The study cost clause
By law (Article 7:611a of the Civil Code) you are already obliged to offer training to employees if it is necessary for them to perform in their function. In the study cost clause it is often agreed that the employee will refund (a part of) the study costs at the termination of the employment contract. As of August 1st, 2022, the rules regarding recovering study costs will be more stringent. This has consequences for reclaiming the costs incurred upon leaving employment. Costs for mandatory training includes, for example, textbooks, study fees, examination fees and travel expenses. As of August 1st, 2022, you may no longer charge the employee for training that is required by law or collective agreement. There is no transitional law. This means that existing study cost clauses for mandatory training are null and void as of that date.
Mandatory training free of charge
If the training qualifies as mandatory, the employer must cover all related costs. In addition, the training must as far as possible take place during working hours and the training time will be considered as working time.
The change applies only to training that is qualified as necessary for a job by law or collective agreement. For example, the mandatory training for a safety officer, members of a Works Council, but also training for an improvement program. Training that employees are required to attend in order to obtain, retain of renew a professional qualification are excluded, unless otherwise stated in the collective agreement.
For other exceptions (it is not easily answered whether an exception might apply) we recommend employers to seek legal advice in a timely manner.
Customize your legal documents
As a result of this change in law, many existing or future clauses must be changed. Check which training regulations applies within your organisation. The study cost clause may be found in the employment contract, but also in the staff regulation. Make a distinction between mandatory and non-mandatory training and replace the existing clause with one that complies with the new law. Also specify that mandatory training should take place as much as possible during regular working hours. If the training takes place outside regular working hours, you must establish how these additional working hours will be administered.
Our lawyers can assist in drafting a valid study cost clause. Please do not hesitate to contact us!