I have found the contract. I will scan it tomorrow and send it to you if that is the best way forward. However, I will outline a few essential points.
1/ The manner in which it is typed up is a bit unclear but it appears I am only required to give one weeks notice and so how can they claim a months loss of earnings?
2/ The crucial part of section 4 states;
'This is a zero hours contractual agreement. Due to the nature of your role there are no set or standard hours of work for you. You are not guaranteed a minimum number of hours of work each week and in a particular week, you may receive no work at all from the company. However, the company will endeavour to give you advanced notice of the hours that you will be (required) (offered) to work in a particular week.
(You are not obliged to accept the hours of work offered and the company has no obligation to offer you work on an ongoing basis).
3/ Section 7 deals with deductions; it states in capital letters;
'FIT FOR VALUE DEDUCTIONS WILL BE MADE FROM WAGES FOR ANY LOSSES AND/OR DAMAGES CAUSED TO THE COMPANY OR COMPANY PROPERTY BY THE EMPLOYEE FISCAL OR OTHERWISE'.
This includes any apparent damaged caused to the furniture (not wear and tear) etc, etc, etc ......................... and loss of sales due to an employees behaviour. etc, etc, ..............
Deductions can and will be made if losses to the company are resultant of an employees actions such as unauthorised absence, failure to go into work without notice, leaving work early without permission.
4/ Another section number 6 deals with 'holidays'; but I had not asked for a holiday, I had merely told them I would not be available for those 12.5 hours the following week.
When a staff member needed to take time off the practice was to inform management who would find a replacement. In practice they normally insisted that we find a replacement ourselves and inform them. I tried to do this but failed, I informed management that I could not find a replacement and could not work these hours on this occasion, this was with three days notice and on numerous previous occasions replacement staff have been found for their different concessions with far less notice e.g.. I have often filled a vacancy for someone who has gone sick at a moments notice.
I then took a week off to attend a course and did not consider my reasons for not being available were their business anyway. This was 'private' to me.
Upon return I received an email and the company had offered me 12 hours for the following week which was completely inadequate for my needs. This was essentially their way of punishing me for not accepting hours that I was not under any obligation to accept the week before anyway. I was pencilled in for 12 hours per week for the rest of the month but nothing was guaranteed. I was also the senior member of staff at this particular concession and junior staff were being given my hours.
At this point I sent an email to the company stating would not be working for this company any more.
I feel that although the contract states/or seems to state I should give a 'minimum period' of notice, it doesn't make it clear what that is. If it is meant to reflect what notice the company should give me, it appears to be 'one week'. I can see nothing that states I must give a months notice. I also (mistakenly)offered to work this period when they threatened me but they rejected this on the basis I was working elsewhere, which I was not!.
The contract embodies a number of contradictions. The one most affecting me is that I am not obliged to accept the hours 'offered' but can be sanctioned for absence. Another is that I only need give a weeks notice but they are claiming almost £900 from me for a months work.
They have so far sent two invoices by email and one by post. About two days ago they sent an email stating they had sent my details to a debt collecting agency.
Jeff & Drita Lowe