The ERDF concluded that it was the CLC that incurred the costs of providing the training, including the payment of Mr. S.`s salary, when he was not productive during the training, the trainer`s time and the operating costs. If he had remained in the job for the duration of the loans, he should not have contributed at all. The Authority found that the training obligations received could not be equated with an employment bonus. Mr. S.`s training advantage was remarkable, while CLC did not benefit directly from it. The amount of the loan was 5600 $US and lasted 11 months. The other loan was for a specific training course, the repayment period was 13 months and the amount of the training loan was $6,500. Recruitment and work-related costs, such as equipment and training, should normally be borne by the employer.
A recent labour court case, the Labour Inspector v Tech 5 Recruitment Limited, shows that attempting to recover these costs from workers could be contrary to the Wage Protection Act 1983 (EPA). The case also shows that caution should be exercised with respect to worker engagement (i.e., a worker is required to pay a sum if he or she does not remain employed for a certain period of time). If a loan agreement does not benefit the worker, it may be incompatible with the EPA. The authority also considered whether the amounts to be paid should be reduced, given that the teacher worked on part of the required benefit. He noted that the purpose of the service restitution agreement was to reimburse ABC`s costs if the bienning year was not complete. Partial costs were not mentioned in the agreement and there was no reflection or discussion on partial payments, so a full refund was required. Every worker must have a written employment contract. A training agreement should ultimately generate mutual benefits.
A benefit may be for an employee: each loan contained a statement that the employee had “read, understood and accepted the terms of the agreement.” When the employee is simply trained for the job, this is often seen only as a benefit to the company and not to the employee. In this case, it could be considered unfair and therefore illegal to bind them. However, if the worker obtains a formal qualification or an equivalent qualification recognized by the sector through training which is clearly an advantage for himself, the company has a valid case to hire him, to take advantage of the costs and investments he has suffered. For example, if Mr. S. had resigned within one month of the end of the training, he would have been required to repay 100% of the training loan. If he had resigned between 10 and 11 months, he would have been only 9% of the training loan. We find that there are cases where an employer can “hire” a worker if the employer has paid for a specific course or qualification. We recommend that employers seek advice before availing themselves of such an agreement. The employee signed a return service agreement that provided that she would continue to work for ABC for two years after graduation.