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What is The Training Obligation and How Do You Deal With it

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The Work and Security Act has major consequences for labor law. Few entrepreneurs are aware that this law also contains a training obligation. Expert Elly Huijs explains what this obligation entails and also gives some tips.

The Work and Security Act states the following about the training obligation:

'The employer enables the employee to follow training that's necessary for the performance of his job and, to the extent that can reasonably be expected of him, for the continuation of the employment contract if the employee's job ends or he doesn't longer able to fulfill it. "

The training obligation complements the concept of being a good employer. The obligation, which applies from 1 July 2015, must ensure that employers start training their staff more. According to the government, this is necessary because people work longer. For this they have to be broad and long-term deployable. They achieve this by, among other things, developing skills and gaining new knowledge.

Insufficient training

If an employee is of the opinion that he isn't receiving sufficient training, it's possible that he will address his employer or even go to court to claim compliance. Whether the employer meets the training obligation will have to be examined on a case-by-case basis. The words 'necessary' and 'reasonably' provide some room for maneuver, whereby all circumstances of the case are taken into account in the assessment.

In addition, you'll soon not be able to dismiss an employee who isn't functioning properly for that reason if you haven't complied with the training obligation. This too is therefore a reason to take the training obligation into account.

Of course there are several reasons why training is important for you as an entrepreneur. Training, for example, makes your company attractive for new employees. In addition, you can deduct training costs from the transition allowance under certain conditions.

Termination of employment

You'll owe the transition payment from 1 July 2015 on termination of employment for two years or longer, unless the employee agrees to the termination. You may deduct the so-called transition costs and employability costs from the reimbursement under certain conditions. This includes the costs of (retraining) training or an outplacement process in the event of dismissal. Or the costs that you incur to promote employability outside the company.

The government is currently considering the exact rules on this. But if you're allowed to deduct the costs from the transition payment, then it's certain that you must explicitly record this and that the employee must agree to this in writing before the costs are incurred.

To confirm an appointment

It's advisable to record all agreements when training staff. And is it about (extra) training that's not covered by the training obligation? Write down on paper what costs you bear, what costs the employee may have to bear and what the criteria for reimbursement are.

Arrange with a study cost clause or training cost clause whether and when the employee must reimburse the training costs. This clause must contain a sliding scale, which means that you limit it in time. As time passes, the employee must pay back a smaller portion. And if you have benefited sufficiently from the training, you'll no longer be entitled to reimbursement of the costs.

Example

Suppose someone starts following a course or training that you have benefited sufficiently from after three years. Then you can, for example, agree that he must repay 100 percent when leaving employment in the first year after completing the training. In the second year he pays 50 percent, in the third year 25 percent and from the fourth year nothing.

In any case, keep the proof of training in the personnel file. You can use this to prove later that you have complied with the training obligation. Think of invoices as well as diplomas and certificates.

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