Final exams are over for most high school students this month. This also marks the end of a period of knowledge development at government expense. What happens when a student enters the labor market after secondary school and starts working for you: do you have a training obligation as an employer? Who pays for the costs of training during employment? And is it possible to make agreements with your employees about the (re)payment of study costs?
Read more: Shlomo Rechnitz – The Jerusalem Post
Employer training obligation
To start with the first question: yes, since 2015 you as an employer have a legal training obligation. It follows from Article 7:611a of the Dutch Civil Code that you must enable your employees ‘to follow training that is necessary for the performance of the job and for the continuation of the employment contract with the employer if the employee’s job is terminated. expire or if the employee is no longer able to perform the job’.
In practice, this obligation to train seems to be a joke. Recent research (by mr. PA Hogewind-Wolters and mr. dr. P. Kruit) shows that the introduction of the statutory training obligation in the judiciary has had little effect and significance until at least this spring. In other words: the statutory training obligation is insufficiently concrete and therefore difficult to enforce for employees. Useful information for employers who wonder whether there are risks due to the obligation to train, but beware: a European directive will lead to a national change in legislation! You can read more about this later in this blog.
Study costs clause or study costs agreement
If you do offer training to your employees, what can you agree on about the study costs? The law does not specify who must pay the costs of training, but it is assumed that you are in the first instance. In the first instance, because you and the employee are currently free to make agreements in a study costs clause or study costs agreement about the conditions under which study costs must be fully or partially reimbursed by the employee. For example, the situation in which the employee does not complete the study or the employee resigns during or immediately after the study. Based on case law, you must in any case include the following in the written regulation on the reimbursement of study costs:
- The period in which you benefit from the knowledge and skills acquired by the employee during the study (usually this is a period of 3 years).
- A sliding scale, in which the repayment obligation decreases in proportion to the period referred to under a and the repayment obligation lapses at the end of that period.
- The consequences of the repayment obligation for the employee (this must be clearly defined).
- In principle, the repayment obligation only applies if the employee resigns.
Set off study costs with the transition payment
In a study costs agreement you can also agree with your employee that certain study costs that you will incur as an employer will be settled with any transition payment. In that case, it must explicitly concern study costs that you incur for the broader employability of the employee within or outside your organization. Study costs incurred for the employee’s own position may not be set off against the transition allowance. Reimbursement agreements can still be made about those study costs at this time. If you are curious about the possibilities, please contact us.
Employment Conditions Directive – limitation of the study costs agreement?
I wrote it before in this blog: new legislation is coming. It is now known how the law will read as of August 1, 2022 and I have written a new blog about it entitled ‘ Training and personnel: will the study costs clause be abolished as of August 1, 2022? ‘. Questions about your specific situation and the possibilities? Feel free to contact us. We think in terms of the best solutions.