Training Costs Agreement in the UK: A Guide for Employers

As an employer, investing in the development of your employees is essential to improve productivity, retention, and overall business success. However, training can be costly, and it`s important to have an agreement in place to protect your company`s investment. The training costs agreement is a document that outlines the terms and conditions of training and education provided by an employer to an employee. In this article, we`ll take a closer look at training costs agreements in the UK and what employers need to know.

What is a Training Costs Agreement?

A training costs agreement is a contract between an employer and an employee that outlines the terms and conditions of training and education provided by the employer. This agreement specifies the investment made by the employer and the obligations of the employee. The document clarifies situations such as who pays for the training fees and what happens if an employee leaves the company before fulfilling the training period.

Why Do Employers Need a Training Costs Agreement?

Training costs agreements are important for employers because they can save them from potential financial losses in case employees leave the business before fulfilling the agreed training period. Imagine a scenario where an employer invests thousands of pounds into an employee`s training, and they leave the business after six months without fulfilling their obligations. In this case, the employer would have to bear the cost of the investment without seeing any return on investment. However, with a training costs agreement in place, the employer can recoup some or all of the investment, depending on the terms of the agreement.

Types of Training Costs Agreements

There are two primary types of training costs agreements in the UK. They include:

1. Absolute Obligation Agreement: This agreement stipulates that an employee must reimburse their employer for any training costs incurred if they leave their job before they fulfil the agreed training period.

2. Pro-Rata Obligation Agreement: This agreement obligates the employee to pay back a portion of the training expenses based on the time left to complete the agreed training period. For example, an employee who leaves after completing 50% of the agreed training period will pay back 50% of the training costs.

Key Considerations

Employers should consider the following when drafting a training costs agreement:

1. Be Clear: The agreement should be clear and understandable by both parties. It should clearly state who pays for the training costs, how much is paid, and when payments are made.

2. Review Reasonableness: The employer should ensure that the training costs are reasonable and commensurate with the employee`s role and responsibilities.

3. Consultation: The employer should consult with the employee before drafting and signing the agreement. Employees should have the opportunity to seek independent legal advice before signing the agreement.

4. Incentive: The employer can consider offering an incentive to employees who complete the agreed training period. This could be in the form of a pay rise or promotion.


Training is an essential investment for employers in the UK as it improves employee productivity and retention. Training costs agreements protect employers from potential financial losses when employees leave before completing the agreed training period. Employers should ensure that the agreement is clear, reasonable, and that they consult with employees before drafting and signing the document. Finally, an incentive for completion of the agreed training period can motivate employees to fulfil their obligations.