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Training bonds - enforceable or not?

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Training bonds - enforceable or not?

Old 12th Sep 2019, 12:53
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by RVF750 View Post
True cost of a type rating with hotel accomodation, three weeks of ground school and 10 4 hour FFS sessions would I think still be be about 10,000 or so. Any more is just profiteering. As to bonds. I joined my last company DEC and type rated and experienced. 4,000 over two years. Covered OCC and 4 Sim sessions. Can't complain at all.
I'm doing a bonded type rating on a regional turboprop and I've seen the invoice of what my airline are paying the TR provider (my bond is a lot less though), it's over double your estimate, not including hotel accommodation, meal allowances and flights they're also forking out on

I do think it's poor form for people to bail out on companies who bond candidates rather than ask for up front fees, we are the first to criticise airlines who charge for the rating. Those bonding people should be commended, not left with a bitter taste in their mouths and managers determined to make every future pilot pay.
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Old 12th Sep 2019, 14:33
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Kennytheking View Post
I believe most of the employers of this ilk have moved to PTF schemes anyway, so probably a moot point.
Guess why

Originally Posted by Kennytheking View Post
My second point, is that there are many reasons for leaving a company, many of them induced by the employer side and there is no reason why they should profit off me for their actions. In my case, it was a command that never materialised. When the company recruits you, they make certain statements that will induce you to enter into a contract with them. In my case, had the company said to me that I would join them as a F/O with no prospect of an upgrade due to internal politics, I would not have entered into the contract. Whilst I will unhappily pay my dues, I will not support them making a profit off my training bond, because of their misrepresentation. Had I gotten my upgrade and willingly chosen to leave for a greener pastures, I would have no issue with paying the full bond. In my case I went back to the job I had previously........
What company guarantees you a upgrade? (not only in aviation)
Did they bond you for the upgrade that never materialize? Did you pay for it? Was the upgrade part of the written contract?

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Old 12th Sep 2019, 14:46
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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Some thoughts:

Airlines like training bonds ( or similar ) but do not want to get involved in litigation.

I flew for an airline whose bond was complete fiction. It was ill thought out and there were at least three different break downs of 'costs' which had been put together by Chief Pilot, Finance Director etc, all were at complete variance to one another. Due to high turnover of pilots before the expiry of the three year period, the Company was very keen to be insist upon repayment of bonds. It reached a point where they did deals with some pilots in which costs were reduced in secret if the pilot told his mates that he had paid in full. Costs have to be reasonable, if not, a Court of Law could take a dim view. Balpa were itching for a fight with this particular outfit but as far as I know, nobody volunteered to be a test case.

It is my understanding that NOT signing a training bond will not make such a bond invalid per se because acceptance of a position and subsequent employment would be interpreted as acceptance of the terms and conditions offered.

Threatening letters from solicitors may not amount to much as they may be retained upon a ' no win no fee' basis.

As others have intimated, aviation can sometimes be a small world and a call from one CP to another CP could be as issue. That being said, if demand exceeds supply, a prospective employer may not pay much attention to the manner in which a pilot applicant leaves his current employer.

Food for thought, thats all !
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Old 12th Sep 2019, 17:09
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by arketip View Post
Guess why



What company guarantees you a upgrade? (not only in aviation)
Did they bond you for the upgrade that never materialize? Did you pay for it? Was the upgrade part of the written contract?
For a company to profit from a bond is predatory and illegal and should be challenged. You may not agree and that is your right. Fortunately the courts agree.

The upgrade does not need to be written into the contract. The employer misrepresented their position in the market, thereby enticing me into a contract that I would not have otherwise entered into. This is all covered under the ambit of commercial law and you can go look it up. I didn't invent it. I am not going to litigate this again in public. Suffice to say we reached an amicable out of court settlement.

I should add, settling the bond cost me more than I made working for them for 18 months.....I didn't walk away smiling from that deal but at least I stood up for my rights after they screwed me over with their shenanigans.
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Old 13th Sep 2019, 05:31
  #25 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Small cog View Post
For those willing to jump a training bond; would it be OK if a company decided to ignore the employment contract you both agreed to?
This is exactly my point, Small Cog, as I said in my initial post. Could the company hold one to a bond if they had in some way, be it large or small, breached the agreement they had originally made with you
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Old 13th Sep 2019, 05:34
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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Anybody got the information under which EU Law the max. lenght of the bond may not exceed 2/3 years?
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Old 13th Sep 2019, 10:20
  #27 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by KeepCalm View Post
Under EU law you can be bond for training costs up to two years and it has to be pro-rata (decrease with time).
KeepCalm, do you know where exactly this legislation can be found?
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Old 13th Sep 2019, 11:55
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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A few years ago i was flying for a GA company on a small private jet. The management had no respect for their ppl and i was eager to get out ASAP. One day they decided to buy a new aircraft and without asking me first, they wanted me to do the new type rating and planned everything from starting date, flight tickets etc. Then a month before starting they were putting me the bond under my nose asking me to sign that. I refused because i never asked for doing that rating, i was just listening to my employer. They saw it a bit different and were pushing me to sign. In the end i was so fed up with them, i gave them my resignation and went somewhere else. Best decision ever!!
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Old 13th Sep 2019, 13:38
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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Dboy, exactly right. Companies are wrong to ask for bonding as it was their choice to use that aircraft to make money from it. If they need people to fly it, its down to them. Its called the cost of doing business and the sooner European pilots and companies learn this the better.

If you go into business and you cant afford to train your staff at your expense or expect them to pay for training as part of your business plan to save costs and possibly keep you in business then you do not deserve to be in business...PERIOD!!

What will you do for arguments sake if you cannot get type rated pilots or any pilot you plan on hiring refuses to be bonded or pay any training costs? If you do not pay you are out of business so it makes no sense not to include the type rating as 'THE COST OF DOING BUSINESS'

Imagine telling the people financing your operation we will be fine providing the pilots we hire sign a bond or pay themselves, they will laugh you out of the room!!
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Old 13th Sep 2019, 14:47
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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I seem to recall that Singapore went after one or more pilots who were instructors in their abinitio program many years ago. The suit went al the way to a court in California and they prevailed. It was considered a watershed decision at the time.

This issue cuts both ways as a well known technology company in California lost several pilots who had just received ratings in newly acquired Gulfstream 650's and the Falcon 8X. Both of these ratings come at a very high price, this making the holder of such a very marketable pilot when looking for a new job.
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Old 13th Sep 2019, 14:55
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by TinFoilhat2 View Post

If you go into business and you cant afford to train your staff at your expense or expect them to pay for training as part of your business plan to save costs and possibly keep you in business then you do not deserve to be in business...PERIOD!!
here we are discussing bonding which has nothing to do with paying for the training. If aviation authorities would permit type ratings paid by airline to be kept with airlines, bonding may become the thing of the past.
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Old 13th Sep 2019, 14:56
  #32 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by TinFoilhat2 View Post
Dboy, exactly right. Companies are wrong to ask for bonding as it was their choice to use that aircraft to make money from it. If they need people to fly it, its down to them. Its called the cost of doing business and the sooner European pilots and companies learn this the better.

If you go into business and you cant afford to train your staff at your expense or expect them to pay for training as part of your business plan to save costs and possibly keep you in business then you do not deserve to be in business...PERIOD!!

What will you do for arguments sake if you cannot get type rated pilots or any pilot you plan on hiring refuses to be bonded or pay any training costs? If you do not pay you are out of business so it makes no sense not to include the type rating as 'THE COST OF DOING BUSINESS'

Imagine telling the people financing your operation we will be fine providing the pilots we hire sign a bond or pay themselves, they will laugh you out of the room!!

I'm afraid I disagree. To charge people for a TR, or force someone into a new TR and bond them - your point is fair enough. But a simple bond of say 2-5 years in exchange for providing training is, and should be, completely fair. You're right that an airline should be able to factor in the cost of type rating a pilot into their business model, if that's what is required to fly their planes to make money - however to allow said pilot to leave after 6 months and being forced to pay another 15-20k to recruit a new one (only for them to do the same) is completely unreasonable. That money could be used to prop up the business, pay better wages to the pilots that currently work there, improve T&C's, or pay for better maintenance.

More importantly, if you have entered into a contract to be bonded for 3 years in exchange for zero training costs, then if you break that agreement you should pay what you owe. Why should my colleagues and myself be burdened with the financial responsibility because you decided to jump ship for a better job, despite signing a legal agreement to say you wouldn't? All of us, as pilots, should be of this mindset, because if we are happy for the airlines to pick up the training bill for little-to-no return in work, then they will go down the PTF route again, or ask for upfront TR costs. And we all know where that road ends up.
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Old 13th Sep 2019, 17:26
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by CargoOne View Post


here we are discussing bonding which has nothing to do with paying for the training. If aviation authorities would permit type ratings paid by airline to be kept with airlines, bonding may become the thing of the past.
So if you get typed on the A320 with BA for example you cant use that rating with any other company, is that what you are saying?

Does not make sense to have that kind of approach either. Every time you leave 1 company you would have to do the type rating all over again.
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Old 13th Sep 2019, 18:57
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by TinFoilhat2 View Post
So if you get typed on the A320 with BA for example you cant use that rating with any other company, is that what you are saying?

Does not make sense to have that kind of approach either. Every time you leave 1 company you would have to do the type rating all over again.
Not necessarily, for example there could be an additional remark or a field in the license indicating whether this type rating is owned by the airline or by the license holder. If pilot is departing airline in a way agreed by his contract, airline shall ask authorities to transfer the ownership of type rating. Otherwise rating is cancelled and need to be done again. This will not protect airlines against the loss of investment if pilot decides to jump anyway, however the next employer would think twice.
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Old 13th Sep 2019, 20:11
  #35 (permalink)  
 
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I would say one thing, the world of aviation is smaller than you may think, you never know who you will meet at your new / next job.
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Old 14th Sep 2019, 02:33
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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I was Royally stung by a biz jet operator who made me redundant shortly after returning from the type rating course (due to the 2008 financial crash) and they demanded repayment of the training costs. My legal challenge was rejected on the basis that I signed the contract which stated that they could terminate my employment for ANY reason and the training costs would be repayable.

So the answer to the question posed in this topic, yes they are enforceable.
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Old 14th Sep 2019, 07:09
  #37 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by CargoOne View Post
Not necessarily, for example there could be an additional remark or a field in the license indicating whether this type rating is owned by the airline or by the license holder. If pilot is departing airline in a way agreed by his contract, airline shall ask authorities to transfer the ownership of type rating. Otherwise rating is cancelled and need to be done again. This will not protect airlines against the loss of investment if pilot decides to jump anyway, however the next employer would think twice.
We already have too much bureaucracy. I could do with less of it, to be honest.
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Old 14th Sep 2019, 07:16
  #38 (permalink)  
 
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Some here are against bonds for type-ratings. However, there is a big warning: if you don't want bonds for type-ratings or try to find ways of jumping out of them then employers will insist that you arrive fully type-rated at your own expense before being considered for a job. If an employer is making you more employable by paying a lot of money for your type-rating, then it is quite reasonable for them to want some protection from you jumping ship and using that type-rating. that they spent money on, elsewhere.

However, read all the details of that bond very, very carefully before signing. The first two that I signed were very reasonable, but subsequent bonds less so and I almost breathed a sigh of relief once I had come to the full term of the bond because of some of the 'more questionable' aspects of them.

A friend who had sons in a completely different industry summed things up beautifully once: in their industry people were stopped from leaving by being weighed down by more gold bars in their pockets; pilots are stopped from leaving by having lead bars, called 'bonds', in their pockets.
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Old 14th Sep 2019, 07:20
  #39 (permalink)  
 
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CargoOne's suggestion is not quite so far fetched: we already have licences that are 'fixed' to an employer: the MPL.

But I fully agree with Banana Joe about wanting to avoid increased bureaucracy.
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Old 14th Sep 2019, 09:17
  #40 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by CargoOne View Post


here we are discussing bonding which has nothing to do with paying for the training. If aviation authorities would permit type ratings paid by airline to be kept with airlines, bonding may become the thing of the past.
Not true, a lot of so called bonds are taken out of your salary over a 3 year period so you are in fact paying for it yourself, you just did not have to stump up the cash upfront.
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