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To refuse to reimburse my boss for a course she agreed to pay for?

(23 Posts)
MeantToStopAtTwo Mon 29-Apr-13 20:14:58

The course runs from September to June. She was very keen for me to do it and offered to pay. In fact it was something which she suggested and I went along with. I doubt I would planned to do it of my own accord.

She paid the fees to secure my place almost a year ago now. Then today, out of the blue, she handed me a contract saying that I agree to work for two years after completing the course or else refund the full fees (which are around a month's wages). It came as a bit of a shock.

In truth, if she'd told me this before I signed-up to the course, I would never have gone ahead with it.

AIBU to refuse to sign?

TidyDancer Mon 29-Apr-13 20:17:25

No I wouldn't sign. I'm not surprised at the terms, but I am surprised you weren't made aware of them before now.

phantomnamechanger Mon 29-Apr-13 20:19:47

exactly what tidy said - it's normal practice for firms not to want to pay to get you better qualified then lose you to someone else! But this should have been clear from the outset.

snuffaluffagus Mon 29-Apr-13 20:20:35

This is pretty standard when work pays for courses but yes she should have told you before.

SuiGeneris Mon 29-Apr-13 20:20:49

I can see where you are coming from and would be as annoyed as you sound, but be very careful how you present this because a refusal might be perceived as "I want to be out of here before the two years are up"...

chunkythighs Mon 29-Apr-13 20:21:35

Basic and standard practice. The course is to enhance the business- not your chances of bagging a better job!

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Mon 29-Apr-13 20:22:09

YANBU, we have this kind of thing in our staff handbook (but that's only for three months, I think). Sounds like someone cocked up in HR or your boss did and she's trying to retrofit things.

BackforGood Mon 29-Apr-13 20:25:37

Do you mean you've almost finished the course, or that it starts in September 13 ?

If you've finished it, then she can't retrospectively put conditions on it, but it does sound a reasonable clause if you mean for something you haven't started yet.

MmeThenardier Mon 29-Apr-13 20:26:18

When you say 'handed me a contract' do you mean your contract that you have signed or a new made up contract?

I agree this is not uncommon but if she's just as thedoc said trying to retrofit then I wouldn't sign.

MeantToStopAtTwo Mon 29-Apr-13 20:27:35

SuiGeneris, I am on the verge of handing in my notice anyway and may even end up doing so in the same discussion. I guess she's seen the writing on the wall.

kelda Mon 29-Apr-13 20:28:32

So you've nearly finished the course? Don't sign.

MeantToStopAtTwo Mon 29-Apr-13 20:29:33

BackForGood, I've almost finished the course.

MmeThenardier, this is a new made-up contract.

Hassled Mon 29-Apr-13 20:29:57

Agree it's standard for this sort of thing but by not making it clear from the off I doubt she'd have much of a leg to stand on if you did the course and then moved on (disclaimer - not a lawyer).

But don't be hasty - is the course worthwhile long term?

WeAreEternal Mon 29-Apr-13 20:35:14

This is standard practice. And to be honest it is only fair, if they are paying for the course, that they make sure they get their money's worth, so to speak.

However, it was up to your boss to make you aware of the terms and agree to them before you signed up for the course. She has obviously just realised that she forgot to do this and is now attempting to make up for it.
I don't know if you can be forced to sign the contract but even if you don't I think it is highly likely that if you were to leave your job before June 2015 your boss would pursue you for the return of the course fees.

RhondaJean Mon 29-Apr-13 20:35:18

Pretty standard but almost impossible to enforce in practice. Your existing employment contract needs to have a clause in it to allow deductions etc.

Also it's borderline in legality to try to enforce this at the end of the course.

Tell her to shove it and refuse to sign. I've been in this exact position.

TheChaoGoesMu Mon 29-Apr-13 20:37:04

No, she should have got you to sign that before the course. I wouldn't sign it.

KobayashiMaru Mon 29-Apr-13 20:37:49

It is NOT standard practice to try a claw back AFTER the course has been agreed on, paid for and almost completed. Tell her to do one.

IHateSafeStyle Mon 29-Apr-13 20:41:35

Normal conditions but also normal to agree terms before its agreed. Guess she messed up

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Mon 29-Apr-13 20:45:04

If you quit before the course actually finishes, though, you may not be able to complete it - ?

MeantToStopAtTwo Mon 29-Apr-13 20:51:48

DoctrineOfSnatch, I have a three month notice period (unfortunately!), so will definitely be completing the course regardless.

Hassled, no the course is very unlikely to benefit me in what I hope to do next. It's turned out to be fairly lousy to be honest.

pinkteddy Mon 29-Apr-13 20:56:42

I wanted to issue this type of contract to a member of staff I managed (and funded for a very expensive course) when I worked in the NHS. Was told by NHS HR that it was pointless as impossible to legally enforce. So I would definitely tell her where to shove it!!

MmeThenardier Mon 29-Apr-13 21:00:56

She's trying it on. Don't sign.

ChazDingle Mon 29-Apr-13 21:04:48

my work does this with some courses but the people of advised in advance.

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