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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 46746
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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My former work place are claiming that I have company

Customer Question

My former work place are claiming that I have company equipment in my possession when I do not.
I was asked this question two months ago and I told them I do not have any equipment, documents, keys etc as everything had been returned, but now they are repeating the same questions again as if they don't believe me? What actions could they possibly take against me and how could I respond?
At the moment I have been ignoring them but I am considering taking out a injuction on them for harassment.
They are claiming that I have the company harddrive with confidential information.
Also, they are asking for me to delete the contact numbers of staff that I am friends with, can they do this?
Also they said that I am still bound to my contract in terms of confidentiality even though I dont work there
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. have they specified what equipment you are supposed to have?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes they are saying company harddrive (usb)
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hi, if they claim that you have their equipment then there are a couple of options. Hey could try and take out an injunction stopping you from using this equipment and its contents. Alternatively, they could try and claim damages for any losses incurred as a result of you using it. In either case they would need to show that you have taken the item in question and that actual losses have been suffered. If you do not have it then that is obviously going to be rather difficult, if not impossible for them to do. They cannot force you to delete contact numbers for any of your friends, even if they are still working there. In terms of confidentiality, you are no longer bound by anything which only restricted you to confidentiality in the workplace whilst employed by them. If they want to enforce anything after you have left then this can only be done with a post-termination restrictive covenant. I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have copied and pasted my former employer's response below and if you need to see my contract of employment I am happy to send it to you separately?"However, as you are aware from Sharon Benson’s e-mail to you on the 7th March 2016, you were overpaid in February in respect of the period between the 12th and 29th February 2016, when you worked for another school in breach of your contract and terms of suspension. In view of this issue this period of time has been classed as unauthorised absence, and as such should not have been paid - however you will be aware you had already been paid for this period of time in February, prior to us being aware you had been working for another school, hence this resulting in an overpayment of salary.In view of this we have offset the amounts paid to you in respect of this overpayment, from any amounts which would have been due to you in March, meaning that there is no pay due to you thismonth. In addition, a balance of 3 days’ pay remains in respect of this overpayment totalling £300 which is now immediately due to us, and that we ask you immediately re-pay. In addition to this, we calculate you also owe to us £238.00 in respect of expenses you fraudulently claimed by incurring taxi costs for personal use on the school’s expense account. The overpayment due to us is therefore a total of £538.00.Please ensure these amounts are returned to the school no later than Friday 18th March 2016, to avoid the need for the company to escalate this issue as a debt recovery issue.I will arrange to forward your final P45 and payslip to you following repayment of these overpayment amounts at the end of the month.PossessionsIf you have any remaining school possessions, please ensure you return any items belonging to the company before close of business on Friday 18th March 2016. This includes keys, ID, pass, and any other property belong to the school.In respect of these belongings, I understand that you have in your possession a hard drive belonging to the school which was purchased by school expenses, and which may contain significant confidential information. In view of this, you must also return this hard drive to the school without delay and before the time scales listed above.It is imperative that this is done, and that any other confidential documentation in your possession is also returned to ensure this information is confidentially destroyed. You must not make or retain any copies of confidential information belonging to the school, and for the avoidance of doubt, you should be aware that should you copy, retain and/or misuse any school material in the future, this will be considered a breach of Clause 17 of your employment contract (which continues beyond the termination your employment), and will be pursued against you as a claim for breach of contract. This would include a claim from the school for any losses which are associated with, or result from your breach of this contract.Please therefore ensure all school belongings, including the hard drive, any keys, ID, passes are returned to the school before close of business on Friday 18th March 2016, and that no copies of any confidential information is retained or used in the future, to avoid the school needing to consider such a claim against you. I will also require you to delete any contact details of all colleagues or individuals linked to the school you may have, and provide me with express confirmation in writing this has been done and that all other documentation and possessions have been returned.You should also be aware that if we are requested to provide any job reference from a new employer in respect of working with vulnerable children, we will be required to make reference to the fact that you have been subject to disciplinary and dismissed from employment, for issues of theft, fraud, and dishonesty. "
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Thanks. What specific queries do you have about this response please? Also please remember to leave your rating otherwise I can only give basic advice, many thanks
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
They are claiming that I owe them money which I believe is not true and can they hold onto my payslip and p45 until they receive their money that they are claiming I have?Also, they are saying I have the hard drive - would this mean that they would report this as theft even if I do not have it? I am worried if the police breaks my door when I am not home.Also, as my employment is over I am no longer bound to confidentiality even if they are claiming I am?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
They can hold on to your P45 and payslip if they really want to – you cannot force them to provide these even though legally they should. You just have to contact the Revenue yourself to advise them this is the case and they may be able to issue a replacement. The police will not break your door even if it is reported to them – this is not something which will justify them doing that, if they even bother to get involved they will only visit you and it will be a peaceful affair, no breaking in. You are not bound to confidentiality unless you had specific post-employment restrictions in the contract. If your original question has been answered I would be grateful if you could please quickly rate my answer by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page - 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
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have copied and pasted what my contract says below;a. At no time during your employment with the School or thereafter, except in the proper course of your employment or as required by law, may you disclose to any Person or make use of, whether on your own account or for any Person, any information which is of a sufficiently high degree of confidentiality as to amount to a trade secret of the School or any information used in the business of the School which if disclosed to another Person would be liable to cause real significant damage to the School or any information in respect of which the School owes a duty of confidence to any Person, except in the proper course of your duties under this Agreement.b. During the course of your employment you may have access to and be entrusted with confidential information relating to the School’s business (“Confidential Information”), which is not readily ascertainable by Persons not connected with the School, such as information relating to the following, in relation to the School:i. management information, marketing surveys, plans and strategies, advertising and promotional material, development plans, maturing new opportunities, charging structuresii. business methods and processes, products and services, technical information and know-how and which is not available to the public generally, including inventions, designs, programmes, techniques, database systems, formulae and ideasiii. business contacts, names, addresses, telephone numbers, contact names and identities of pupils, parents, staff and of suppliers and potential suppliers and their terms of business, order requirements and supplier database detailsiv. information on staff and the terms of their employmentv. finances, budgets, management accounts, service costs, regulatory reports and other financial reportsvi. any information which you are informed by a relevant person is to be treated as confidential or which is marked “Confidential” in soft or hard copy.vii. Medical details of pupils and non-pupils together with records of clinical needs and historyc. Without prejudice to this clause, you must not during your employment (except in the proper performance of your duties, and then only to those who need to know such information) or afterwards (otherwise than with the prior written consent of the School or as required by law) use or disclose any Confidential Information. You must also use your best endeavours to prevent the publication or disclosure of Confidential Information by any Person. These restrictions will not apply to information which has become available to the public generally, other than through your unauthorised disclosure.d. All property of the School such as notes, memoranda, correspondence, computer and other discs and tapes and other documents and material whatsoever (whether made by you or otherwise) relating to the School, those associated with the School (including pupils, prospective pupils and their parents) or the business of the School and any copies of them:i. must not be removed, except for the proper performance of your dutiesii. must be returned on request and/or on termination of employmente. You must not memorise or copy any Confidential Information or send any property belonging to the School to any Person, whether in paper or electronic format, other than in the proper performance of your duties.f. Nothing in this clause shall prevent you from exercising any of your rights under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hi, I can consider this but please remember to rate the answers so far as otherwise I will not be able to continue as I am not credited for my time, thanks
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 46746
Experience: Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have now rated your answers so far
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. How are you likely to breach these clauses after you leave the school?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I will be making a claim to the tribunal for disabilty discrimination and bullying.Also, I will report the school and its individuals to the local authority
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Making a tribunal claim or making a report to the LA will not breach these clauses.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Can I legally opt out of this clause or am I bound to it for life?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
You cannot opt out now, but this is not valid for life, such restrictions only have a limited lifespan and the more vague they are in terms of how long they last the more difficult they are to enforce. So this is not something which should last longer than 6-12 months

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