The company has paid for some online courses for another colleague. This course is available for everyone to follow in his team since it is already paid for. Is it moral and usually OK to pursue those courses you've never needed before in your notice period?

He might as well use the company resources and learn something new when he now lacks work or in the evening of those work days. Again, I want to add that this is when he is still technically employed by them. He won't be using the knowledge gained from said courses for his current job but it might be interesting for his next.

Is this generally OK and can he get into trouble?

  • 2
    What sort of trouble do you think they could possibly get into?
    – Aida Paul
    May 11, 2023 at 12:40
  • I'd say the notice period has nothing to do it (or if it has, it is company-specific regulations, which means it is off-topic). More important is that whether or not you're allowed depends on the license, terms and conditions of the course provider. I find it far more likely that if your employer paid for an online course for a specific employee, that no other employee is allowed to take it (at least, not with your employer also paying for those employees). May 11, 2023 at 15:10

2 Answers 2


During the notice period you are expected to do work as assigned by your manager. If your manager doesn't assign enough work to keep you busy you can certainly make suggestions. The manager can decide to accept these suggestions or not.

  • 3
    Also it would almost certainly be acceptable to follow those courses on your own time during the notice period. They aren't costing the company anything. May 11, 2023 at 13:19
  • @DJClayworth "The company has paid for some online courses for another colleague." They are costing the company something and a second person could be violating the license or costing more.
    – cdkMoose
    May 11, 2023 at 16:13
  • @cdkMoose Quoting the question: "This course is available for everyone to follow in his team since it is already paid for." May 11, 2023 at 17:33
  • Courses don't necessarily work that way and OP's assumptions are exactly why he could get in trouble. OP didn't ask yet, so how does he know the course is paid for for all?.
    – cdkMoose
    May 12, 2023 at 15:50

I would say no, it's not appropriate. It's not just about whether the course is paid for, it's about the use of the employee's time.

When someone is gainfully employed, and the status quo is that they will continue to be, the company allows that employee to use otherwise productive work time to get the training because there is value to the company to have that employee receive the training, to make them more capable employees as they continue, into the future.

It may be an unrecoverable loss for the course fees, but there is a loss in remaining productivity for the company if that person takes away from their remaining work time to get training that will provide no value to the company, ever.

As long as they are still employed by the company, the company should get value from that remaining work time, since the employee is still being compensated for their TIME at work.

If there is enough free time in the employee's time away from work, maybe I could see getting permission to access that, but will that additional time spent taking the course, while away from work, potentially impact that employee's productivity when they are back at work? I can see an employer making that argument, as well, especially if there's a good chunk of time one spends taking the course.

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