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taratill
taratill, Solicitor
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 6307
Experience:  15 years experience of advising on employment law matters
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I am an employer of a very small firm. An employee who had

Resolved Question:

I am an employer of a very small firm. An employee who had only been working for me for 4 weeks quit without notice and even refused to work when I asked her. I had issued a contract only the week before, but she did not sign it. during her months employment she had 4 days off on holiday. She has left the company and gone doing the same job on a self employed basis and has stolen some customers from me. Do I need to pay her for the last week she worked?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  taratill replied 2 years ago.
taratill :

Hello my name is ***** ***** I am happy to help you today.

taratill :

Legally you have to pay her for the days that she worked unfortunately. If you fail to do so she can claim for unlawful deduction from wages.

Customer:

Hi Jenny

Customer:

In the employment contract i issued there was a 'non compete' clause in there. eventhough she did not sign the contract -she has stolen customer from me having a huge effect on my business.

taratill :

Are you likely to suffer a financial loss as a result of this?

Customer:

yes i already have. she has stolen at least 6 customers from me all of which i would have made money from. we are a cleaning business. the customers paid me an hourly rate of £10 per hour and the staff received minimum wage.

taratill :

Ok legally if you don't pay her then she can claim unlawful deduction from wages. No matter what an employee does they are entitled to pay for periods that they work. However as an employee she owed you an implied duty of trust and confidence which she has breached by stealing your customers. Despite the fact that thee was no signed contract there is a breach of this duty. You can therefore sue her in breach of contract for the loss you suffer as a result of her actions.

Customer:

should i pay her now and then take seperate action against her for my loss or should i wait to see if she takes action against me..?

taratill :

Either option is fine. If she raises a claim for her wages you are probably best to pay her and then take separate action.

taratill :

If you have any further questions please do ask. If I have answered your question I would be grateful if you would take the time to rate my answer. Thank you and all the best.

Customer:

if she wants to take action against me, would she have to go through a tribunal.?

taratill :

Yes but you would have to go through the county court so they are, in effect, separate causes of action.

Customer:

I owe her £97 - I cant see her going to a tribunal due to the costs. Can any legal action be taken against me without going to a tribunal.?

taratill :

No although if you claim against her she can bring a counter claim for the £97.

Customer:

I do not want to take any action against her (i dont want the hassle) but she has affected my business and do not want to pay the £97 but also dont want to leave myself open to legal action that i cant defend without a strong counter claim.

taratill :

Well I don't think you need to worry about that. If she does decide to bring a claim you have the option of settling or issuing a counter claim at that point.

taratill :

If you have any further questions please do ask. If I have answered your question I would be grateful if youl would take the time to rate my answer. Thank you and all the best.

Customer:

I know it probably seemed petty over £97 - i guess its more a matter of principle and my anger over loss of customers. It didnt seem fair that an employee could behave the way she did and i still have to pay her..!? thank you for your advice - its been very helpful.

taratill :

No problem, it doesn't seem petty to me at all. She shouldn't steal your customers! Please do remember to take the time to rate my answer and do come back to me for futher advice if you need to.

taratill, Solicitor
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 6307
Experience: 15 years experience of advising on employment law matters
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