HRSINGAPORE Community Discussions

Tuition assistance criteria


Dear HR Community,

Our company has a tuition assistance programme for our employees. It sponsors them for academic courses that they wish to attend.

The criteria to qualify for assistance is as follows:

1.  A full-time employee with at least two (2) years of service.

2. A performance evaluation record of at least achieved expectations.

3. Not received any employee improvement form from the supervisor.

4. No verbal or written disciplinary action for the past 24 months.

My question is with the first criteria. Is requiring the employee to have served at least 2 years of service too long nowadays? What is common practice in this area?

Your sharing is much appreciated.







Dear Joseph,

The first criterion of two years is fine.  The minimum should be one year because if it is less than one-year performance appraisal may not available. In my opinion, one year is also too soon to offer such benefits.

One more criterion should be included in my view. And that is a bond.

The employee should not resign within 12 to 24 months depending on the assistance provided and repay the tuition fee with penalties if he or she does in fact resign.

The bond, should you decide to implement, has to be related to the course of study. It could be for a part-time course of between $1000 to $1500 for example.

Employees may need to be encouraged to take such sponsored courses by their supervisor during the performance appraisal interview. The supervisor could suggest targets, incentives and promotion and the achievement of higher goals through training and development.

While tuition assistance programmes are a form of benefit, it is a common occurrence that staff resign after the courses, unfortunately.

Hope this helps

Yan Jun



Hi Joseph,

I think two years of service is too long.

Learning and development is critical for all employees especially the newer staff. The skills and knowledge that they will acquire through training and education will help them make a better contribution.

For us, they are allowed to attend company paid training soon after their probation.

However, we do have the following conditions

1.  They have to sign an agreement and there is a one year bond if the course fee exceeds $3000.

2. If the course fee is higher than $5000, the managing director's approval is needed and the bond period will be discussed with the employee.

The above will only apply to those employees who have shown that they can perform.

My question is what about the non-performers? Don't they require training to help them perform better?

Thank you




Hi Joseph,

In my view, the duration of two years of service before being eligible for tuition assistance seems reasonable.

This is especially so due to the requirement that the employee has to have a performance evaluation record that meets expectations.

Best Regards




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