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Senior Partner
Senior Partner, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 13323
Experience:  Solicitor with more than 30 years experience
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I arrived in UK in oct 2012 from Romania. Romania is a part

Customer Question

I arrived in UK in oct 2012 from Romania. Romania is a part of EU since 2007. Me as romanian i didnt had the legal right to work in UK till 1 January 2014. On March 2013 I got "hired" by a removal company in london. I didnt signed any employment contract , I`m not self employed. They just gave me a van and told me to go to work. The job description is moving houses. Every day after 5 pm I get the job for the following day by SMS. Every week I send a timesheet where I write the jobs that they send me , the fuel I put in and the amount of money i claim for me and my porter. Company says it pays me 70 pounds and gives 60 pounds to my porter. All the money gas,porter and my wage I receive it in my bank account. I work 10-14 hours a day sometimes more. I work 6-7 days a week. If I refuse to go to any job even if I worked 8-10 hours that day i dont get my wages on time or i get less money or he ask me to bring him the van to the office. He leaves me 2-3 weeks without work to punish me until I start starving and then he gives me a van and sends me jobs because he knows i wont refuse any. I have to pay for the fuel and hope every time I will receive the money for my wages,
He has only east european drivers and hes like a "slave master". If you want to leave the company he dont pay your last week wages.
I know people who didnt received thousand of pounds when leaveing the company.
I want to do something and try some legal action against him. Maybe someone can help me.
Thank you
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Senior Partner replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for your question. Clearly you are being exploited. I doubt if the employer pays proper tax and National insurance from what you say. If you are paid less than the minimum wage or he is not providing proper working conditions for example because the vans are not legal or properly maintained then action can be taken but you could for example complain to HMRC if he is not paying the minimum wage - see here:http://search.hmrc.gov.uk/kb5/hmrc/contactus/view.page?record=lZSp3XtWUIo

You could also speak to the local health and safety office about working conditions

There is a government website that provides a lot of detail of your rights:https://www.gov.uk/browse/working/rights-trade-unions

If he with holds work you could bring a tribunal claim for breach of contract. If he does not pay you you can sue for the unpaid wages aswell but to be blunt you would be best to leave and find another job. You are legally liable for the any issues with the vehicle and he is only able to get away with it because you and other let him.

If you wish to leave then refuse to hand the van back until you are paid.

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