A friend of mine worked as a delivery driver.
During his employment, the company arranged for him to undertake driver training and a test to enable him to drive larger vehicles.
He signed an agreement requiring him to repay the training costs if he left within two years.
On that document was the phrase "total training costs £2000" below the signatures.
Three days after the agreement was signed (and before the training actually took place)
he had an assessment session with the external driver training provider who said his ability was such that only a few training sessions were needed,
and the total cost of the training and examination (which he passed) came to c £950.
He left the company seven months after the agreement was signed and expected to have to repay the £950.
However, the company is claiming £2000 "because that was what he signed for".
He has refused to pay more than the actual cost incurred and now has received a solicitor's letter demanding the £2000.
I have read about re-claim of training costs and understand any reclaim must be based on "a genuine pre-estimate of costs",
and that anything above that may be deemed a penalty and thus not legally enforceable.
In this instance the actual costs were less than half of that estimate and were known before the training was undertaken.
Paying anything more than £950 would mean not only does the company contribute nothing to training,
but they also make a profit from it!
Where do you think he stands legally on this?
Secondly, I understand that such repayment agreements should include a sliding scale,
so the amount reclaimed reduces over time to reflect the value the company gets from the training.
This agreement had a sliding scale but it was very back-skewed
- 100% repayable up to 18 months,
75% up to 21 months,
50% up to 24 months.
they had just over six months of value from his ability to drive their larger vehicles
but the sliding scale makes no reflection of that.
Again, does that stand up legally?