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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 44924
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Hi im ambulamce driver...im working for privet company. They

Customer Question

Hi im ambulamce driver...im working for privet company. They said iv done damage to vehicle but I didn't i've done my vehicle check wrong or somebody done this after my shift...company wanna charge me 560 pounds for repair but I haven't seen the damage no pics no nothing...my contract saing that access to insurance is 250 but my be more and apparently is 750 now...I don't know what to do...I know if I would fix damage in other garage it would cost me less as company got a deal with one body shop and I think they overcharging...can someone can help me?
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.
Can you please tell me how long have you have you been with your employer

JACUSTOMER-5mvtkxe6- :

6 months now...and I been charged for one damage I have done, it was scratch and they charge me I think 300 pounds for damage I could fux for around 150 pounds...I think is unfair from company to just take vehicles to this body shop without asking employees...for me is like taking car to Ferrari garage because owner of the garage is my friend...

Ben Jones :

Does your contract say that they can take money out of your pay to cover such expenses?

JACUSTOMER-5mvtkxe6- :

No contact not saing anything about taking money directly from my pay.

Ben Jones :

If your contract does not say anything about the employer’s ability to be able to take money from your pay for any damage caused, or for anything else for that matter, then they are not legally allowed to do so. If they do then it would amount to an unlawful deduction from your wages and you will be protected under law from such actions.

Under law, an employer can only make deductions from, or withhold an employee’s wages in the following circumstances:

  • If it is legally allowed (e.g. to deduct tax);
  • If it is to recover an earlier overpayment of wages made by the employer; or
  • If the employee has given their explicit written agreement for the deductions to be made.

With no contractual clause in the contract, it means you have not given your consent for them to do that and they cannot take them money from your pay.

It then means they have to consider taking separate legal action against you in the courts to try and recover any losses incurred from your actions. They will have to first make a claim in court, then prove that your action had caused the damage and that the losses they have suffered were reasonable. So if there is no evidence to prove that you were the one responsible for causing the damage, they may find it difficult to win such a claim and making it in the first place could be quite risky. Even if they win you can then also challenge them on the actual costs they are trying to recover and argue that they are excessive. This would be done by showing the repairs could have easily been done cheaper with any other reputable garage. So if the ‘market rates’ for the repairs are cheaper, then they will generally only be able to recover what a reasonable garage would have charged to make these repairs.

JACUSTOMER-5mvtkxe6- :

They make me today sign the papers that they will take money from my pay in 4 payments, I don't know what to do as I haven't seen the damage and they said they can't provide pics of the damage...

Ben Jones :

Did you sign?

JACUSTOMER-5mvtkxe6- :

And how I should approach them as I don’t wanna lose my job and where to claim?

Ben Jones :

Did you sign the agreement to pay the money back?

JACUSTOMER-5mvtkxe6- :

Hello?

Ben Jones :

Hi, I am waiting for an answer to my last query posted above - Did you sign the agreement to pay the money back?

JACUSTOMER-5mvtkxe6- :

Yes I did..

Ben Jones :

If you have signed it then you have given your agreement for them to go ahead and make the necessary deductions so if you did not want for that to happen you should have refused…unless you were forced to sign under duress, which could make the agreement illegal so you can still challenge it. The issue here is that you have only worked there for 6 months and are not protected against unfair dismissal. It means the employer can dismiss you for more or less any reason as long as it was not discriminatory, and I see no discriminatory reasons here. So legally, they could decide to dismiss you because they think you caused the damage or because you refused to pay – these would all be legal reasons to dismiss you in this particular case. So if your priority is to save your job, then you may have to consider paying them, but if you are not too concerned about that and would rather not pay them, at the risk of losing your job, you can also go down that route.

Ben Jones :

Has this clarified your position for you or can I help any further?

JACUSTOMER-5mvtkxe6- :

Yes is quite clear now. The only thing is that is not me who damage the car and I never seen the damage...parantly damage happened months ago and been fixed not ling ago...and they took car to the garage of their choice without asking me...and I know they adding extra charges on drivers as the owner of garage and my company are friends..

Ben Jones :

Yes I understand but whilst you can challenge these fees with them directly now and try to come to an arrangement, it would not prevent a potential dismissal, if they do not want to keep you on because you refuse to pay, so it is a difficult position to be in, that's for sure - it could basically come down to either paying and keeping your job, or challenging this and risk losing your job.

Ben Jones :

If your original question has been answered I would be grateful if you could please quickly rate my answer - it only takes a second to do and is an important part of our process. I can still answer follow up questions afterwards if needed. Thank you

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