Where do I stand with my employer?

Discussion in 'Finance, Property, Law' started by Goku, Oct 3, 2008.

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  1. Here’s an employment law question for any of you legal types out there.

    My contract states that every year my employer is to pay for a training course, the subject of which is to be mutually agreed on between myself and the boss.
    To date my employer hasn’t lived up to this, the excuse is that they haven’t budgeted for training.

    I’ve been training myself through home study and my employer is paying for my exams.
    There is no mention in my contract of my employer having to pay for my exams.

    My question is, can I take my employer to court and force them to pay for a training course even if they are paying for my exams?

    Also there is a clause in my contract that states that if I leave my job within 2 years of receiving the training they have provided then I have to repay them 70% of the costs.
    Does this mean that I would have to repay them 70% of the cost of the exams they have paid for?
     
  2. As it's in your contract, and your employer hasn't kept to the terms of that contract I would argue that you could leave at anytime with no cost to you and take them to an Employment Tribunal for constructive dismissal and make a few bob... or just threaten them with it.
     
  3. I agree with the above,apart from the constuctive dismissal part. As your employer has paid for your exams,they are not trying to force you out,even though they havent paid for your training. After all why would they pay for your exams if they were trying to force you out?

    Sorry not to be more helpful,

    smudge
     
  4. I see where you're coming from with this, but it's the contract that forms the bases of the relationship between the two parties.

    Now if the contract states that the employer will pay for training, and they aren't, then they are in breach of contract and thus ya man can consider himself constructivly dismissed and seek redress and compo through an ET. Or threaten to do so while trying to get them to pay for his training.

    I concur that they are not trying to force him out. The fact they are paying for his exams is nice, but they're not contractually obliged to do so and could stop paying them without route for redress.

    And as training probably costs more than exams, who's quids in and who's loosing out?
     
  5. It sounds like you are either pssed off that they have not honoured the contract or your fed up with the job and want to try to make a few quid,

    can you clarify if your self funded training is job related (i'm assuming it is as your emplyer is paying for exams)

    do you have a full and complete copy of your contract (some companies still only give out a synopsis) if so read the training funding part as it may say training and or exam! or if you have access look up on your employers Policy/Proocedures or Management manual .....see if there is a complete contract/job description

    finally has anyone received funding for training?
     
  6. I am indeed pissed off over the lack of training but I’m not interested in sueing them over it.
    I am looking to leave at a later date and when that happens I don’t want to have to repay my exam fees as they will add up to several hundred pounds.

    I’m a network administrator studying for an MCSE, it’s directly related to my job.

    I do have a full and signed copy of my contract.
    It says I am to receive training course with the option of 5 days out of the office for this.
    There is no mention of the value of the training or that they would pay for the exams.

    I am aware that “a training course” is open to interpretation as an MCSE (as most qualifications) is gained by passing multiple courses. So training in this case could be seen as either the full MCSE or one or the courses that it consists of.

    A chap in my department received a training course for a new system we were deploying.
    The course cost several thousand and he is not contracted to receive training as I am.
    That annoyed me considerably.
     
  7. Get a new job, your employer obviously doesn't take professional development seriously, are they Investors in People registered? If so it might just be worth reminding them of their commitment in the contract, it may merely be an oversight on their part. My employer will have spent nearly £7k on my training this year, they are the one's asking me to go on the courses because they recognise the value of professional recognition and how it adds to customer confidence.
     
  8. With Microsoft exams costing £88 a pop and a week's course costing in the region of a grand+ at a decent hands on centre, I'd be inclined to say you're getting screwed.

    Most law firms will give you an hour interview to see if your case has any merrit. It would be worth your while asking them how you stand in regards leaving and repayment of exam fees and your position in general.

    As I understand it, your firm isn't contractualy obliged to pay the exam fees, therefore you are not contractually obliged to repay them on leaving unless you have an other written agreement saying you will.
     
  9. Good replies, I asked because of someone in a similar position asked me to look into it as he was also moving on, I asked a legal type that I know, who after a very quick look at the contract said there was nothing in the contract about exam fees, though they could be thought of as the essential part of the course! but as it does not state such on the contract tell them to poke it and if they threaten or withold monies just mention that you have already sought legal advice.... he left with the right pay and a top reference.

    Might be worth popping into a local legal office, as stated by airfix (I think) they give an hour or so to evaluate the merits and more than likely will tell you the employer has no grounds to claim back the exam fees.

    Good luck with your next job.
     
  10. I'm fairly sure that civi employers cannot withold money unless you have agreed to it (ie it says in the contract X% of course fees must be repaid if you leave.........and this will be witheld from your salary). This is not to say they can't pursue you for the money, just that they can't deduct it from your salary.
     
  11. I must confess that I am pants at employment law. It all seems back to front to me so I took the opinion of a colleague who is also a Brief.

    I am advised that strictly speaking, it is a breach of contract for your employer not to pay for courses even if they are paying for exams.

    You would however, need to check the specific wording of the contract. If the contract is vague the liklehood is that it will be construed in your favour (i.e. in favour of the employee) because the employee is percieved to be the weaker party.

    So in summary, it would appear that subject to the wording, yes you can claim in the ET.

    With regards to repayment of a percentage of cost of exams to employer, these clauses are enforceable by the employer, provided they are reasonable and carefully worded.

    Usually the most effective clauses are those providing a sliding scale of when the person leaves. It may not be deemed reasonable that an employer recoupes 70% of costs after 2 years however.

    There are a lot of vague and ambigious points I make in this post and the main reason for that is not to protect my butt from a law suit but because that is how employment law is.

    There are a lot of firms out there that offer "no win - no fee" advice on employment law matters too, (not just personal injury work like most people believe) -it may be worth checking them out and getting some free or low cost preliminary advice from a Solicitor who can actually look at your contract and give you a definitive answer.
     
  12. msr

    msr LE

    Have you talked to your line manager about this?

    A quick chat is always preferable to reaching for your legal team in the first instance.

    msr
     
  13. My line manager is the chap who told me my training hadn’t been budgeted for.
    Funny as the director of IT he’s the one who decides how our budget is spent :x

    I wont be calling on my brief unless they try to screw me when I leave.
     
  14. msr

    msr LE

    In that case, take your contract in with you and have a stern chat.
     
  15. I’ve already tried that, I’ve even had a chat with his boss and got the same answer.