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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 47355
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Money has been deducted from my last wage In regards to a

Customer Question

Money has been deducted from my last wage In regards ***** ***** business phone (there has been no verbal or written agreement in regards ***** ***** phone other than agreeing to pay £22 per month) I have had £288 deducted from my wage among other deductions. The phone was not needed for work matters and was given through a personal home account from the managing director. She has now demanded that I hand the phone back as well and that as I was the user that is why I had to pay the £288. I have been told that it is a unlawful deduction from my wage from acas. I no longer work for the company, but have offered to continue to pay for the mobile phone or hand the phone back so another staff member can use the phone contract. I was shocked they deducted £288 out, because they have took £288 am I legally allowed to keep the phone or do I have to hand it back even though I have had deductions taken out my last wage?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today. What is the £288 supposed to cover - bills only or the value of the phone? Also who is the named person on the contract - you or the manager?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
It's to over 20 months left on contract and VAT on the phone also, the contract is under my managers name but I have been paying for the contract every month.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Forgot to say Hi Ben, sorry just shocked and unsure what to do.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
She says the phone is property to the company and that I am legally obliged to hand the phone back and pay for the remaining of the contract also.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

Thank you. It is correct that the phone will be the property of the company, or at least the person whose name is ***** ***** contract, so you will not be able to keep it just because you have had to pay this amount. Paying for the contract every month does not provide an entitlement to keep the phone at the end of the contract, it would be for the use of the phone during that time.

However, as you are not in any contract with the employer or had agreed that you will be responsible for the contract for a minimum term, you should not have been charged this amount or had it deducted from your wages. Unless the contract you had with them allowed them to do this, ACAS are correct that this is an unlawful deduction of wages. What you should do is that you make attempts to return the phone now and pursue them for a refund of the money deducted. Ideally this should be arranged directly between you and them, but if they refuse to then keep the phone for the time being and consider making a claim to get the deductions back, then if you get them back, which you should, make arrangements to return the phone.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the steps you need to follow if you are to pursue them for the return of the money, 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

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Customer: replied 10 months ago.
to clarify I can keep the phone until she refunds me my money back?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

not quite, the phone is not your property even if you have paid that money but you have paid the contract fees to use it so you can keep it for the duration of the period for which you have been charged - after that it will have to be returned

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I cannot suggest returning the phone as soon as possible as long as she provides me with the £288? So exchange the phone for the money at the same time
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

yes you can because you had not agreed to be bound for any specific term. So you either return the phone now for exchange with the money, or keep the phone if they refuse to refund you and if eventually they do so, then you can return it. You would have to return it once the term you paid for expires anyway, assuming they did not refund you for it and you did not pursue them for a refund

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thank you for that Ben you have been really helpful! Sorry to bother you on a Saturday ��
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 10 months ago.

no problem at all, it is what I am here for, all the best