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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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I have recently been challenged at work corporate

Resolved Question:

I have recently been challenged at work for receiving corporate hospitality which was deemed to be excessive. I had to admit to it, as they had email and other evidence. However, I was given the choice of resigning (which would result in me being eligible for a reference from my employer), or to be dismissed for gross misconduct (which would result in no reference being given). I elected to resign with immediate effect, and was told that would be the end of it.
I have now received a letter from a civil recovery agency requesting that I pay a huge amount of money in compensation and losses sustained by my employer. There are certain factual errors in the letter, also. This is obviously extremely distressing, and I would like to know if my employer is able to try to recover money when no money has in fact been lost by them.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today. What compensation and losses specifically are they claiming for, what are the claiming they have lost?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The letter from the civil recovery solutions company does not itemise the claim. The claim itself is for £100,662.47, but they do not give details of how they have arrived at this figure - they simply state the figure covers the loss to the company, plus investigation costs, security costs and administration costs. However, no money was actually lost by my employer as my offences related to corporate hospitality.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

OK, a rather large claim by the looks of it. You are correct that the employer cannot just claim for things they have not lost. They cannot penalise you for what you did if they have not suffered actual losses as a result. So to just approach you and quote a figure without any proof or justification is so far just opportunistic on their part. You have every right to challenge them over this and ask that they provide clear evidence of how these costs were arrived at and prove that they resulted as a direct consequence of your actions and that they were unavoidable and not possible to mitigate against. At this stage all the debt recovery company can do is be a nuisance and ask you to repay or make threats to take it further. They cannot force you to pay anything. Only a court can do so and that is once the employer has issued a formal claim, been able to justify these losses and convinced the court that they are genuinely due in the circumstances. That is a long way away for now and they would need to provide the evidence to back up such a claim in the form of proving that such losses were genuinely incurred by what you did.

I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Many thanks for your answer. Can I just ask you to give an idea as to how to word a reply to the Civil Recovery Company? Also, they have given me 2 weeks from the date of the letter (20th July) to reply. Should I reply so that they receive it by 3rd August? I have seen on some online forums that it is recommended to reply on the deadline, rather than before.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hi if you need drafting of a reply then that would be a premium service and charged extra. We are only a Q&A forum otherwise. I can send over a quote if needed. Otherwise you can get a reply drafted yourself and I can check it over and make any small corrections which would be included in the initial fee. As to replying to them they can set whatever deadline they want. It does not have to be from the date you received the letter and also replying on rather than before he deadline makes no difference in reality

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi. Many thanks for the explanation. I would be grateful if you could check the response I propose to send below. I appreciate you haven't seen their original letter to me, but as I mentioned in my initial message to you, the civil recovery company have made certain factual errors which I have pointed out in the proposed response.
"Thank you for your letter.
I would like to point out the following:-
First, my actions which led to me no longer being employed by your client did not result in your client incurring any losses. The corporate hospitality which I received was given by third party suppliers, and not your client.
Second, you mention damage to a company car. There was no damage to my company car, other than normal wear and tear, and no mention of any such damage was made in the letter I received from your client's HR dept, accepting my letter of resignation.
Third, your letter mentions that the incidents of misconduct were identified on 1 July 2016. This is incorrect.
Fourth, the amount of the claim is ludicrously excessive. I would ask you to provide a detailed breakdown of how you arrive at a figure of £100,662.47. Your explanation that it covers compensation for investigation costs, security costs and administration costs is inadequate.
I would also add that I have sought legal advise and have been advised that your client is unable to claim for losses which they have not sustained, which would include any benefits received from suppliers.
I await your reply."
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Thank you, ***** ***** certainly look at this for you and make any comments that are required. Would be grateful if you could please leave your rating for the initial response and then I can deal with this part as a follow up query at no extra cost. Thank you

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Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Thank you, ***** ***** amended version below:

Thank you for your letter. I strongly dispute the claims you have made and wish to point out the following in response:-

1. My actions which led to me no longer being employed by your client and which you are now trying to claim for did not result in your client incurring any losses. The reasons for the investigation and my subsequent resignation were linked to corporate hospitality, which I received by third party suppliers, and not your client.

2. You mention damage to a company car. There was no damage to my company car, other than normal wear and tear. No mention of any such damage was made in the letter I received from your client's HR Department when they accepted my letter of resignation.

3. Your letter mentions that the incidents of misconduct were identified on 1 July 2016. This is incorrect and they were actually identified on [DATE]

4. The amount of the claim is exorbitant. I would ask you to provide a detailed breakdown of how you have arrived at a figure of £100,662.47. Your explanation that it covers compensation for investigation costs, security costs and administration costs is inadequate and unreasonable.

I would also add that I have sought legal advice and have been advised that your client is unable to claim for losses which they have not sustained, which would include any benefits received from suppliers. Trying to pursue me for costs or losses which have not been incurred through my actions and which could not have been mitigated would be akin to applying a penalty clause and would be unlawful. I therefore reiterate again that I strongly dispute your claim and would require a full and detailed itemisation of the costs you are claiming.

I look forward to hearing from you.