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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 47351
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I have just timed out. I have paid a huge amount of salary

Customer Question

I have just timed out. I have paid a huge amount of salary sacrifice via a temporary employment company amounting to as much as £70 a week from a £250 wage. I tried to challenge this but was told I would have to wait 10 months until the next tax year to opt out of the scheme. I have written, I have telephoned, with no luck. I have suffered depression because of this. I think they have hundreds of my pounds, I now work for the NHS and have discovered that if you take part in such a scheme you can buy a bike or get childcare vouchers. I never received any benefit, just sarcasm. What can I do retrospectively - my problems go back to 2006. I have kept all payslips, P60s and HMRC information.
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 :

How long did you work there for please?

JACUSTOMER-k0j6nb18- :

I worked for the agency for 6 years with a break for postgraduate study and some supply teaching so I think 2003 to 2009.

Ben Jones :

OK, thank you, please leave this with me - I will look into this for you, get my response ready and get back to you on here. No need to wait around and you will get an email when I have responded, thank you

Ben Jones :

Apologies for the slight delay, the site experienced some temporary technical issues earlier on. All seems to be resolved now so I can continue with my advice.

The purpose of a salary sacrifice scheme is that you give up part of your normal pay and in return the employer provides you with certain non-cash and non-taxable benefits, such as childcare vouchers, pension contributions and so on. It basically reduces your tax liabilities and you get something else in return to an equivalent value of what you have sacrificed.

If you paid all that money into the scheme but never received any benefits in return then you are certainly able to pursue the company that were operating the scheme and which made the deductions in question.

As this is a dispute over money owed by one party to another, the debtor can be pursued through the civil courts for recovery of the debt. As legal action should always be seen as a last resort, there are certain actions that should be taken initially to try and resolve this matter informally and without having to involve the courts. It is recommended that the process follows these steps:

  1. Reminder letter – if no reminders have been sent yet, one should be sent first to allow the debtor to voluntarily pay what is due.
  2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but these have been ignored, the debtor must be sent a formal letter asking them to repay the debt, or at least make arrangements for its repayment, within a specified period of time. A reasonable period to demand a response by would be 10 days. They should be advised that if they fail to do contact you in order to resolve this matter, formal legal proceedings will be commenced to recover the debt. This letter serves as a ‘final warning’ and gives the other side the opportunity to resolve this matter without the need for legal action.
  3. If they fail to pay or at least make contact to try and resolve this, formal legal proceedings can be initiated. A claim can be commenced online by going to www.moneyclaim.gov.uk. Once the claim form is completed it will be sent to the debtor and they will have a limited time to defend it. If they are aware legal proceedings have commenced it could also prompt them to reconsider their position and perhaps force them to contact you to try and resolve this.

Whatever correspondence is sent, it is always advisable to keep copies and use recorded delivery so that there is proof of delivery and a paper trail. The court may need to refer to these if it gets that far.

Hope this clarifies your position?