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Tricky and urgent question regarding contracts

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Howdy All,


Some time ago (August 2013) my employer issued a new contract for us to sign. Due to a few ammendments being required I have not been required to sign the contract until now.


The problem with the new contract is that it includes a clause where I agree to reimburse my employer for any courses and expenses incurred if I leave within 2 years of that course being taken, and agree to deductions being made from any outstanding wages. Now I have had to do a number of courses necessary for the job (merchant navy officer) and along with accomodation the company will likely have spent a good few thousand on me.


Unfortunately the company is rather poor and I am planning to hand my notice in within the next 2 months. Now The question I have is will this clause apply to any of the courses I took prior to when I sign and date the new contract, or will (as I am presuming) the previous contract apply.


The contract states that the agreement comes into effect on August 20th 2013, I have done courses since that date, but have still been working under my previous contract.


Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

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Basically, if you haven't signed it, they have no recourse against you.


If you've already taken the courses, without agreeing to reimburse the company, they can't retrospectively enforce such a term. It is worth expressly pointing out to them, in writing, that you are refusing to sign the new contract as you don't agree with the insertion of the new recoupment clause. That way, there is no ambiguity.


However, if you do sign the new contract, then depending on the wording, they may be able to pursue you for the full amount, even prior to signing - it depends on the context.


Your best bet is to refuse to sign and object to the term, as above.

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Standard procedure to require repayments of training cost particularly in the " care industry ".

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As becky said don't sign and counter asking for a grandfather clause (everything done before signing no claim back, anything after fair game)


this in my view is a reasonable request but from an employers eye they have as much right to say this should have been raised in Aug13 and too much time has passed so no and implement it. If you then leave and they attempt recovery only a court can say yes or no to you repaying. Some companies let these things slide on leaving, other pursue you relentlessly

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If I'm reading your post correctly, you haven't been required to sign the amended terms and conditions until now given an apparent need for some amendments; that being the case, I'd have thought that a request that the requirement for reimbursement start date should be dated closer to the time of actual acceptance of the new terms would be viewed as reasonable since your refusal to accept the new terms would put the employer into the same position except with more acrimony and amendment of the date on the terms and cons would provide the safety net that they're looking for, which is to say you won't be able to expend any more company time and money on training without offering some form of commitment.


Sorry about the Victor Hugo sentence but I think that the question has already been answered correctly by other posters although it occurred to me that an amended date might be something to consider offering since it's reasonable and non contentious.

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