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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70516
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I HAVE WORKED AS A SERVICE ENGINEER FOR THE LAST 20 YEARS WITH

Resolved Question:

I HAVE WORKED AS A SERVICE ENGINEER FOR THE LAST 20 YEARS WITH A COMPANY CAR ,I HAVE ALWAYS CARRIED MY OWN TOOLS IN THE BOOT. IN AUGUST LAST YEAR MY CAR WAS BROKEN INTO AT AN HEATHROW AIRPORT.WHERE IT WAS LEFT FOR 5 DAYS ,MY TOOLS WERE STOLEN WITH SOME PERSONAL ITEMS ,SAT NAV & I-POD. THE COMPANY THROUGH THEIR INSURANCE HAVE JUST AGREED TO PAY ME £150 FOR THE PERSONAL ITEMS BUT NOTHING FOR THE TOOLS WHICH TOTAL APPROXIMATELY £1200 TO £1500 ,THEY SAY I SHOULD CLAIM ON MY HOUSE INSURANCE. ALL THESE YEARS I BELIEVED MY EQUIPMENT WAS COVERED BUT NOW HAVE LOST EVERYTHING .PLEASE CAN YOU IVE SOME ADVICE ON MY NEXT STEP
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Hi.

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

Does the company provide tools if asked or is it a condition that you provide your own?

Ie, do you provide your own tools from choice?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I PROVIDE MY OWN TOOLS,SPANNERS, SCREW DRIVERS,MEASURING EQUIPMENT,BATTERY DRILL ETC, BUT THE COMPANY SUPLLIES DRILL BITS ,FILES AND TAPS

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thank you.

What I need to know is this. Does the company provide those tools if asked or is it a condition that you provide your own?

Ie, do you provide your own tools from choice?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

WE HAVE ALWAYS PROVIDED OUR OWN TOOLS BUT THE COMPANY WILL PROVIDE ANY SPECIALIST TOOLS NEEDED TO COMPLETE TASKS ON THEIR EQUIPMENT

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Yes, I understand that.

So, is it a condition of your employment you provide your own tools ignoring the specialist tools.

If you ask them for ordinary type tools, will they supply them, or will they tell you to use your own and refuse to supply them?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

THE CONDITION IS WE SUPPLY OUR OWN TOOLS

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thanks.

For the time being, leave the fact that there may or may not be insurance for of this.

In order to bring a successful claim, you have to prove that someone has been negligent. In this particular case, your loss was caused by the thief. Your company have not been negligent and neither have you.

It would appear that there is nothing that could reasonably have been done to prevent the theft. Its one of those crimes that could affect all of us.

There is then the issue of insurance which is what we take out to cover an eventuality like the above, both for when someone has been negligent, and also for theft when they have not.

It is strange that the company's insurer will pay for items which are not related to work but they will not pay for things which need to be in the boot.

Of course, if you are not away on company business, or these tools were not needed during that five days, the company can argue that you are responsible for this because you should have removed them. However the same applies to the items which they will agree to pay for so it makes no sense.

If the company insists that you supply your own tools and that is a term of the contract, then you obviously have to replace these tools and you cannot insist the company replaces them.

If they are company tools and the company allege that you have been negligent by leaving them in the boot, they could insist that you replace them at your cost even though the tools are theirs.

In conclusion, the company has not been negligent and it is the company’s choice as to whether it chooses to replace these tools by virtue of a claim through its own insurance company or by paying itself, or refusing to do both.

If you are intent then you are faced with suing your employer in the Small Claims Court for the value of the tools.

There may be a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel and that would be that if your employer insisted that you used your own tools and that for whatever reason, you had no option but to leave the tools in the boot while it was parked at Heathrowyou might win a claim in court. Nonetheless, a court case against the employer may not put you in a favourable light with them.

I'm sorry this isn't the answer you wanted but it is the position that you face and I have a duty to inform you truthfully.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.

Jo
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