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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 47604
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Dear Madam/Sir I started a employment with a company Autoprotect

Customer Question

Dear Madam/Sir

I started a employment with a company Autoprotect in Harlow/Essex as a European team leader on the 01/07/2013. As stated in my contract it was subject to a 6 months probation period which run out on the 31/12/2013.On the 23/12/2013 I was in the office all day long
and worked on the 24/12/2013 on my laptop from home, because finishing hours where at 12 am. At 9.30 am on the 24/12/2013 the deputy office manager send me a e-mail telling me that my employment would not be prolonged over the 31/12/2013 and having been payed up to the 31/12/2013 on the 23/12/2013 i could not expect any further payments.
I never got this notice in writing and still have no P45 up to this day. On the 24/01/2014
I got a payslip from the company via e-mail for January 2014 and my full wages where transfered in to my bank account. Today I got a e-mail from them asking me to pay the wages back because they made a mistake. I don't now how to react anymore. Is this dismissal even valid? Could anyone please give me advise.

Kind regards
Wilfried Olbertz
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 :

Did you perform any work in January?

JACUSTOMER-hkvzddod- :

Now

JACUSTOMER-hkvzddod- :

No

Ben Jones :

When did you actually receive the notice to terminate your employment?

JACUSTOMER-hkvzddod- :

Only on the 24/12/2013 by e-mail

Ben Jones :

What was your contractual notice period during the probationary period?

JACUSTOMER-hkvzddod- :

I think 7 days , not sure

Ben Jones :

The dismissal will be valid. If the contract only required that the employer provides notice in writing, then sending an email is giving you notice in writing. As you were subject to a 7-day notice period, by giving you the notice on the 24th and having paid you up until the 31st, your employer has given you the notice you are legally due.

The issue then is the money they paid you for January. As your employment was already terminated and you did no work for them during January, this is not money you are legally entitled to and the employer has the right to ask for it back. If you refuse to return it voluntarily they can potentially sue you. There are limited circumstances when you could try and defend such a claim if you did not know you were overpaid and had already spent the money but assuming you were notified by receiving a payslip and the money then followed in your bank account you would have known about it so cannot use that excuse. As such, they are likely to succeed in a claim to recover that if it goes that far.

JACUSTOMER-hkvzddod- :

How comes that I still have no P 45 up to this day yet

Ben Jones :

they should have sent you one but it does not change the validity of the dismissal. It is bad practice on the employer's part but it is post-termination admin that does not mean you are not dismissed if it is not received

JACUSTOMER-hkvzddod- :

As far as I know I would pay emergency tax should I start a new employment. Who would compensate me for it?

Ben Jones :

this will be refunded to you by HMRC once your tax code issues are resolved

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?

Ben Jones :

Hello?