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Further Education Policy

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We currently pay course fees for staff who do further education courses either professional qualifications or home study. We contribute 50% of the course fees and the beginning of the course and the re-imburse the student the remaining 50% once they have passed the qualification. I am looking to develop a policy whereby staff who either drop out or leave the company whilst studying for a course or leave withing 12 months of completing have to pay the company back. I would be really grateful for copies of other company policies or suggestions on what to include. Unfortunately, I don’t have the resources to pay for professional advice or for someone to develop the policy for me. my email address is [email protected]
Vivienne Holmes

3 Responses

  1. Retention/Loyalty
    I have always felt that adding a payback clause to training emparts the provision of the initial funds with a negative emphasis. It gives the impression that you will only provide the training if they stay and amortise the costs. A better approach may be to use a “loyalty points” system where employees who have shown “loyalty” to the company (either in time served or in work ethic, and based on their development plan outcomes) get their training paid in full and up front. This gets around the legal issues of pay-back, and emparts a trust to the employee to do his/her stuff and pass the course. If the environment shows trust, professionalism and a commitment to valuable training, you won’t have a problem with retention. I work for a major Danish software house that has a low staff turnover, and of those who have left in the past 5 years, many have returned – it is the environment that promotes retention, not the rules.

  2. Pay back

    Please do visit the http://www.lawzone.co.uk site before implementing any policy that requests pay back for training. The law has changed in this area and any restrictions in the movement of workers who stay put because they feel they can't afford to move is problematic. In addition you also have to consider the unlawful deduction of salary as if you have a policy and someone leaves you will deduct that which your organisation considers is owed under the terms of the payback from final salary. This has caused a wealth of cases in the employment tribunals and damages fall to the employee not the employer. Please do get some legal advice before you implement any policy the costs to you if you get it wrong may be far more than the training fees you have expended.

  3. We have a policy which asks staff to pay back fees.
    For some reason this policy is not on our system, so I can’t e-mail it. This is what it says about re-funding.

    Refunding due to leaving the Society.

    Should an individual leave the society either voluntarily or having been dismissed before completing the course/programme, the costs incurred must be repaid to the Society.

    should an individual leave within 2 years successful completion, re-imbursement of costs incurred will be require as follows:

    within 12 months 50%
    13 – 18 months 25%
    19 – 24 months 10% and after 24 months 0.

    We ask people to complete a form and sign to this, which also gives us the authority to deduct any re-imbursement due to the Society from their last wage.

    At the Society we offer the full costs of the programme/course, £100 towards books, a mentor and also study leave of up to 1.5 days perexam. We only offer day release to those under 18.

    Hope this helps

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