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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 48804
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I am a driver who collects and drops off employees. I dropped

Customer Question

I am a driver who collects and drops off employees. I dropped off an employee one night at his house, I sat in the bus and completed my paperwork then drove off.
The next day I went to work and my manager asked me if I had knocked a wall down when I dropped off the employee the night before. I replied not to my knowledge, I had a witness in the bus who also confirmed that I had not knocked the wall down. The manager took the bus for two days and had it checked over, there was no damage to the bus. At no time was I requested to fill out a form or document the facts.
The manager decided not to go through the insurance company but to pay for a builder to not only repair the wall but paid for a fence to be put up the cost was £400.00. She is now saying I have to pay the bill and will take the money out of my wages.
Can you help.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Does your conract state your employer can make such deductions from your pay?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have no contract
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am on zero hours
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What do you advise? What are my rights?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ben are you still there?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ben please confirm that you are still online.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Yes I am but every reply you send pushes your question to he back of the queue. Do you know why the employer did not use their insurance?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No I don't know why. This
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
How long have you worked there for?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have worked there 2 years this June
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
If the employer was to deduct these costs from your pay then this would potentially amount to an unlawful deduction from wages, which is made illegal under the Employment Rights Act 1996. Under law, an employer can only make deductions from, or withhold an employee’s wages in the following circumstances:{C}· If it is legally allowed (e.g. to deduct tax);{C}· If it is to recover an earlier overpayment of wages made by the employer;{C}· If their contract specifically allows for the deductions to be made; or{C}· If the employee has given their explicit written agreement for the deductions to be made. If none of the above exemptions apply, the deductions will most likely be unlawful. The issue you face here is that due to your length of service being less than 2 years you are not protected against unfair dismissal, which means you can be dismissed for more or less any reason including this one. So you could refuse to pay or pursue the employer for the money if they deduct it, but in response they could simply sack you and you would not be able to challenge it. So it is a tough situation – you have protection against the money being taken from your pay but the alternative could be that you end up without a job. This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the steps you ned to take to recover the money should it be deducted from your pay anyway, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
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Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. If money is deducted then 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: www.moneyclaim.gov.uk.
Hopefully 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.