For example, if an employer sends someone on a course that costs the employer $2,000 and the worker leaves his or her job immediately after the end of the course, the employer has not benefited from his investment and could, through a duly drawn-in agreement, legally recover the $2,000. However, if the worker left his or her job after 3 years, then the employer clearly has the benefits of the training for 3 years, so that if they try to recover the $2000, that would be unenforceable, because it would not reflect the loss of the employer. It would probably not be applicable either, given that these are trade restrictions, and we will look at that below. However, if the agreement is properly developed, the employer can generally recover some of the costs of a magnitude that decreases over time, so that after one year after the price closes, for example, they must repay 50% and nothing after 2 years. The numbers on the sliding scale depend on the costs associated with them, and we can discuss them when developing agreements. Before sending their team for training, many companies ask their employees to sign a training contract that is designed to reimburse investments in their training if they leave before a certain period of time. As has already been said, the other basis on which reimbursement of training costs cannot be imposed if it is restreignable. Courts will allow employers to protect their legitimate business interests, for example by imposing well-developed and reasonable post-employment restrictions, but they will not allow employers to unduly warn a worker who changes jobs if they wish. The provisions relating to the reimbursement of training places, even if it is a real estimate of the injury, can be considered a commercial restriction if they prevent the worker`s change of employment. Certainly, it seems likely that the type of provisions allegedly introduced by people like Capita would lead to workers leaving their jobs, so that they can be considered unenforceable.
Having a well-trained workforce is in the interest of all – employers, workers, and for the good of the economy as a whole. Employers have long invested significant amounts of money in training their workforce, but as the cost of training increases and workers tend to relocate more often than in the past, many employers are reluctant to invest large sums in training workers, who then move around and can take advantage of the skills acquired by the worker. One way to reduce the risk of workers leaving school shortly after leaving or, at the very least, reducing the financial cost of leaving is to require the employee to reimburse some or all of the training costs to the employer. The second thing to think about when implementing training agreements is the idea of „trade restriction.“ As we have already said, training agreements are designed to protect businesses from losing their investments – but the law will not allow an employer to use them to unreasonably prevent someone from changing jobs. Not only would your company not be able to benefit from paid training in the short term, but it could also, in the end, pay again for the same training if it makes a replacement. Factor in the lower costs inherent in any recruitment process and you can see how this could possibly leave a small business in a really difficult position. Here, too, it is above all a question of putting this balance in order. The training agreement model provided above will do the job in most cases – but sometimes you need more specialized assistance.