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Capability Process?

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
I quit my job a month ago after I'd been with the company for 6 months. Today I've received a letter from them demanding repayment of £420 for training costs as I left within the first 12 months. In the letter it says repayment of the monies may be waived if I've been managed under the 'capability process'. Now I did get put on a performance 'plan' whilst I was there just before I left as I wasn't meeting my sales targets. They extended my probationary period because of this (they did this to all new employees). Basically the letter said I have 6 months to improve or they would terminate my employment. Sensibly (or so I thought, at that point I looked for new employment and decided to take my current job) I was just wondering if anyone knows whether being put on a performance plan comes under 'capability process'? I've tried googling the phrase, but not had any luck with finding a definition.

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm not sure that that really matters - what matters is if you agreed to such repayments on any basis. If not, then they can surely swivel for their 420 quid.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    There was mention of repaying training costs if I leave during the first 12 months in my contract. The thing which gets me is I only had 2 weeks of training and was only on part time hours (15 hours a week) The management there was terrible and when asked why I was leaving I said it was because of my manager's behaviour towards myself and colleagues. She's got a reputation for being a bully and difficult to work with and everyone in my team has been in tears at some stage because of her. In the end I just couldn't hack the way I was being treated. Also I know one lady left after 3 months because of my manager and lack of support and she wasn't made to repay anything!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    There was mention of repaying training costs if I leave during the first 12 months in my contract ... I know one lady left after 3 months because of my manager and lack of support and she wasn't made to repay anything!

    In your original contract, did you have to undergo a probationary period? In most cases, a probationary period allows either the employer or the employee to terminate the employment at any time if it isn't working out for any reason. Unless, there is some sort of misconduct or disciplinary issue, it is usually understood to be a "no blame" arrangement. Thus, if the other lady left during her probation, it is possible that she would not have been required to pay for her training.

    Your case sounds a bit spurious to me. What sort of training are we talking about? If your company were sponsoring you towards some sort of recognised transferable qualification (NVQ, specialist IT training, etc.) run by an outside agency, then they would probably be justified asking you to repay them. But, in my view, if your training was basic in-house health & safety, manual handling, equality & diversity, fire safety, and the like, then I think you could to tell them to "swivel", as Mist so eloquently put it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I agree with the concept of transferable skills, that is - if the training you recieved could then be used by you to the benefit of a competitor company, you might b liable. Either way I would try to contest it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If you were that illtreated, take them to court over it? If the other staff also have expiriences to share then you've got a case. That way you may be able to bypass paying it because the courts may understand that as your reasons for leaving.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hi everyone, thanks for the replies. The training was bog standard level entry selling skills for life insurance. I was only selling products for one bank though, so the skills aren't exactly transferable. I wouldn't say the knowledge I gained wouldn't be an issue in terms of inside competitor information. I was on a probationary period, initially for 6 months, but I think they intended to extend it by another 2 months as a result of the plan I was on. So I never 'passed' my probationary period which is why I'm hoping I have a case not to repay these fees. I know for a fact my colleague wasn't required to pay back her training fees when she left during probation, as I met up with her a couple of months after she left and we talked about it as I was unhappy and thinking of leaving.

    I haven't spoken to anyone at the bank yet about this. I was thinking of going to CAB on Monday and asking them for some advice. The said my first point of contact if I have questions should be my manager, but I don't particularly want to talk to her, so I think I'll go directly to HR.

    I could take her to court if I wanted to I guess as I know other former colleagues would back me up, but I'm trying to resolve this in the simplest fastest way to start with, so I'll speak to them and see what they have to say first.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hi everyone, thanks for the replies. The training was bog standard level entry selling skills for life insurance. I was only selling products for one bank though, so the skills aren't exactly transferable. I wouldn't say the knowledge I gained wouldn't be an issue in terms of inside competitor information. ...

    I haven't spoken to anyone at the bank yet about this. I was thinking of going to CAB on Monday and asking them for some advice. The said my first point of contact if I have questions should be my manager, but I don't particularly want to talk to her, so I think I'll go directly to HR.

    If the course was run by a centralised training department, then there was probably some cost to your branch - hence the attempt to recoup. However, they've got a bit of a nerve as, presumably, this training was essential and mandatory. The problem seems to be that you chose to leave rather than waiting to fail your probation. But the letter you were sent does seem to imply that the bank may be willing to waive the costs under certain circumstances, so I would definitely talk to HR before the CAB.

    In your dealings with HR, try not to demonise your ex-boss too much. By all means say something vague about personality differences but, unless you have documented proof of bullying incidents, I would avoid blaming her for your and others' leaving. You may be right about other people backing you up, but without concrete evidence, an employment tribunal (rather than a court) is unlikely to find in your favour. Of course, if you did document the incidents, you could, as others have said, still take action against her.
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