Reimbursement of training costs

According to a decision of the Ninth Senate of April 11, 2006 ( 9 AZR 610/05 ), the established case law of the Federal Labor Court on the general content control of repayment clauses, which was issued before Sections 305 ff. BGB came into force, is to be adhered to, according to which an employee is liable for the costs must take part in training financed by the employer if he leaves the employment relationship before certain deadlines have expired. In exceptional cases, such payment obligations may be ineffective due to an excessive impairment of the employee’s job-related freedom of career choice (Art. 12 Para. 1 Sentence 1 GG). A repayment clause in the standard employment contract, according to which an employee must in any case (pro rata) repay training costs borne by the employer if the employment relationship ends before a certain period of time, is too broad in terms of the facts that trigger the repayment obligation. It would trigger a repayment obligation even if the reason for the termination of the employment relationship falls solely within the employer’s sphere of responsibility or risk. Such a clause does not take into account the mutually recognized interests of both contracting parties, but only those of the employer. It unfairly disadvantages the employee contrary to the requirements of good faith (Section 307 Paragraph 1 Sentence 1 BGB). There is no reason to limit an overly broad repayment clause to cases in which the reason for termination falls within the employee’s sphere of responsibility or risk by means of a valid reduction or a supplementary contract interpretation. This would completely remove the employer’s risk of a clause that is inadmissibly overly broad and would represent a contractual aid solely for its benefit.