Employees frequently end up at trainings to boost their career. These trainings may be made mandatory by law, necessary to ensure safety or certifications, or they may be optional for employees to increase their knowledge. Whatever training your employees are participating in, you need to know if you should pay your employees for that time.

Whether you pay your employees depends entirely on four factors. These four factors are when the training takes place, if attendance is required, if the program is job-related, and if the employee is performing work at the same time as the training. Let’s look at the criteria and what it means for employee pay:

When Training Takes Place

There are two times when training can occur, during work hours or outside of work hours. If the training takes place during regular work hours, employees must be paid for that time. Even if a training occurs outside regular work hours, the training may need to be paid if it meets any of the criteria below.


Job-related trainings may be required by law to stay in compliance or ensure employee safety. Other trainings may just be required by employers for better job performance. If training attendance is mandatory, for any reason, employees must be paid for their time with no exceptions.

Job Related

Job-related training is any training that teaches employees how to perform work functions better. If the training has a direct application to the employee’s job, you are required to pay them.

Performing Work

Employees have to be paid during training if that training requires them to perform any work at the same time.

For an employer to not need to pay employees for training, the training must not meet any of the above criteria. For example, if an optional, non-job-related training that doesn’t require employees to work takes place during work hours, it will still need to be paid because it takes place during work hours. It doesn’t matter that three of the other criteria aren’t met; it only takes one to make training paid.

If you have question about how you should pay employees for training, contact Helpside at service@helpside.com.