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Should I be paid to attend this course

(26 Posts)
Revised Tue 03-Jun-14 08:00:20

I'm doing a University course which my employer is paying for. Most of the study is by distance learning in my own time but there are 6 full day workshops I need to attend.

I work 3 days pw and they happen to fall on my days off. If they were on my working days, or I worked FT, I would get paid leave to attend but my employer is not expecting to pay me. "The course is for your benefit and we're covering the costs, what more do you want?"

It's true that I wanted to do the course but it is very much work related and they will benefit from the skills I gain but it's also true that my main motivation is with an eye on the next job IYSWIM, so it is for my personal benefit.

Anyway, my argument is that they need to treat me the same as a FT worker, so as I would have been paid if I was FT, they need to either pay me or give me time off in lieu. Am I right?

What about travel expenses? They don't expect to pay anyone expenses to attend any kind of course (even compulsory ones they arrange) which is completely alien to me. I work for the local authority BTW, not a struggling small business!

VegasIsBest Tue 03-Jun-14 08:04:27

I think you're very lucky that your employer is paying for your course. Doing any Uni course involves a substantial personal commitment (time, money, energy). Your employer won't have a budget to pay you for extra days. So just enjoy the course and appreciate their investment in you.

Revised Tue 03-Jun-14 08:08:15

Yes, thank you Vegas and I do appreciate it, but I think the law requires that they treat me the same as a FT employee

LIZS Tue 03-Jun-14 08:10:51

I'm not sure in any other business you'd get the course funded and paid time off unless it was of direct relevance to the job you were doing ie First Aid certificate, Food Safety, or to enable you to upskill others within the organisation.

JustGrrrrrreat Tue 03-Jun-14 08:11:23

If a full time employee was on the course and they had to attend of an evening or weekend woukd they get paid for the extra time?

Revised Tue 03-Jun-14 08:14:08

LIZS it's actually quite common. I was sponsored by a large commercial company to do my first degree and they gave me time off to attend classes, revision leave, full travel expenses and paid for all my books.

Probably not JustGreat but that's not what's happening here.

FoxyHarlow123 Tue 03-Jun-14 08:18:32

Wrt travel, is the journey to the college further than your normal journey to work? If so, by how much?

ThatBloodyWoman Tue 03-Jun-14 08:20:11

I thought there were laws against treating pt less favourably than ft -ie if a ft person is paid to attend a course on a rest day, it should be likewise for a pt person.

If this is the case, I would speak to a Union rep (even informally to check the situation if you aren't a member)

I am going on a first aid course that falls outside my working hours but inside the ftimers working hours.
I am fine with not being paid as I like to keep my skills up to date, but I would expect to be paid if I asked.

peggyundercrackers Tue 03-Jun-14 08:21:06

revised yes you should be treated the same as a FTE going to a course - you should be given your time back for attending. travel expenses should be paid too, you should not be paying that out of your own pocket - they should have a policy on travel as part of your working day.

londonlivvy Tue 03-Jun-14 08:21:40

I think you are very lucky with what you have and you are unreasonable to expect to be paid to go to a course which will stand you, personally, in better staid. Why should we, as taxpayers, fund you to get better trained and a better job once it's finished?

I think you were incredibly lucky with your first degree.

LIZS Tue 03-Jun-14 08:23:16

Do you also get paid study leave ? When dh did his Accountancy qualification, as part of a graduate scheme, the course was paid for but apart form study leave before each set of exams it was in his own time. dbro has his course paid but changes day off for contact time. I think a set up where it is all funded is increasingly unusual.

LaurieFairyCake Tue 03-Jun-14 08:32:22

I don't know the answer to your legal question.

I would guess that they should pay you or give you toil? Or if you have a course that week you don't go to work on one of the days to make up for it?

I hope someone comes along with a legal answer as it seems unfair that a full time worker would get paid for it and you don't.

LIZS Tue 03-Jun-14 08:36:25

Agree Laurie but you do need to be 100% sure that a FTE gets what you believe and therefore you feel disadvantaged. Are there any policy documents on the intranet /handbook.

ThatBloodyWoman Tue 03-Jun-14 08:36:48

london its not a case of what you think.
Its down to hard won laid down rules.

ThePerfectNegroni Tue 03-Jun-14 08:39:35

I am I'm the exact situation, pt working and doing a uni course. I could choose a day off in lieu or to be paid an extra day. I took the payment as I had to pay for Childcare on the extra days in uni.

SheherazadeSchadenfreude Tue 03-Jun-14 08:42:17

Jeez - all these people telling the OP she is "very lucky"! shock

I am FT and would get TOIL for evening or weekend working (or possibly overtime). You do need to be treated the same as a FT employee - have a word with your HR department. I think someone who worked for us would probably get TOIL as this is easier to work out than the overtime - I once had to pay someone pro rata for bank holidays, and he was only contracted to work 16 days a year!

Picturesinthefirelight Tue 03-Jun-14 08:43:17

I wouldn't expect to be osid& would be grateful my employer was paying for the course.

I doubt a full timer would be paid if one ofvthe course days fell on their no working day (sat/sun for example)

TightyMcTight Tue 03-Jun-14 08:43:28

Of course you shouldn't work for free on your bloody days off. What a load of rubbish saying you should be grateful! Laws were invented so that employers couldn't play the, 'you should be grateful card.' Where is the line drawn? Overtime? Weekends? That's why there are laws.

I would be saying that I would swap the days I am working to the course days and have my days off then instead. Or they pay you. It's quite simple really.

Picturesinthefirelight Tue 03-Jun-14 08:45:47

OP isn't working on her days off. She's attending a course that she asked to do- that her employer has agreed to fund.

I guess they could just say stuff it- were not funding this course.

eatmydust Tue 03-Jun-14 08:53:30

If you work for a local authority there will be a written policy somewhere...the public sector love policy statements.

I did a uni course sponsored by my public sector employer whilst I worked part time. They paid all the fees, text books and I got so many days special leave for summer schools, exams etc, although I understood the special leave would not cover all the study commitments and when I got the funding I had to sign an agreement to say I understood this. The special leave was pro rata as I was part time, worked out the same way as annual leave.

ThatBloodyWoman Tue 03-Jun-14 08:54:12

The employer will have gain -a better qualified and more knowledgeable employee.
Which benefits the tax payers who seem so envy

flowery Tue 03-Jun-14 09:08:43

I imagine the employer's argument will be the following:

-A full time employee wouldn't be paid to attend study that took place on their days off, therefore not paying the OP for study taking place on her days off would not be treating her less favourably.

-Not paying a full time employee for study time on their normal working days would result in a deduction from their pay, whereas not paying the OP for this would result in no deduction from pay for her.

-Paying the OP to attend study outside of work time would result in a net pay increase for her. Paying full time employees to attend would not result in any increase in pay, and would simply result in them not losing money, therefore by paying the OP they would be treating her more favourably than full time employees.

ThatBloodyWoman Tue 03-Jun-14 09:17:23

See, thats why we need people like you flowery grin

Makes sense when you put it like that,in this particular scenario.

flowery Tue 03-Jun-14 09:23:03


EBearhug Tue 03-Jun-14 22:49:12

At our place, if you do training which is a core part of your job, then it counts as work. But we also have a tuition assistance scheme, where you can opt to do training which isn't a core part of your job, but would help your future career. It's quite clear in the guidelines for this that you should do all the studying for this in your own time.

Obviously this isn't always possible - there will be some sessions which happen during work time, and whether you attend in your own time (i.e. have to take leave if it would normally be a work day) or your manager allows you the time is down to the manager's discretion.

(Which isn't half as helpful as what flowery said, because hers actually makes it clearer, unlike this. smile)

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