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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 44932
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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My daughter has recently been dismissed from her job, as a

Customer Question

My daughter has recently been dismissed from her job, as a sales assistant in a jewelry shop, for theft. At the end of a normal day she was asked to go to the office and was asked about taking some jewelry boxes (these are normally given out free with a purchase) which she had sold on e-bay. She admitted taking the boxes. She was dismissed, told she would be paid, but the shop owner expected my daughter to pay for the boxes, to which my daughter agreed.
The shop have undertaken a stock-take and and have stated that other items have gone missing. The shop owner rang my daughter and asked about the missing items and said that she had sold other items of jewelry on e-bay. My daughter said she knew nothing about the other items, she has sold a variety of items on e-bay. Including a watch and ring (these items are sold in the shop), however these were presents from me.
Should my daughter write to the shop owner saying that she is sorry for taking the boxes, but has no knowledge of the other items mentioned. Also including payment for the boxes.
What is the best course of action?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long did she work there for?

Customer: Hi Ben,
Ben Jones :

Hi, it does not appear your full response came through, could you please try again, thanks

Customer: Hi, She has been employed for less than 1 year. Another issue she had was that she had no contract of employment. When she took the job she was told she did not have to work weekends, however she has had to work Saturdays, having Tuesday off.
Customer: it is also worth mentioning that several other people work there, mainly part-time. All have access to the stock.
Ben Jones :

What does the employer want her to do - are they simply asking for payment for the other items she is accused of selling? Also can you prove that you gave her these items as gifts?

Customer: We don't know what action her employee will take. She has agreed to pay for the boxes, but they are now saying that other items have gone missing.
Customer: We can not prove the purchase of the gifts.
Ben Jones :

As she has now been dismissed the employer only has a couple of options to take this any further. They could try and sue her in the civil courts for the value of the items they are accusing her of stealing, but they would need to prove that she took them, so it is for them to convince the court that this was the case, rather than for her to prove that it was not. In the worst case scenario she would just have to pay for these items.

They could also contact the police and report this as theft from the workplace but it would then be for the police to conduct their own investigation and determine if there is a case to answer.

At this stage it is unclear where or how far the employer intends to take this matter so she should try and reduce the possibility of going this further by contacting them and explaining the situation to them. Of course, if she took boxes which she has not paid for she should try and pay for them and keep the employer happy in the meantime. However, she should also explain the situation with the other items and how they came in her possession. Whatever she does, there is no guarantee that this won’t go any further – the employer could refuse to accept her version of events and consider either a civil claim or reporting this to the police – there is simply no way to avoid this if that is the route they wish to pursue. However, she could try and reduce that risk by contacting them now, apologising for what has happened so far, paying for any outstanding items she took and explaining the situation with the remaining items, which she did not take.

Hope this clarifies your position? If you could please let me know that would be great, thank you

Customer: She is planning to write to her employer saying that she is sorry and enclose a payment for the boxes. The employer has said they expect payment. As the boxes were given out free with a purchase, we don't think the employer had to pay for them. She currently intends to pay over the amount she realised on e-bay.
Customer: is there anything she should say or avoid saying in the letter, for example should she head the letter 'without prejudice'. Should she say the stock control system is not reliable and that she does not have sole responsibility, or could this make the situation worse.
Ben Jones :

without prejudice will only potentially prevent this correspondence from being used in court if it goes that way, but it is not necessary - there is no harm in including that phrase when she is making attempts to try and settle this with the employer now. Saying the stock system is unreliable will not really make things worse but it depends on how the employer views this, for example whether they think she is trying to blame them and avoid any responsibility, this could potentially aggravate the situation and make them more keen to pursue this but no one can guess how it will affect this

Customer: How long have the employer got to bring any action. It is now 2 weeks since my daughter was dismissed.
Customer: The employer must have suspected earlier, as they had a new person ready to start the job.
Ben Jones :

they have 6 years to make a claim

Ben Jones :

Hope this clarifies your position? If you could please let me know that would be great, thank you

Ben Jones :

Hello, I see you have accessed and read my answer to your query. 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? I just need to know whether to close the question or not? Thanks

Customer: The employers has said they may have to inform the Inland Revenue. Why?
Ben Jones :

inform them of what? There is nothing that the IR would need to know about this situation

Customer:

I don't know why they would inform the IR. I think they are trying to frighted my daughter.

Customer:

She is going to write to her former employer, apologising for the misunderstanding and to pay for the boxes, is there anything she should say or avoid saying?

Ben Jones :

There is nothing for them to discuss with the IR in relation to this. It is not a tax issue and nothing to do with them so I think these are just scare tactics. There is nothing specific she should or should not say, if she does not want to incriminate herself then obviously she should not admit anything in relation to the items she has not taken and all she has to do is discuss the items she is willing to pay for and state that this is made in full and final settlement for anything owed.

Hope this clarifies your position? If you could please let me know that would be great, thank you

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