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My partner has recently been on a training course (paid for by the company, a substantial amount of money) with the caveat that she'll have to repay it (entirely or just part of it) if she leaves the company before a certain amount of time.

She's also planning to go on maternity leave at some point in the near future, would the time spent in maternity leave still count towards the time required to eliminate the debt towards the company?

I understand it'd be best to directly ask the company, but we'd like to avoid that for now, so I'm asking this from a purely legal point of view.

Her employment contract doesn't say anything about training or repayments, that thing was simply stated in a document she signed before starting the training, which also didn't mention anything about leave.

This is the UK, and she's a European citizen.

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The agreement she signed is a collateral contract to her employment contract and would be perfectly legal.

On plain reading, if the period were for a 6 months and she stayed with the company for more than 6 months (on leave or otherwise) then she would not be required to repay. However, a court is not just interested in the plain reading of the document, they are interested in what was agreed. Nothing was explicitly agreed about maternity leave. A court will ask, if the parties had contemplated a large chunk of the period being taken by maternity leave, what would they have agreed about that?

It could go either way.

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