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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 44871
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I have a member of staff left the company 2 weeks ago whilst

Customer Question

I have a member of staff left the company 2 weeks ago whilst I was on holiday. As part of her job in the club she was issued an iPad, she was told never to take this iPad home it had sensitive info on it and was to remain within the club at all times.She left Tuesday, I returned from holiday Friday and could not find the iPad. After my manager tried to get hold of her all of the weekend, I was due to pay her commission for May on Wednesday, I text her Monday asking where the iPad was as we couldn't find it. She said she had it.I asked her why she had taken it when she left without permission and it was not hers and should never be taken out of the club.She said "reply to my email and I will bring it back" this was referring to an email sent whilst I was away.I made it clear to her I was processing commissions on webs days and if I did not have the iPad back by 10am wednesday I would not process her commission as she had company property'sI have not received it back, she is refusing to discuss with my manager and has said if we want to call the police we can. She wants her commission now before she returns the iPad!I have 2 issues:1. She took something that did not belong to her I feel as a gaurenteed she will get paid (I have never not paid her)
2. The iPad has company information, credit and debit card details on it that if get into the wrong hands can cause allot of damage for my clients and my business.I'm concerned if I do get the iPad back it maybe wiped as she was the one who set it up.I do not want to call the police but I feel I have no choice.Please advise.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today. Was there anything in her contract requiring her to return the ipad on termination of employment?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Hi Ben, she was never issued the iPad to take home or for her wholey to use, so no.It's like someone picking up a set of Dumbbells in the gym and taking them home!She was aware the iPad was never to leave the premises due to insurance reasons and the fact it had sensitive information on it. I have that in writing to her.What are your through the? Technically it's theft? Right?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 months ago.

Thank you. It is unlikely that this is a a actually theft in the legal sense because for this to happen there must have been an intention to permanently deprive you of the item and in the circumstances she may just temporarily be holding it. Also whilst there is nothing stopping you from contacting the police, they may decide that this is a civil matter and refuse to get involved. You have nothing to lose by approaching them though so do use them if necessary.

In terms of getting the ipad back you cannot force her to return that. If she completely refuses to do it and the police do not get involved, then you will most likely have to make a court claim against her to pursue her for the value of the item, and if any losses have been suffered as a result of her actions – to pursue her for these too.

When it comes to commission you actually cannot withhold that even if she has the ipad in her possession. By law you can only withhold it if you have a contractual clause allowing you to do so. If you do not then it would amount to unlawful deduction of wages for which she can make a claim to pursue the pay she is due. However, at the same time you can make your own claim against her for the return or compensation of the ipad. You can of course risk it and not pay her but she can claim against, just as you can claim against her.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the steps you need to follow should you have to make a claim against her, 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, there is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 months ago.

Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question and if you need me to discuss the next steps in more detail? In the meantime please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts from the top of the page. The question will not close and I can continue with my advice as discussed. Thank you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 months ago.

Hello, do you need any further assistance or are you happy with the above response? Look forward to hearing from you.

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