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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 47373
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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hi I was working my notice and in the last week a mistake that

Resolved Question:

hi I was working my notice and in the last week a mistake that I had made came to light to my employer since , leaving the job I have done every thing in my power to help resolve the problem the problem has cost my employer money and is now threatening that if I don't settle a sum of money with him , he will get a county court judgement against me and sue me , how ever he still owes me my last pay cheque, holiday pay and expenses which he has retained without my permission any help would be grateful
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How much are you owed and how much does he want from you?

Customer:

I am owed £2000 he wants £5300 or he will take further action

Ben Jones :

are the costs he is after justified?

Customer:

the costs are for vets fees , dna tests and disposal of animals

Ben Jones :

but do you agree your actions or negligence caused these costs?

Customer:

I was working on his behalf with no training in the field that the mistake was made in with no supervision from him! there was a third party (agent) working on his behalf who was supposed to check them at regular intervals but never did they looked at the documents and singed them of as ok before he realised there was a problem the end result did mean it cost him these costs!

Ben Jones :

does your contract say he could withhold such costs from your pay?

Customer:

all it says on that matter is- the employer reserves the right in its absolute discretion to deduct from your pay at any time during,or in any event on termination any sums which you owe the employer including, without limitation, any overpayments of pay, bonus,loans,advances,expences made to you or paid but subsequently disallowed by the employer . by singing this you accept that the employer may make deductions from salary due to me.

Ben Jones :

I would say that the employer’s refusal to pay you potentially amounts to an unlawful deduction from wages, which is made illegal under 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 explicit written agreement for the deductions to be made. The clause you have does not include the specific reason they are relying on and a very general clause to cover ‘any’ deductions would rarely be enforceable.


 


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. Advise them 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, form ET1 needs to be completed and submitted - you can find it here: https://www.employmenttribunals.service.gov.uk/employment-tribunals

  2. County Court – this is an alternative way to claim and the advantage is that the time limit is a much longer 6 years and is usually used if you are out of time to claim in the Tribunal. The claim can be made online by going to: www.moneyclaim.gov.uk.


 


Hopefully by warning the employer you are aware of your rights and are not going to hesitate taking further action they will be prompted to reconsider their position and work towards resolving this.


 


The issue is that if you claim, they can make a counterclaim for the money they believe you owe them – however that would be considered on its own merits and it needs to be shown you were negligent and that your actions had directly caused the losses, which also were reasonable.


 

Customer:

so what would your advice be? should I pay? do I have a strong case or not? I cannot afford a lot and don't know what to do

Ben Jones :

I cannot tell you your prospects of defending this as I have very little information on the details of the claim but you could try and refuse to pay and if he sues you at least you can try and defend this and try your chances, which means you could walk away with paying nothing, or you could be asked to pay just part of it or the full amount - whatever the outcome you have a chance to pay less than what is asked instead of just agreeing to pay it all at the outset

Customer:

thanks for your help!

Ben Jones :

you are most welcome

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