solicitors etc which will cost them (not you, you can go simply through small claims, they will want some sort of legal presence) agree to pay them the remaining 2 months worth of course £216.

Hope this helps, if you need any more help give me a buzz.



Happened to me with my last job. I have to say that it was part of my contract, which I had signed and still took the decision to leave as my next job was a good offer which I could not refuse. As a rule in the civvy world, as said above: Read The Small Print


This is likely to be the start of a good argument. Generally, to suffer a deduction of pay you need to have positively agreed to it. Most careful employers will ask you to sign a specific notice that you agree to a deduction if you leave within a certain time. Some employers will try to rely on a Staff Handbook, but to be effective, they will have to have your signature on a piece of paper to say that you have read and understood the Staff Handbook. The following link applies:-

As a matter of course, I'd talk to ACAS and put in a claim to an Employment Tribunal, (which I see has already been suggested). Your costs will be minimal, your ex-employer will be looking at a couple of grand if they want to win. (For the employer, negociation is normally a good plan).

If you would like more tailored suggestions, then PM me