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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 47881
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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i left a company several months a go and had an agreement i

Resolved Question:

i left a company several months a go and had an agreement i wouldnt visit any of their existing customers for a 6 month period .
however i have visited a few who were either customers of my current employer as well,or i have been asked to visit through them contacting my current employer asking to see a representative .2 told me they were no longer customers of my old employer and asked me to visit which i did
my old employer has also accused me of visiting people i clearly havent .
they are now contacting customers asking if i have passed on confidential information .i havent. the information is common knowledge and was told to me by one of their customers .
they are now refusing to pay me the final payment of my contract which was meant to be placed into an account of an individual solicitor when i left and despite numerous efforts to obtain this figure it has never been given to me or placed into an account .
what are my options and what can i do to get this money .how legally do i stand
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. can you tell me how long you were employed there and did you sign a contract of employment please.

Customer:

nearly 11 years and yes i did

Customer:

the covenant said visit any customers .doesnt say communicate or do buisness with

Ben Jones :

Ok thank you leave it with me I need to look up a few things and then get my advice ready.I will post back on here when done there is no need to wait and you will receive an email when I have responded.

Customer:

many thanks

Ben Jones :

Thanks for your patience. This potentially amounts to an unlawful deduction from wages, which is made illegal under the Employment Rights Act 1996.

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.


If none of the above exemptions apply, the deductions will most likely be unlawful. In order to try and resolve this, the employer should be contacted in writing, advised that this is being treated as unlawful deduction of wages and ask them to pay back the money within 7 days. Advise them that if they fail to pay the money that is owed, legal proceedings could follow.

If the employer does not return the money as requested, the following options are available:

a) Employment Tribunal - the time limit to claim is only 3 months from the date the deductions were made. Also this is not available if you were working as self employed. To make the claim, form ET1 needs to be completed and submitted - you can find it here: https://www.employmenttribunals.service.gov.uk/employment-tribunals

b) County Court – this is an alternative way to claim and the advantage is that the time limit is a much longer 6 years and is usually used if you are out of time to claim in the Tribunal or if you were self employed. The claim can be made online by going to: www.moneyclaim.gov.uk.

Hopefully by warning the employer you are aware of your rights and are not going to hesitate taking further action they will be prompted to reconsider their position and work towards resolving this.

Hope this clarifies your position? If you could please let me know that would be great, thank you

Customer:

i think their point will be that i went in to see customers which is against the covenant

Customer:

but my claim is that i am owed this money anyway and it would have been paid if i had stayed ,are you saying that even if i broke the covenant in their eyes i am still entitled to this money ?

Ben Jones :

you are correct that you are owed the money anyway and that is for time which you already worked before you left the company. If they wanted to pursue you for the breach of covenant then that is a separate claim on their part and they cannot offset it against money already owed to you, unless there was a specific clause in your contract allowing them to do that, which is unlikely. So the money is still due to you, if they wanted to take action for the alleged breach then that must be done separately and they must also show that they have suffered losses as a result

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? Thanks

Customer:

they are saying it was part of the contract when i left .which it was .but they to date havent told me what the figure is despite me chasing many many times and cancelling visits to a solicitor to set the agreement up ..it has been nearly 5 months and still no figure .these figures took 3-4 days to put together when i worked there .they said at one time it was because a customer had gone bust and they needed to take this into account ,i replied that to do the figures without this as i wanted to set the agreement up .they are now saying i visited customers so therfor have not sent me the figure .how do i stand ?should i still go down the small claims route ?how long would they have to give me this figure ?

Ben Jones :

your only option would still be the small claims court, unless you can try and negotiate something with them in the meantime but if that is not possible then making the claim is the only way to pursue this. As to the time within which they must give you the figures, unfortunately the law does not stipulate any specific time periods for this so technically they can refuse this even if you go as far as court. However, once the claim is made they would have a duty to supply all evidence linked to the claim and that should also include the details of the amount you are owed

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