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Staff Repaying Training Costs


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Hi, I know it has previously been mentioned on here that in some settings staff are asked to repay training costs if they leave the setting within a certain amount of time.

 

What I need to know is how you communicate this to staff - is it in their contracts, or in the handbook, and how it works, i.e. is it a percentage per year, etc?

 

I'm thinking particularly of things like 1st Aid that a staff member can take to another setting.

 

The reason I ask is that we booked a staff member onto some statutory training, she is now leaving, but it was too late to cancel the training. Luckily she has said that for good will she will cover the cost, but otherwise we would have been a substantial amount out of pocket, as it was a 2 day course.

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I used to work in a nursery that did this.

 

We had to sign that we agreed to it in the policies book; it was also a separate sheet that made up part of our contracts (like an appendix) and was also in the employee handbook.

 

That particular nursery did have a tendency to make you sign for something repeatedly! I think anyone of the ways I mentioned would be fine though.

 

The policy for there was that we had to pay the full amount for any training costs incurred (including staff cover) if we left within a year of undertaking the training.

 

To be honest it didn't help to make staff stay (as was the intention in this nursery) but instead made the staff not go on any training, which is never good.

 

Is there no way that you could get a 'deal' on training to try and cut costs. Another nursery I worked at was able to take advantage of a scheme from the LSC that meant that any staff registered could do any training course that was covered by the scheme for a one-off payment of £35 per person. I ended up doing over 10 courses.

 

Hope this helps

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I'm not even sure if we have anything like that, but its also very rare that we pay for training. We only have to pay if we register and then dont turn up.

I suppose you might have to pay staff cover, but we alsways used committee memebrs to cover stuff like that so even then we didnt have to spend anything.

Its something I can look into though, along with everything else happening at the moment!

:o

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I asked our local council about this a year or so back when some of our staff were under taking lengthy training (it was subsidised) but we were told that we could not put any clause in as they would be using the training probably to benefit another setting. It really wasnt an issue as far as I was concerned it was more if we had to pay the council back.

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Thanks for the responses.

 

This particular training is not council run, but is mandatory.

 

It would have cost us £80 plus 2 days cover, so about £180 in total. This is a LOT of money for a charity run setting like ours.

 

What if someone were to do the training with us, and then go and work at a private nursery? That wouldn't benefit the state system at all.

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What if someone were to do the training with us, and then go and work at a private nursery? That wouldn't benefit the state system at all.

But if you're a Privatete Voluntary or Independent setting then you're not part of the State system either - except in the very broadest sense that you are offering the free entitlement. As a privately owned group I couldn't withstand that kind of loss.

 

I don't think the argument put forward by ROLLERCOASTER's LA stacks up personally. We pay our staff to go on training that will benefit our settings and our children, so I think we do have the right to reclaim training costs if they leave shortly afterwards. Obviously when funds allow we can decide to write the money off if we choose, but if we are seriously out of pocket (especially if we then have to arrange for other staff to be trained or for the new person to be trained) then we almost have a duty to do so.

 

The only proviso is that obviously we need to make this clear and get signed agreement from the staff member before undertaking the training. I've heard so many times that people have been asked to pay back training costs when they leave but have never been told about this before!

 

Sounds like you had a narrow escape there, SuzieC8 and that you're doing everything to ensure you won't find yourself in that situation in the future!

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Guest jenpercy
But if you're a Privatete Voluntary or Independent setting then you're not part of the State system either - except in the very broadest sense that you are offering the free entitlement. As a privately owned group I couldn't withstand that kind of loss.

 

I don't think the argument put forward by ROLLERCOASTER's LA stacks up personally. We pay our staff to go on training that will benefit our settings and our children, so I think we do have the right to reclaim training costs if they leave shortly afterwards. Obviously when funds allow we can decide to write the money off if we choose, but if we are seriously out of pocket (especially if we then have to arrange for other staff to be trained or for the new person to be trained) then we almost have a duty to do so.

 

The only proviso is that obviously we need to make this clear and get signed agreement from the staff member before undertaking the training. I've heard so many times that people have been asked to pay back training costs when they leave but have never been told about this before!

 

Sounds like you had a narrow escape there, SuzieC8 and that you're doing everything to ensure you won't find yourself in that situation in the future!

 

i agree with HappyMaz - charityrun settings should not assume that they are the only ones with money problems. As a matter of fact I converted an after-school club from a charity with church trustees (and parents) and it cost me plenty. As soon as the church members were no longer on the committee, they more than doubled our rent (without telling me and I had just appointed an additional member of staff no less. At the same time we were no longer entitled to many grants - no one wanted to volunteer (well to be fair that was the reason why we had to convert from charity in first place). Ended up making a loss that year instead of ticking over.

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Guest jenpercy
i agree with HappyMaz - charityrun settings should not assume that they are the only ones with money problems. As a matter of fact I converted an after-school club from a charity with church trustees (and parents) and it cost me plenty. As soon as the church members were no longer on the committee, they more than doubled our rent (without telling me and I had just appointed an additional member of staff no less. At the same time we were no longer entitled to many grants - no one wanted to volunteer (well to be fair that was the reason why we had to convert from charity in first place). Ended up making a loss that year instead of ticking over.

 

forgot to sat that you are not allowed to make any deductinos from wages including any holday taken beyond entitlement unless it is in your contract. As this is the major way of getting anything back, you should have this in your contracts with specifics of what money you wnt back.

 

We don't normally bother about the statutory courses but if we end up having to contribute to NVQ or new equivalent that would be different

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Gosh, I'd always thought of myself as part of the state system! I can see your reasoning, Maz, but given that our only aim is to deliver the entitlement, and reinvest any excess money (I wish!) for the benefit of the children/setting, we are I think basically the 'big society' delivering the state entitlement.

 

I would never assume that charity run settings are the only ones with money problems, Jen. In fact, I can't honestly see how privately run settings could ever make money from this, and I suspect most are in it pretty much purely for the love of the job and the children. It's certainly not a licence to print money, is it!!?

 

I think perhaps the main issue here is that our LA is not providing first aid training and is asking settings to pay a big amount without a reasonable cancellation policy (it was 21 days or more so we had no chance of cancelling in time).

 

I certainly wouldn't want to put staff off going on training and if that might happen I think I'd rather we took the hit.

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Herein lies the problem with the underfunding of the 'free' entitlement - we are all part of Mr Cameron's big society whether we like it or not. Excess money would indeed be a luxury. In fact a salary would be a luxury at the moment! :o

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In can see both sides but I must admit we just paid for a lot of training for 2 employees who handed in their notice very soon afterwards but I rather the preschool take the cost of this. We are charity run and every penny counts but I feel that staff do have to have some incentive to do these training courses and if they decide to leave then its our hard luck.

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Guest jenpercy
In can see both sides but I must admit we just paid for a lot of training for 2 employees who handed in their notice very soon afterwards but I rather the preschool take the cost of this. We are charity run and every penny counts but I feel that staff do have to have some incentive to do these training courses and if they decide to leave then its our hard luck.

 

Once upon a time, the first aid course was 4 hours, and I sent all the staff. Now it's 12 hours cos we have to know all about babies, who we rarely see. Now I pay for the minimum number of staff to do this training that I can get away with as the cost has more than doubled.

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Hi

 

We are a PVI pre-school with 6 staff. All our staff sign a apendix to their contracts which states that they pay back 100% of costs if leaving within 12 months and 50% of costs if leaving within 24 months. We only enforce this for high cost training (NVQ etc), not the £10 costs for things that our LA charges for most courses.

 

I have never had a problem with this and I have not found that this has put off staff from completing training. In fact in the ten years I have run the pre-school I have only had to charge any training costs to anyone leaving once. Don't know if this is because staff tend to staff for long lengths of time though :o . Saying that I am having to recruit at the moment (1st in 3 years) and I find it so frustrating.

 

Pam

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Welcome to the Forum Pam, and congratulations on making your first post.

 

Its good to hear your experience, and interesting that staff aren't put off attending training even though they know that if they leave within the next two years they will be expected to repay some of the costs!

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We are similar to Pam in that it is written into our contracts that we repay a certain percentage after 6 months, 12 months and 18 months.

 

My deputy has left today but the committee decided not to ask her to pay back anything (only would have been £50 ish) because they thought it was a bit petty and would cause bad feeling - but she knew it was in the contract. This included a First aid course in October which obviously benefits her next setting for nearly 3 years. She was also a Forest School leader (trained whilst employed by us but when grants were available) so we are now having to train another staff member at a cost of £1000 to the setting which luckily the committee are prepared to fund. She assures me she is not planning on leaving in the near future but who knows what the future can bring, family circs can change.....

 

We are also paid for attending courses which is more expensive than the actual course in some cases (First Aid for example) so I want to look at having a clause added to the contract about repaying wages for attending courses too.

 

Jo

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Guest jenpercy
We are similar to Pam in that it is written into our contracts that we repay a certain percentage after 6 months, 12 months and 18 months.

 

My deputy has left today but the committee decided not to ask her to pay back anything (only would have been £50 ish) because they thought it was a bit petty and would cause bad feeling - but she knew it was in the contract. This included a First aid course in October which obviously benefits her next setting for nearly 3 years. She was also a Forest School leader (trained whilst employed by us but when grants were available) so we are now having to train another staff member at a cost of £1000 to the setting which luckily the committee are prepared to fund. She assures me she is not planning on leaving in the near future but who knows what the future can bring, family circs can change.....

 

We are also paid for attending courses which is more expensive than the actual course in some cases (First Aid for example) so I want to look at having a clause added to the contract about repaying wages for attending courses too.

 

Jo

 

I don't think you can ask staff to repay wages for attending training. If it is your policy to pay for this - you can't take wages back

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Well I thought there would probably be a reason we couldn't do it! Its a bit annoying though when people ask to go on courses not entirely essential to their roles at the same time as actively looking for another job, as it subsequently turned out.

 

Jo

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We've a clause in our cotracts about paying back money for courses if we leave the setting.

 

If I left now, I'd be in an intersting position - 90% of my foundation degree BA money is paid from by the LEA, and I'd have to pay that back to the LEA if not employed in the PVI sector in my county - the other 10% is paid by my setting, so I'd have to pay that back. But the setting have had a grant from LEA of more than the 10% becasue I've been doing them... Just as well I'm not planning to leave!

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