Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Flight Deck Forums > Terms and Endearment
Reload this Page >

Training bonds - enforceable or not?

Terms and Endearment The forum the bean counters hoped would never happen. Your news on pay, rostering, allowances, extras and negotiations where you work - scheduled, charter or contract.

Training bonds - enforceable or not?

Old 12th Sep 2019, 14:33
  #21 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: europe
Posts: 156

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?
arketip is offline  
Old 12th Sep 2019, 14:46
  #22 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2001
Location: uk
Posts: 1,888
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 !
beamer is offline  
Old 12th Sep 2019, 17:09
  #23 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Dubai
Age: 53
Posts: 259

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.
Kennytheking is offline  
Old 13th Sep 2019, 05:31
  #24 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: London
Posts: 8
Small cog

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
jetblast101 is offline  
Old 13th Sep 2019, 05:34
  #25 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: DUS
Posts: 65
Anybody got the information under which EU Law the max. lenght of the bond may not exceed 2/3 years?
bumpy737 is offline  
Old 13th Sep 2019, 10:20
  #26 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: London
Posts: 8
KeepCalm, do you know where exactly this legislation can be found?
jetblast101 is offline  
Old 13th Sep 2019, 11:55
  #27 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Planet earth
Posts: 406
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!!
dboy is offline  
Old 13th Sep 2019, 13:38
  #28 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Australia
Posts: 105
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!
TinFoilhat2 is offline  
Old 13th Sep 2019, 14:47
  #29 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: USofA
Posts: 1,230
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.
Spooky 2 is offline  
Old 13th Sep 2019, 14:55
  #30 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Europe
Posts: 1,080

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.
CargoOne is offline  
Old 13th Sep 2019, 14:56
  #31 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Scotland
Posts: 37

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.
Snr is offline  
Old 13th Sep 2019, 17:26
  #32 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Australia
Posts: 105

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.
TinFoilhat2 is offline  
Old 13th Sep 2019, 18:57
  #33 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Europe
Posts: 1,080
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.
CargoOne is offline  
Old 13th Sep 2019, 20:11
  #34 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 2,813
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.
2unlimited is offline  
Old 14th Sep 2019, 02:33
  #35 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 522
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.
RAFAT is offline  
Old 14th Sep 2019, 07:09
  #36 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Amantido
Posts: 870

We already have too much bureaucracy. I could do with less of it, to be honest.
Banana Joe is offline  
Old 14th Sep 2019, 07:16
  #37 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Yorkshire
Posts: 155
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.
NoelEvans is offline  
Old 14th Sep 2019, 07:20
  #38 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Yorkshire
Posts: 155
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.
NoelEvans is offline  
Old 14th Sep 2019, 09:17
  #39 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Australia
Posts: 105

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.
TinFoilhat2 is offline  
Old 14th Sep 2019, 17:55
  #40 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Europe
Posts: 1,080

Most of the bonds I’ve seen in Europe over the last few years are simply decreasing with time and that’s it, there is no repayment from salary.
CargoOne is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.