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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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HI , i have been fired , because a bag has been missing from our clients stuff which has

Customer Question

HI , i have been fired , because a bag has been missing from our clients stuff which has been stored in our "secured storage " for two months time . The bag was not on the store inventory sheet at all . no any evidence that the bag has been taken from his property when we took his stuff to our store . no police has been involved . i just been told that i am not working there any longer .
The other thing that i had 0 hour contract with a 9 pound rate for an hour . as much as i know the employer must pay for those hours when we travelling between jobs or from when i start in the morning until i got to the clients address - with the national minimum rate of 6.51 pounds . i did ask for those hours many times but never got paid for it . they owing me over 200 hours...
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 you work there for?
JACUSTOMER-g3fei2og- : It was a bit over 4 months .
Ben Jones : Hi sorry i was offline by the time you had replied. You cannot challenge the dismissal because you need 2 years of service to be protected against unfair dismissal and until then you could be dismissed for more or less any reason. In terms of the money owed, this potentially amounts to an unlawful deduction from wages, which is made illegal under the Employment Rights Act 1996. 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: ***** ***** 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. Hope this answers your question?
JACUSTOMER-g3fei2og- : Thank You for tge answer . The money part is clear . But the first ( main ) problem
JACUSTOMER-g3fei2og- :

that they can say without being any trouble that i am a thief , which they have no any evidence for , not following any legal procedures , and on the top of this sack me in two seconds???

JACUSTOMER-g3fei2og- :

there was no any kind of proper investigation .

Ben Jones : Unfortunately they can dismiss you without any investigation and even if there is evidence you are innocent. Until you have at least 2 years service you are not protected against unfair dismissal so the employer can dismiss for more or less any reason and without showing you were guilty of anything. Does this answer your follow up query?
JACUSTOMER-g3fei2og- : Ok . Back to the first job . I just received a letter this morning regarding to the unpaid hours which i have spent at work but not physicly doing work . So tgey saying that i had a 0 hour contract with them but there is a point in the contract saying : " your rate of pay will be .... To be clear about your hourly pay ,you will ve paid for the hours that you are actually working on a job. You will not be paid for tge time you are travelling to ir between induvidual jobs unless we are able to charge that time to the client"
Ben Jones : Such a clause can prevent your employer from paying you for that time, you are not utomatica entitled to be paid for all time
Ben Jones : that you spend on the employer's instructions. The key is whether when you take all working time together and calculate the average pay you are paid above the National Minimum Wage. According to the Working Time Regulations 1998, ‘working time’ includes ‘any period during which a person is working, at his employer’s disposal and carrying out its activity or duties’. 

According to Guidance from the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the definition of working time also includes business travel time, but does not include home-to-work travel and time spent travelling outside normal working time. 

So if you are required to travel to/from clients as part of your working day and duties and at that time you are at your employer’s disposal, you can certainly argue that this time constitutes ‘working time’ and should be taken into account when calculating you maximum working hours per week and your remuneration. However, the first and last trips of the day when you are driving to/from your home are unlikely to amount to working time and as such should be discounted.This is still quite a grey area and there is no specific legislation that gives a definitive answer on the issue. The above is mainly guidance and if there are ongoing disputes between employee and employer, these are often referred to an Employment Tribunal or the courts for resolution.

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