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JGM
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 11142
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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I am a Head Chef and i have recently walked out of my job

Customer Question

I am a Head Chef and i have recently walked out of my job without giving any notice ,i did not have a written statement or a contract of employment as i asked for on numerous times in my stay there. I was employed their for 17 months. they have sent me a letter saying they had to employ a chef to cover my work load and claiming 500 pounds for forty hours that is not true. Also they have said i unlawfully took recipe,s and diaries from the workplace but they were all my recipes to begin with ,which i have had for many years using these in many places i have worked before They have said i may want to settle this without going to court and not incur legal costs because i would lose the case Please what would you suggest.

They are also saying they had to run a reduced menu on wednesday lunch so the loss to the business was 444 pounds but the second chef was compitant in the full menu

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  JGM replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
Are you saying that they tried to change your hours, (and thus the contract of employment), without your consent?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

As a chef my hours vary from busy periods to quiet periods but the first rota my boss had done gave me 36 hours and did not tell me of the amount of hours i was going to do.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Just an addition to that i did agree with my boss so we could keep costs down that i would do 40 -42 hours per week but not 36.but i did find it strange that we employed another chef who was given 30 hours on the same rota

Expert:  JGM replied 2 years ago.
I mean the bit about the 4 hour shifts. Can you tell me a bit about that?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I had done a rota for week commencing 6th of October and showed it to the boss on Sunday the 5th giving myself weds and Sunday off total hours 42. my boss then showed me his rota and then took them both away ,we were due to have a meeting on Monday the 6th but that failed to happen so i was left with nothing to go on except go with the rota i had done and tell the other chef that was the case

I had put myself on split shifts on Thursday and Friday and i had agreed to work a late on Tuesday.

Ileft work at 8.45 p.m on Monday no new rota had appeared but on the way to work on the Tuesday i rang my second chef for a handover only to be told i had been put on a 5.30-9 shift Thurs and Friday and he was covering the lunch shift.

I will tell you as well that it is a fresh food outlet but changed my role as they wanted me to not do any prep but just cover service times and let the other chef to do prep that is impossible to do as you have to prep 7 days a week that is why they only wanted me to do nights

Expert:  JGM replied 2 years ago.
Why did you walk out without giving your week's notice?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Never any communication between myself and the boss,s kept changing the goal posts to suit themselves and constantly lying to get out of things they earlier had agreed too.

I no longer had any respect for them and also i began having too chase my wages too get paid on time ,also i was speaking to suppliers who had not been paid for a while andi was getting embarassed to order stock

Expert:  JGM replied 2 years ago.
So they didn't pay you in accordance with the contract and kept trying to change the contract?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

yes they did, also when i first started i did say family was important to me and if possible i would like Sundays off and they said no problem they did not expect me to do roast dinners as the other chef can do that because it was easy.

In addition to that they kept saying the business needs were changing so that was why things were having to change but nothing was ever put in writing like a contract if it had have been i would have looked at the changes and if they did not work for me i would have left and wished them well as with any normal job.

again it was stated and agreed by all parties i would have 2 days off a week, later on that also began to be a problem because they wanted me to do 6 nights a week even though we had a chef 10 mins away but i was 43 miles away

Expert:  JGM replied 2 years ago.
It appears from your helpful narrative that the employer was attempting to change the contract and that you did not agree to the changes. That being the case you are justified in treating the contract to be at an end. I doubt that they will sue you for alleged losses. It would cost them even more to do so, despite their threats.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

They have given me to the 21st nov to reply or it will go to court ,do i reply to the letter they have sent or see what action they take next

Expert:  JGM replied 2 years ago.
Whilst you can't predict what they will do, I would tend not to reply to them at this stage to see if they do follow up. It may be that their "sour grapes" will blow over and they will simply move on.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.

As i walked out on my job they are also saying they had to employ a chef to cover my weeks work i was going to do at a rate of 12.50 at 40 hours totaling 500 pounds can they claim this back.

they would have had to pay this to me had i worked my weeks notice anyway

Expert:  JGM replied 2 years ago.
They can't claim for money that they would have had to pay anyway, no.