I have been working for my current employer for a bit more than 2 years and I am now job hunting outside of this firm. I am currently moving to the 2nd step in a 3-step interview process at a different firm, which means I may or may not land the job although I have reasons to believe I have good chances. Counting at least 1-2 weeks for next steps and 2 weeks notice, if I were to leave it would be 1 month from now minimum. I do not have other prospects so the timeline really opens up after that.

Every year at my current firm I was able to obtain reimbursement for my professional association fees with no strings attached (i.e. without the standard stay-for-x-months condition). I have recently paid said fees and I am now considering whether it would be inappropriate to ask for reimbursement. The total fees are close to 1K CAD. My employer is a profitable small-medium business (20 employees locally, 250 total).

Financially, I can do without this money. Professionally, I would rather not burn bridges with my current employer as I do have a good relation with them. Finally, we do not have policies on this or an anonymous HR hotline where to ask such questions.

What is the recommended course of action?

Edit: my employer does not explicitly require my association but strongly benefits from it for the credibility it has with our clients. My current prospect is less likely to care about this association although it does slightly boost credibility on my resume. It may or may not cover for it but will definitely not be required.

  • Are you asking for a reference from the same person that approves the expense? – paparazzo Mar 23 '17 at 22:44
  • Given that the employer hasn't put in any "stay for x months" clause to the reimbursements, I would think they don't care if people left right after getting the money. – Masked Man Mar 24 '17 at 0:50
  • Explanation on the two downvotes ? – ApplePie Mar 24 '17 at 2:57
  • "professional association fees" You need to clarify this. Does your job benefit from this? Will your next employer benefit from it? Does your current company require this? Is it something your next employer will cover as well? – Lilienthal Mar 24 '17 at 11:03
  • If reimbursement of fees is the norm where you work, and those fees have become due and been paid while you work there, I don't see anything wrong with claiming them as usual. Until the day you leave, you still work there. – Jonathon Cowley-Thom Mar 24 '17 at 11:42

You should treat reimbursement as you would if you weren't job hunting.

If you really want to be nice to your current employer, when you hand in your resignation, you could offer to pay back X% of the fees. You could also negotiate with your new employer that they reimburse you for that same X% so that you can pass it along to your current employer. (Certainly, don't ask both companies to reimburse the fee.)

  • Why if being a member of a professional body Is required for the job should the OP give money back to his ex employer payment of professional fees should be include in their negation for any new job, – Neuromancer Mar 23 '17 at 23:17
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    I'm not saying he should, I'm saying he can offer to, if he'd like. – Chris G Mar 23 '17 at 23:21
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    and why would anyone ever do that? – Neuromancer Mar 23 '17 at 23:22
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    @Neuromancer Likely to maintain good relations with the current employer. If they recently reimbursed you for an expense that is a future expense (that is, it's not from the prior year of dues but the current year), and it would be beneficial to the company, then applying for the reimbursement and then leaving a month after getting it looks like you just wanted to skim a little extra money from the current employer and can leave bad blood. If you were asking for reimbursement for a prior business trip, it would be unreasonable to expect to pay any part of that back. – Der Kommissar Mar 24 '17 at 0:31
  • Definitely make the request before getting a job offer. – user8365 Mar 24 '17 at 17:31

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