I am working for a company in the UK where I have undergone courses to help me improve my working skills.

It is written in the "Compliment Policies" on the companies website that if I leave the job less than a year after finishing one of these courses that I must pay for the total cost of the course (around a month's salary).

But in my contract nothing has been mentioned regarding "Compliment Policies".

Must I obey these policies, or because they are not stated in the contract I am allowed to leave the company without paying such cost?

I am not a law student or a lawyer, but I know of no other place where to ask this question.

  • 1
    Without the full details of your contract, it's hard to say. Consult Citizens advice, they will be able to put you in touch with a lawyer. Nov 2, 2020 at 19:09
  • What does your license say?
    – person
    Nov 2, 2020 at 20:58

2 Answers 2


if you were made aware in advance and had the option of not taking the course, yes

This is a collateral contract - a contract related to but functionally independent of your employment contract.

  • 1
    While I agree with the answer in general, there exists the possibility that labour laws limit or even forbid these clauses (for example stating that the penalty can only apply if the employee leaves in the six months after the course). Also, the stated cost of the course could be challenged if it is considered abusive.
    – SJuan76
    Nov 2, 2020 at 21:42

Depending on the exact terms of the contract, the employer may have the legal right to make deductions from your wages. Any such deductions must be "fair and reasonable" and accurately reflect the value your employer has gained from you undertaking the training.

For example, in most cases, leaving within the first year of commencing the training would likely allow the employer to recoup all of the costs of training you. However, leaving in the second year would entitle them to recoup less because they have had more time to gain value from your training.

Ultimately, it would be up to an employment tribunal to determine whether any deduction clauses for training would be fair and reasonable (and therefore valid), or a penalty clause (and therefore unlawful).

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