Hello, my name is Ben and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Who was officially your employer?
Good morning, there is no right or wrong option in this case and a lot will depend on the actual circumstances and the situation you are facing in terms of how the estate is being administered, if there are actually funds, etc.
Your employer in this case would most likely have been the person who died so they would be responsible for paying your wages. Following their death the responsibility moves over with their estate and you will effectively be a creditor to the estate and should be paid before the remainder of the estate is administered.
The responsibility of administering the estate lies with the executor of the estate, someone nominated in the will. It could be a firm of solicitors but it could also be an individual, so it could be the person's daughter. It is not necessary for solicitor to be involved in this. Whilst you have been advised to go to the probate registry to find out the solicitors (if they exist), this is not an option until probate has actually been granted so this may not have happened yet. Once you apply you will get a copy of the will and that will reveal who the executors are.
In terms of taking legal action you have a couple of options - the tribunal and the small claims court. As you have correctly identified the issue and hearing fees for the tribunal are £390. If you were to take this to the small claims court instead, depending on the amount you are claiming, you could for example pay £100 claim fee (if claiming under £5,000), but then a hearing fee would be £325 if claiming more than £3,000 so in total it could be more than the tribunal. Even if you miss the tribunal deadline, the small claims court time limit is 6 years so you have plenty of time if needed.
So to start you could try and find out the executors of the estate in order to approach them but if probate has not been granted yet this could be impossible and you will have to consider submitting a claim in order to take the matter further and indicate you are serious about pursuing this.
Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this?
the time limit for the employment tribunal is 3 months from the date the wages became due, so you need to determine when you should have been paid and the time counts from then. For a claim of £2000, the small claims court fees would be a claim fee of £80, allocation fee of £40, hearing fee of £165. Also if you settle the claim at ;east 7 days before the hearing date you can get a refund of the hearing fee. When the estate of the deceased is administered, debts like yours will need to be settled first before the remainder is being paid out
you can be joint claimants and split the fees if you want, but to do this the claim must arise out of the same facts and the court may decide that as you each worked under separate contracts that each claim is to be treated separately.
it would really be for the court to decide if you can claim together, to be honest there is no harm in doing that to start with and then if you are told that you cannot, you can always split the claims up at a later stage . You should certainly write to the parties advising them that legal action will follow and giving them a deadline by which to resolve this issue. You cannot take any formal action against the wages people but it is good to keep them in the loop so to speak
you can do it online via www.moneyclaim.gov.uk and it is cheaper that way. The court will send letters to the respondent anyway so you do not have to do this
you shoukd send a letter before making the claim advising them this is the next step and giving them for example 7 days to pay up, then once the claim is in you do not have to send them correspondence unless required by the court, for example you may be requested to serve some documents on them later in the process but you will be advised of that
you will need to start a new question but we can see this conversation to refer to if necessary. Also you can start your query for Ben Jones so that I get it.
my pleasure all the best