If you are leaving work and your employer wants to charge you for your training, please read on to find out what action you should take.
We often receive calls from concerned clients who have been told they are required to repay the costs of the training they have received during their employment.
Most commonly, an employer will:
a) Try deducting the training costs from your wages; and/or
b) Present you with an invoice for the training.
This blog focuses on (a) above. If your employer has presented you with an invoice for a training course, please see our blog here – https://lincslaw.co.uk/blog/can-my-employer-charge-me-for-my-training/.
Your employer can only lawfully deduct the training costs from your wages if:
- There is a clause in your contract of employment allowing your employer to make a deduction for repayment of training costs; or
- You have previously consented (in writing) to the deduction.
If either of the above conditions are not met, your employer is not entitled to deduct money from your wages.
My Employer Wants to Deduct Money From My Wages For My Training – What Should I Do?
If your employer intends to deduct money from your wages, they should notify you in advance of what amounts they intend to deduct from your salary and how they have been calculated.
In these circumstances, you should:
a) Seek Legal Advice As Soon As Possible
Firstly, we would recommend you seek legal advice as soon as possible. Here at Lincs Law Employment Solicitors, we would be delighted to help you. If you would like to understand your position in relation to the repayment of your training costs, please contact us for a no obligation, free consultation. Simply use the contact form, engage in a web chat, email email@example.com or call us on 01522 440512 and we’ll be happy to help.
b) Review Your Contract of Employment
If your employer intends to deduct money from your wages for your training, you should also check your contract of employment. If your contract of employment includes a clause allowing your employer to make a deduction for repayment of training costs, they may be entitled to lawfully make such a deduction.
However, importantly, the clause in your contract of employment must be sufficiently clear and detailed. For example, your employer is unlikely to be able to rely on a clause simply stating, “if you leave the company, you must repay any training course costs which the Company has paid for.”
As such, any clause in your contract of employment should contain information such as:
- What are the costs and exactly how have they been calculated?
- How much is to be repaid?
- What is the timescale for repayment?
- Is there a sliding scale dependant on how soon after commencing the course you leave?
- How are you expected to re-pay the sums?
- Are you required to repay course costs if the course is conducted internally by your employer?
If the clause does not include the above information, any attempt by your employer to deduct money from your wages may be unlawful.
c) Check Whether You Signed a Different Document Or Agreement
You should also check whether you signed a different document (i.e., not your contract of employment) signifying your consent for the deduction to be made.
If your employer tells you that you have provided your consent via a different document or agreement, you should ask your employer for a copy of the same (if necessary). If you have any difficulties obtaining a copy of the document, you may wish to submit a Subject Access Request (SAR) to your employer. For more information about SARs, please see our blog here – https://lincslaw.co.uk/blog/can-i-make-a-subject-access-request-to-my-employer/.
As above, if you have previously consented in writing to the deduction, your employer could lawfully deduct money from your wages.
Importantly, however, for your employer to rely on a different document or agreement, you must have:
- Been provided with clear and detailed information about the specific training course and the specific deduction in question (as above); and
- Consented in writing to that particular deduction; and
- Provided your consent before commencing the training.
Again, if the above conditions are not met, any deduction made by your employer may be unlawful.
d) Object To The Deduction
If your employer intends to deduct money from your wages, and you think it is unlawful, it is very important you object to the deduction being made.
We recommend you object in writing and in the form of a Formal Grievance. For more information about how to raise a Grievance, please see our blog here – https://lincslaw.co.uk/blog/need-to-send-a-grievance-or-complaint-to-your-employer/.
What you include in your Grievance will, of course, depend on your personal circumstances. However, generally, we would suggest you:
- Clearly label the document as a Formal Grievance and that you require your employer to initiate their Grievance Policy (or, if they do not have one, follow the ACAS Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures); and
- Acknowledge that your employer is intending to deduct money from your wages; and
- State you object to any deduction being made from your wages; and
- Explain how any deduction made by your employer would be unlawful (for example, by stating there is no clause in your contract of employment permitting them to do so).
e) If Necessary, Consider Pursuing Claim(s) in the Employment Tribunal
If your employer goes on to make a deduction from your wages, you may have a claim in the Employment Tribunal for Unlawful Deduction of Wages.
As the name suggests, a claim for Unlawful Deduction from Wages is a claim to the Employment Tribunal to recover any pay or salary which your employer has withheld and which you consider should have been paid to you.
Importantly, you must start the Employment Tribunal process for a claim of Unlawful Deduction of Wages within three months (less one day) of the date the deduction was made from your wages. You start the Employment Tribunal process by initiating ACAS Early Conciliation. More information about ACAS Early Conciliation can be found here –https://lincslaw.co.uk/blog/acas-early-conciliation-what-is-it-all-about/.
Lincs Law Employment Solicitors Can Help You
If your employer is intending to deduct money from your wages (or they have already made a deduction), we would advise you to seek legal advice as soon as possible. Here at Lincs Law Employment Solicitors, we are specialist employment solicitors, and we would be delighted to help. Please contact us for a no obligation, free consultation. Simply use the contact form, engage in a web chat, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01522 440512 and we’ll be happy to help.
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