Hi Seven. Ano ba talaga ang bond? Bakit may ganon? Pano maiiwasan yon? Anong gagawin kung sinisingil ka? Makukulong ba ako?
I got your email yesterday, and since your questions are fascinating, I thought I would just turn my response into a post. This way, we can share the info with everyone.
What is a bond?
A training bond is nothing more than a contract that says you will be paying a specific amount if you leave the company (whether by resignation or by absconding) within a particular period. For example, I worked for a company in Northgate, and we had a training bond for six months. If I left before that, I would be liable to pay Php 20,000.
Why is there a bond?
…because a lot of people abscond. Attrition is a severe threat to a company’s investment. When a person gets hired, the company will spend for their onboarding, training, etc. Therefore, to recover this cost, the company has to make sure the person stays so that his “working hours” can be converted into income.
Similarly, when the company sends an employee abroad for training or education, they need to sign a contract binding him to the company for several years (usually two).
How does a bond work?
As mentioned above, it is a contract. It is binding as soon as you sign it. If you leave before the end of your “bond,” you will be held liable for either the full or a pro-rated amount. In the example I used above, the Php 20,000 is divided into six months, so if I decided to resign on the 4th month, I would be paying Php 6666.00 (Php 20,000/6 months = Php 3333.33).
If you didn’t attend the training at all, are you still liable?
Technically, if you already signed the contract, you are. However, the counter-argument is I didn’t even attend the first day of training. What company investment am I wasting? (except perhaps for the recruiter’s time and the piece of paper I signed). By the way, when you do not attend the first day of training, that correct term is NO SHOW, not AWOL.
In the above case, what should I do?
Call your recruiter before the first day of training and tell them you are backing out. That is responsible and professional. This way, the recruiter can give your slot to another candidate.
I already went on AWOL, and now I am receiving letters.
Naturally, you are fully aware there is a bond; you went on AWOL, the collection letters will follow. It really depends on the company if they take your absconding seriously and take you to court for breach of contract. Most companies will just let it go – the cost of litigation is more expensive than just hiring another one. In my 15 years in the industry, I have never heard of an employee going AWOL and being dragged to court or having their wages garnished. I’ve heard of former employees who needed clearance and COE from the company and had to settle just to clear their name (or to get it over with).
Am I still liable if I get terminated?
Technically, you are not liable, especially if the cause of the termination fails to meet the metrics. To avoid the bond, you will be held responsible if you fail on purpose. Of course, the company has the burden of proof.
What if I need to get my clearance from my former company where I went AWOL?
You need to visit the company and settle the balance. Sometimes, you can even negotiate it. Bottom line, you signed the contract, which gives you the obligation, and if you want/need the clearance for your next employer, you need to settle the balance.
I don’t have any money, how can I pay for it?
Why did you go on AWOL in the first place? As mentioned above, if you need the clearance, then you can make a payment arrangement. After all, how can you settle a loan if you don’t have a job right?
How can I avoid the bond?
Simple. Do NOT go to a company that’s known to have a bond. If you have no idea if there is a bond or not, use the internet to research information. After all, as an applicant, you must conduct research. This is a part of your due diligence a responsible human being whose goal in life is to have a career instead of floating around. Also, please DO NOT ask a recruiter if there will be a bond or not – this is a wrong question, and whether you are qualified or not, you will fail. Why? It is a clear sign for a recruiter that you have no plans of staying or developing a career.
Ultimately, the decision to go on AWOL from a company where you signed a bond will haunt you and cause you inconvenience but will you get incarcerated? I very much doubt it. Most of these companies would rather focus on running the business and ignore you (eventually). Then again, why court the disaster of being seriously hounded for a contract you agreed to in the first place? Be professional. For whatever reason, stay for your arrangement, use the time to learn new skills and competencies, and leave when the time is right.
If you have any questions or clarifications on this article, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment. If you have a story to tell, please don’t hold back.
Hope this helps.