4 year training bond - but not employed by company

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Free Member
Mar 19, 2019
Hi would very much appreciate some help on this issue.
I signed a £20,000 training bond (yes I did receive the training and it was approximately this value) for a start up company that failed to 'start up'.
I have never signed an employment contract with them, therefore have never been employed with said company, however I did sign a training bond with a clause stating I must pay full bond if:

'he/she does not accept employment of the company...within 4 years after the end of the training course'

This was a year ago I signed this, but have committed to the company for almost the past 2 years in terms of turning down other opportunities and making myself available for full employment to this start up...however what the company has promised in terms of full employment has never materialised.

At one point I was being paid a small retainer for about 6 months for some part time work. However still no employment contract and in fact I will add this income to my self employed income when I do my own tax return. The company has no revenue source as they are unable to operate currently hence no work or pay for me.
As things stand I haven't been paid by the company for 4 months
Now I'm looking to leave for a new full time job (but still willing to offer my services part time to the start up company).

However they are now threatening to 'sue me' by which is assume to mean enforce the training bond contract.

Ultimately, this bonding contract seems to expect me to be available at any point to the company for 4 years, even if I am not an employee of theirs. This can't be lawful surely?

Many thanks
As Cyndy says... you need a lawyer.

Depending on the exact wording you may be doomed to repay if they don't offer employment (thus you can't accept). Alternatively you may be able to "Accept employment" even if they don't make an offer, just by writing and saying "I accept employment as Managing Director on a salary of 100K a year with a x% shareholding in the company".
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