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Employer Refusing to Pay for Training they Organised + Pay Review Issue

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Hi everyone,

 

I appreciate any help you can give - I have two questions:

 

1. My son was employed as an apprentice Gas and Heating Engineer and was sent on day release to college - all good. After some months, he was no longer on day release for various reasons, including that he no longer wanted to attend as he discovered a different course he could do that would be more beneficial. Shortly after, he was then TUPE'd over to another company and in September of this year, he attended a course to become a qualified Gas & Heating Engineer. During his course, his company was taken over by a larger company and once again, he has been TUPE'd over. He passed his exams in December and has been informed by his company that until he gets his certificates through, he cannot be classed as fully qualified - they do know he has passed.

 

He attended college on Wednesday to do a days course and discovered that the reason he has not yet received his certificates is because his company are refusing to pay the course fees - no-one told him this. He has spoken to his line manager and nothing is being done about it - he is getting nowhere with his line manager.

 

My question here is - can they refuse to pay the fees, even though they sent him on the course?

 

2. Also, he is still earning the same salary as he was an an apprentice - £4.98 per hour. He has no new contract, despite being TUPE'd over to two different companies and is being paid minimum wage. He is fully qualified and the average salary for his skill set is around £35k.

 

He has spoken to his line manager and the manager above him about a pay rise as he has a company van; his own workload and works solely alone now. His line manager today told him that his payrise has been put on hold by the new company and cannot advise him of how long he will have to wait. He has tried to speak to HR, but to no avail.

 

We have tonight, drafted a letter to the HR department, hoping that someone might contact him. We have asked for a copy of the grievance policy as, despite asking his line manager many times, he has never received a copy.

 

My question here is - all his fellow workers are earning three times the amount he is and he does exactly the same work. Can we do anything about this?

 

Anything you can help me with is greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks in advance.

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there is no right to equal pay but he shiuld be on NMW if he is not classed as an apprentice any more.

 

How much are the college fees? is it worth just paying them to get it done with? Then claim from the company at an ET.

 

TBH if my apprentice decided what courses he was and wasn't doing I'd be seeing if he had breached his contract.... "No longer wanted to attend" would not come into it.

 

Now. what has he actually put in writing, rather than talking to people? You need an audit trail here for evidence.


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Thanks Emmzzi for replying.

 

there is no right to equal pay but he shiuld be on NMW if he is not classed as an apprentice any more.

 

How much are the college fees? is it worth just paying them to get it done with? Then claim from the company at an ET.

 

TBH if my apprentice decided what courses he was and wasn't doing I'd be seeing if he had breached his contract.... "No longer wanted to attend" would not come into it.

 

Now. what has he actually put in writing, rather than talking to people? You need an audit trail here for evidence.

 

1. He is on NMW

2. The fees are £2k - he cannot afford this and unfortunately, neither can I.

3. The decision to no longer attend his course was not made alone and reversely, was fully supported by his employer. Long story short, the course was not right for the career path that both the employer and he had wanted for him.

4. Until yesterday, nothing was put in writing which is why I told him he should write to HO HR department.

 

Is this just what we should be doing and can do no more - or can we do something more?

 

Many thanks again....

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See what response you get to putting it in writing.

 

Does he have a formal apprenticeship agreement? What does it say about end of training period?


Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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PS straight off an apprenticeship on £35K? I think not. He's light about 5 years experience.... *a* pay rise, yes. But don't give him unrealistic expectations.


Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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See what response you get to putting it in writing.

 

Does he have a formal apprenticeship agreement? What does it say about end of training period?

 

He only has a contract of employment from a few years ago - given to him by the original employer. Since been TUPE'd twice.

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PS straight off an apprenticeship on £35K? I think not. He's light about 5 years experience.... *a* pay rise, yes. But don't give him unrealistic expectations.

 

You would think so right? But the other guy that was an apprentice and passed his exams (the year before my son), got put straight on to the same salary as the other people. They do the same work load regardless of experience. My son is left on call by himself without supervision and all work is divided equally.

 

Thanks again.

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if he doesn't have an actual appremtieship agreement, then he's not an apprentice. note he isn't on an apprentice wage either.

 

as such the training contract is purely between employer and college and he can't make them pay.

 

He also can't force his employer to train him.

 

And as he is not being discriminated against on grounds of gender, race etc - he has no right to equal pay.

 

I would seriously find any way at all to pay for the training to get the certificate - then change employers. He could be chasing round a lot of former employers trying to etsbalish liability here, and in that time his earnings at a higher rate are flying on past.

 

it's not fair. But it's pragmatic.


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I do not know of any training college that does not require an enrolment form in advance of the course, and setting out how fees will be paid. If your son was booked onto this course, but the fees have not yet been paid, it would indicate that the employer signed it off to be invoiced later as a debtor. The college will have terms and conditions to withhold certificates until the course is fully paid. If it was the student they would have expected funds in advance or an instalment arrangement. You need to ask the college for a copy of the enrolment form and this will clarify who is liable for the fees. It sounds like the employer are, for your son to have been accepted on the course on credit.

 

If after seeing a copy of the proof of debt the employer refuse to pay, I would suggest you try to arrange an easy payment plan and sue the employer through a small claims court or ET.

Edited by Pusillanimous

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on what grounds would they sue the employer? There is no documented agreement they will pay for training and son is no worse off than if the trainig didnt happen?


Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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Hi Pusillanimous,

 

I do not know of any training college that does not require an enrolment form in advance of the course, and setting out how fees will be paid. If your son was booked onto this course, but the fees have not yet been paid, it would indicate that the employer signed it off to be invoiced later as a debtor. The college will have terms and conditions to withhold certificates until the course is fully paid. If it was the student they would have expected funds in advance or an instalment arrangement. You need to ask the college for a copy of the enrolment form and this will clarify who is liable for the fees. It sounds like the employer are, for your son to have been accepted on the course on credit.

 

If after seeing a copy of the proof of debt the employer refuse to pay, I would suggest you try to arrange an easy payment plan and sue the employer through a small claims court or ET.

 

Yes, the employer attended the interview at college with him and booked the course for him. They raised a purchase order and provided the numberto the college as evidence of intention to pay. Now he has completed the course, it appears the purchase order has not been approved...

 

I will go to the college Monday and see if I can get a copy of the enrolment form.

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on what grounds would they sue the employer? There is no documented agreement they will pay for training and son is no worse off than if the trainig didnt happen?

 

Hi again,

 

I do get your point - it seems that this could be quite a mooted subject - I will see if I can gather funds to pay myself. I have told him to start looking for another employer. It just seems a shame because he loves his job and takes great pride in it too.

 

Many thanks

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Sorry,

 

I should also mention that his contract of emloyment states that he is an apprentice - but yes they did pay him more than a minimum apprentice salary.

 

Not sure this makes a difference?

 

Thank you

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Hi Pusillanimous,

 

 

 

Yes, the employer attended the interview at college with him and booked the course for him. They raised a purchase order and provided the numberto the college as evidence of intention to pay. Now he has completed the course, it appears the purchase order has not been approved...

 

I will go to the college Monday and see if I can get a copy of the enrolment form.

 

You do not need to worry. The fact he had day release, the e'er booked the course but then omitted to pay means they are liable for the debt. The enrolment form will no doubt have the signature of the person who approved his attendance, on behalf of the e'er.

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Yes, it does make a difference as apprentices have special employment rights. Hence my question back at post 4 :)


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You do not need to worry. The fact he had day release, the e'er booked the course but then omitted to pay means they are liable for the debt. The enrolment form will no doubt have the signature of the person who approved his attendance, on behalf of the e'er.

 

Fantastic news - thank you.

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Yes, it does make a difference as apprentices have special employment rights. Hence my question back at post 4 :)

 

 

Sorry Emmzzi - I misunderstood your question. I thought you meant an apprenticeship agreement was a different document to the contract of employment.

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It is an extended version of a contract of employment. The employer gets funding for the apprentice and in return agrees to day release and funding of study. If it isnlt all documented they can call it what they like but he isn't an apprentice.

 

I think you could do with having a lawyer look at it. Do your CAB have a legal advisor?


Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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It is an extended version of a contract of employment. The employer gets funding for the apprentice and in return agrees to day release and funding of study. If it isnlt all documented they can call it what they like but he isn't an apprentice.

 

I think you could do with having a lawyer look at it. Do your CAB have a legal advisor?

 

I will take a look and see what I can gather from it. They did get funding for him to begin with. Originally, he was placed in this workplace by the college - they helped him find this job.

 

To be honest, every time I have visited our local CRB, it is shut - even during their opening hours...

 

As he earns so little, he may be entitled to legal aid so I think I will see if we can get a lawyer to look at it if you think that is best.

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I think it'd be best to get a contracts specialist to have a look, yes.


Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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The government has a pay and work rights helpline that is an 0800 number. Worth giving them a call. your son it now eminently employable but he will need his certificate so speak to the college about that. It is normal to withold the issue of them if there is a debt. The college wont like suing employers who send people on courses because that is bad for future business but they do have a lot of leverage because as mentioned, many modern apprenticeships are partially funded by government and the college has a financial interest in this as well as the employer, so they can make noises about informing HMG about the non-payment and obtaining government funding under false pretences etc to get the recalcitrant employer to play ball.

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