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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 44875
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Worked as PA/Carer from 18.10.12-17.10.13 (employer died on

Customer Question

Worked as PA/Carer from 18.10.12-17.10.13 (employer died on that date hence termination of employment. Filled in four weekly timesheet - timesheet was due week end Friday, 11.10.13 - it was signed,by employer the next day (12.10.13) and sent to an organisation who issue the wage slip - worked an extra day (full 10 hour shift on Monday,14.10.13) next day was day - employer died on Wednesday (maybe Friday as unaware of time) -16/17th October 2013. The organisation who issue wage slipsay they were unsure of item on wage slip (although it was signed!) - they have not issued a wage slip to date plus no P45 holiday entitlement etc. Have rung them more than once - must mention employer had a mother (70 years old very capable and able who visited most days) I have written to the mother (another person is in the same position (the night carer) and last time spoke to the mother the mother hung up (keeps telling her to be patient) (although I should not say it - we do not believe there is a lack of funds). The wage slip organisation (wso) who I have spoken to more than once say they can not give mothers address but have spoken to her and she is very vague and not forthcoming. I sent a letter to the mother outlining what I believe is to be owed to the employers address. I then sent a further letter to wso saying i want the matter resolved, will have no choice to take matter further etc and that I was enclosing letters for the money for them to forward on please. (one letter was the original and the second saying i would go to tribunal/court etc if the matter was not resolved amicably and swiftly by 20th December 2013. (this didn't give them much notice but both parties are fully aware we have not been paid - I received a letter back three days latter saying they had personnally hand delivered my letters to the mothers address - as per - no response. The citizens advise bureau say i can find out from probate who the solicitors are but i didnt want to pay the fee (£6.00) this is looking lot cheaper than tribunal £390! Really dont know which is best option, please could you advise - i am only just in time for the employment tribunal if i take that option - time is running out. Many thanks for your help. Heather
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is Ben and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Who was officially your employer?

JACUSTOMER-b74k4w9r- : Hello, I didn't realise this had worked -apologies - the woman who died - mother only surviving next if kin (that I am aware) and was very much involved in her life - just the two of them as far as I am aware , thanks
JACUSTOMER-b74k4w9r- : Again probably shouldn't say but he money is I am quite sure there (having worked for ah year) mother hates paying anyone used to dispute/moan about us take a legitimate rare day off from her daughter
Ben Jones :

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.

Ben Jones :

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?

JACUSTOMER-b74k4w9r- : Thank you - it sounds like the small claims court is a) both cheaper and b) gives more time - interestingly enough Acas advised I could have longer as although time sheets were due in to wow on 11th they most likely received them Mon/Tues (the person who did wages was external to them anyway) so by the time my employer received the wage slip back, wrote a cheque (taking five full days to clear) I actually got paid every six weeks (fact) so it looks like the small claims court will be the track if not could I add on the extra two weeks (to give me more time shd I wish to pursue an employment ribunal? I have estimated (this is including outstanding holiday) to be £1,995 in earnings and holiday entitlement so small claims looks like the option. My employer was the daughter, with just the mother remaining, I am 100% certain she will not pay up unless under duress even then...! So you are also saying we should be paid as a priority? Thank you, I believe I nearly have all my questions answered - thank you very much
Ben Jones :

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

JACUSTOMER-b74k4w9r- : Thanks, the problem is also the mother has not actually received a wage slip yet from the wage people as they said there was a query in my time sheet but my employer had signed it - they said they are waiting from clear instruction from the mother - also as the other PA/Carer is also in the same position cane we claim together making it cheaper? Thank you. I don't believe the mother will be in touch with the wage slip people - they just keep saying they can't do anything until they hear from her (and having worked there a year I know full well if she can get away with it she will so in theory it looks like nothing exists - I hope this makes sense to you.Thank you -
JACUSTOMER-b74k4w9r- : Oh yes forget to mention that when I have spoken to the wage slip people they basically shrugged their shoulders and said the mother was vague and dismissive and there is nothing more they can do until she gets in touch so
JACUSTOMER-b74k4w9r- : if they are not producing the wage slip ( and the money I know won't bother contacting them then there is nothing there?
Ben Jones :

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.

JACUSTOMER-b74k4w9r- : Oh I see, we were both paid in exactly the same manner - completed four weekly time sheet waited for pay slip , employer paid cheque? Would that be classed as the same? So would you say (if I'm allowed to ask) that the next step is to write to both the wage people and the mother saying I shall be pursuing the outstanding monies through the courts?
JACUSTOMER-b74k4w9r- : Our jobs were identical except she did nights ( got paid slightly more) and I did days other than that exactly same job titles just different hours.
Ben Jones :

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

JACUSTOMER-b74k4w9r- : Thank you, yes that does sound like a good option - we have a court (magistrates for sure) in Milton Keynes - do I just (although this is probably obvious and I don't want to waste your time, but just want to go ahead with it for sure) go into the court and ask for an application form, fill it out, then when I hear from them advise the wage people and mother of date (hoping, definitely getting one) ? Thank you
Ben Jones :

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

JACUSTOMER-b74k4w9r- : Oh, that's good so I just do that so I don't need to write to them anymore or just send one more letter advising I am now seeking settlements through the courts ?
Ben Jones :

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

JACUSTOMER-b74k4w9r- : Oh that's brilliant thank you Ben, you have answered all my questions and I now know what option to pursue . Am I able to ask any more questions on this matter at a later date (if I need to) or Ido I need to start agin? Thank you very much Ben for all your help over the last two days, best regards Heather
Ben Jones :

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.

JACUSTOMER-b74k4w9r- : Thank you
Ben Jones :

my pleasure all the best

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