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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 44957
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Seeking advice on the following matter, there is no short version

Customer Question

Seeking advice on the following matter, there is no short version to give you all the facts but will try to be as brief as possible.

I have recently left a company that I was employed for nearly 8 years, changing roles in between and gaining promotion, however the company seemed to enter a stage where I could no longer see any assistance in achieving my goals, no traing to keep me up to date with the requirements of the role, nor have I received an appraisal in the last two years.

Therefore I tender my resigination which was excepted, at this point there was a little hostile exchange from the main director, but my line manager did ask if I would give six weeks notice instead of the four weeks required, this was to assist with the outstanding projects I was running and allowing them to be brought to their end stages for hand over.

My official leave date was the 2nd of August 2013 which I worked to and in order to get as much as possible completed within my final period I requested that they would give a letter to promise that all expenses and over time would be paid in this period, which I received on the 19th July 2013, and had no further contact with them during this period whilst I carried out my duties, except from submitting the expenses and overtime incurred, which was not questioned.

On my final day of work I returned my van to my local Romford office which was checked over by the administrator and a supervisors and gave a form of exceptance listing general wear for a vehicle with around 29000 miles on the clock, at this point I also submitted my final time sheets and left the company.

On the 7th of AUgust 2013 I received a bill for £50.00 for general cleaning of the vehicle which I was happy to pay as I was unable to clean due to working to the last hour whilst still employed with them.

I have not received any other communication from them until today the 26th August 2013 by form of letter stating they are now delaying final payment due to repairs that are needed to the vehicle, I have spoken to the staff who received the vehicle and signed the returning form which I have a copy off, and they have stated that this vehicle has been used from the following day that I returned it by others, and are willing to write a statement to that fact.

My pay should be paid into my account on the 28th of this month I have a family and mortgage to pay and will incurr possible cost from the bank over this, plus I have not received my p45 for my new employer for them to ensure I do not have emergency tax reductions.

Have I an course of action to take regarding this case as I feel they have excepted the condition of the vehicle and now delaying my final payment for no reason.

Awaiting any advise you can offer on this.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is Ben and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Ben Jones :

Before proceeding please note that as I am a practising solicitor, I am often in and out of meetings, travelling between clients or even at court when I pick your question up. This may even occur at weekends. Therefore, I apologise in advance but there may be a delay in getting back to you and providing my advice. Please be patient and I will respond as soon as I can. You do not have to wait here and you will receive an email when I have responded. For now please let me know what you are hoping to achieve?

Customer : Basically receive my final payment and prove that I returned the vehicle in good condition and as it has been used for the last month plus been cleaned three weeks ago and no mention then, plus is it legal to do this.
Customer : i would like to know how I stand from a legal point, as I feel this is a delaying action and wrong as others are using the motor, not even been given a cost or list of the damage, if it was this bad surely this would have been picked up on the returning date.
Customer : As there is an urgency on this matter I will possible see a solicitor tommorrow as I will not be able to wait to the weekend, as I was informed this was an instant response, I may have been miss informed. Steve.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.
Hello again, what your employer has done could potentially amount to an unlawful deduction from wages, which is illegal according to 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 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. Also state 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:
1. Employment Tribunal - the time limit to claim is only 3 months from the date the deductions were made. To make the claim the following form (ET1) needs to be completed: (https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/225526/ET1_Combined_v2.3.pdf)
2. County Court – whilst this is not free, the time limit for claiming is 6 years. Therefore, it is useful if the Tribunal deadline has been missed. The claim can be made online by going to: www.moneyclaim.gov.uk.

Hopefully by taking any of these steps the employer will be prompted to reconsider their position and try to resolve this without having to take the matter any further.

Unfortunately the employer cannot be forced to make the payment now even if what they are doing is unlawful. Your protection would come in a sense that you can seek compensation for any losses you may have suffered as a result, but not actually force payment when it is due. Nevertheless I would still hope that a strongly worded letter will be sufficient to prompt them to change their position.

I hope this has answered your query and would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating. Your question will not close and I can continue providing further advice if necessary. Thank you

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