Your Questions Answered: Can we recoup our training costs?

By Andrew Hobbs on December 20th, 2017
  1. Termination of Employment
  2. Resignation


Can we recover training costs from an employee who has resigned? Can this cover travel and accommodation expenses for that training also?


While there is nothing stopping you from requesting the refund, in the absence of a contractual clause or a term of any relevant modern award or enterprise agreement stating that an employee must repay the cost of any training course if they resign within a certain number of months of being enrolled in the course, the employee has no legal obligation to make the refund.

Depending on the terms of the employee’s contract or any relevant modern award, you may be able to withhold the amount of the ‘debt’ (i.e. the training costs) payable from monies otherwise owed to the employee on termination of employment. However, beyond an express term authorising you to do so, you cannot legally do this without the employee’s consent.

Therefore, your only option is to request the refund and hope the employee agrees to pay it or to sue the employee to recover the amounts.

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