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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
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I joined a start up company based in London in July 2017 and

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I joined a start up company based in London in July 2017 and have just resigned from my position as per 31.12.2017. Not at one point since my employment started have I been paid salary on time. I was promised a long list of things when I signed the employment contract as a Global GM, none of which have been delivered to me. To name a few of the things that are highlighted in my contract and which have been breached.1. I was promised equity documents showing the equity I would get for joining. I have never received these documents.
2. I was promised to enter into a corporate pension scheme. I have never seen any proof of this pension scheme, neither proof of any pension payments.
3. I was promised salary payment on every first of the month in my designated bank account. I have never been paid salary on time and have had to chase payments. For a period of two months from August to Early October, I was not paid salary at all due to financial challenges.
4. I was promised an HSBC credit card for business expenses. I have never received one and have instead put my own money up front and taken loans to fund help building the business. Today I am still owed in excess of £3k in expenses. Some of these expenses are several months old.I have the proof of all of this of course in the way of communication with the owner and I am unsure how to proceed with this but I don't want other people to end up in the same mess as I am in, so I would like to take legal action.I was naive and kept trusting the promises I was given by the owner but I had no other job opportunities at that time. I am now full-time employed with another company and have found stability in my life again but the mental torture and broken promises from the owner of the London based company have been severe. The same company had a business development manager leave the company because of lack of salary payments too.I have been operating and working from Thailand during the 6 months of employment, I am unsure whether that has any legal implications.The employment with the company has hurt me and my family emotionally and I have had multiple cases of where we have struggled financially due to the lack of payments, where I have had to borrow money from both banks and from family to sustain. At one point we needed to vacate our apartment in Thailand and leave our deposit behind out of fear for retribution from the landlord as we were unable to pay rent and unable to take up any more loans.Any advice on how to proceed would be highly appreciated.Best regards
J

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Were you supposed to be in Thailand temporarily and are you UK based usually?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I was supposed to operate at Global General Manager. Based in Thailand the first 12 months and then relocate to England.

Ok thanks. As you had less than 2 years’ service your rights are somewhat limited in a sense that you have no protection against constructive dismissal. This means you cannot challenge them for the fact you were forced to leave your employment with them.

You can however still consider pursuing them for separate elements of what you were promised, and which never materialised.

For example, if you were promised specific equity and pension and these have not materialised, you can certainly consider a claim to pursue them for what you were due and were never paid.

In terms of the late salary that is not a claim in itself. If you were not actually paid any salary when due and that is still outstanding then you can also make a claim for that.

Finally, the expenses - if you incurred expenses which the company was supposed to cover then a claim is also possible to recover these.

So in summary, the way you were treated and being forced to leave is not something you can claim for, but any specific promises which were made about specific payments, which never materialised, then a claim can potentially be made for these, but only for the duration of your employment.

Please take a quick second to leave a positive rating for the service so far by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars above. I can continue answering follow up questions and in particular can also discuss how to take this further if needed. There is no extra cost for this - leaving your rating now will not close the question and means we can still continue this discussion. Thank you

Ben Jones and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Hi Ben,I decided to leave out of free will. I resigned as I couldn’t take the pressure of not know if or when I would get paid. The owner has zero integrity and I hired several people during my time with the company. I build it up from the bottom with a sales pipeline from zero to more Than 150,000£ End of december. I am bitter and i am angry. I want to inform the people I hired and potential leads that they should not be in business with this guy. My family and I were kicked out of our apartment as I couldn’t pay rent because he didn’t pay me. We lost our deposit of more than 2k£ Because of his inability to pay me salary. There has to be some way I can hurt that bastard and make sure he doesn’t treat others like this. If not financially then some other way. He should be made to pay. I worked seven days a week. 14-16 days to build his company up from the ground and he repay employees like this? There has to be something I can do to expose his lack of integrity. Telling me the company was sound financially and then it shows up it is not. That is fraud in my opinion.

It is not fraud, obviously, it is all immoral behaviour but that does not give rise to legal claims, apart from the parts I mentioned earlier. If you want to 'hurt' him then you can spread the word so to speak but you have to be very careful that anything you mention is backed up with evidence. Youn should only mention facts, rather than personal opinions, otherwise, it can have a potential defamation aspect to it which you want to avoid.

If you wanted to pursue him for the amounts owed then you can do this in the employment tribunal within 3 months

Before a person can make a claim in the employment tribunal, they would be required to participate in mandatory early conciliation through the Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS).

The purpose of this process is to allow ACAS to mediate between the claimant and respondent to agree on an out of court settlement in order to avoid the need for legal action in tribunal. The respondent does not have to engage in these discussions, or if they do and the talks are unsuccessful, the claimant will be issued with a certificate allowing them to make a claim.

However, if a settlement is reached, the claimant would agree not to proceed with the claim in return for the agreed financial settlement. Other terms can also be agreed as part of the settlement, such as an agreed reference.

To initiate the conciliation procedure ACAS can be contacted online by filling in the following form (https://ec.acas.org.uk/Submission/SingleClaimantPage), or by phone on 0300(###) ###-####

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Believe me I have all the proof I need. Just looking at my bank statement will prove that he has never paid me on time. I also have downloads of all the communication we have had over the past period.

Ok good but obviously you can only claim for payments you never received, not delayed ones which were eventually paid

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I understand that fully. However, since I joined I did inform the owner that my financial situation was very bad and that I would only join his company based on him paying according to the contract. I've had expenses reaching above £1,000 in late payment fees because of his late payments. I would damn well expect that I could claim that as expenses as well?

yes, correct. If the employer breached their contract by not paying you by a specified date, then your claim could extend to any losses suffered as a result of that breach

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Ben, I talked to a friend who is a lawyer in Singapore and he believes fraud charges can be pushed according to this:Financial crime in Singapore: overviewby Samuel Sharpe, Duane Morris & SelvamA Q&A guide to corporate crime, fraud and investigations in Singapore.The Q&A gives a high level overview of matters relating to corporate fraud, bribery and corruption, insider dealing and market abuse, money laundering and terrorist financing, financial record keeping, due diligence, corporate liability, immunity and leniency, and whistleblowing.To compare answers across multiple jurisdictions, visit the Financial Crime Country Q&A tool.This Q&A is part of the global guide to corporate crime, fraud and investigations law. For a full list of jurisdictional Q&As visit www.practicallaw.com/corporatecrime-guide.FraudRegulatory provisions and authorities1. What are the main regulatory provisions and legislation relevant to corporate or business fraud?In Singapore, the main laws concerning fraud and related crimes are contained in:The Penal Code (Chapter 224).The Companies Act (Chapter 50).The Income Tax Act (Chapter 134).The common law.Case law (from Singapore and other commonwealth jurisdictions adopting penal codes, in particular India and Malaysia) is relevant to the interpretation of the Penal Code, but is not a primary source of law.Offences2. What are the specific offences that can be used to prosecute corporate or business fraud?Penal CodeUnder the Penal Code there is not one specific offence of fraud. There are a number of offences that can constitute fraud in certain jurisdictions under the Penal Code:Dishonest misappropriation of property (section 403, Penal Code). This offence is committed when a person dishonestly misappropriates or converts to that person's own moveable property. Conversion means appropriating the property of others and then making use of it (Durugappa v State of Mysore [1956] Cri LJ 630). Misappropriation means setting apart for or assigning to the wrong person or a wrong use (Sohan Lal v Emperor [1915] AIR All 380).Criminal breach of trust (section 405, Penal Code). This offence is committed where a person has been entrusted with property (or is entrusted with any dominion over property) and:dishonestly misappropriates or converts to that person's own use;dishonestly uses or disposes of the property in violation of any direction of law prescribing the mode in which the trust is to be discharged;dishonestly uses or disposes of the property in violation of any legal contract, (express or implied); orwilfully allows any other person to do so.Cheating (section 415, Penal Code). This offence is similar to fraud in a number of common law jurisdictions and is committed where a person, by deceiving another person, fraudulently or dishonestly induces that person to:deliver any property to any person; orconsent to any person retaining any property.A person also cheats where they intentionally induce another person (by deception) to do or omit to do anything that the person would not do or omit to do if the person had not been deceived, and which act or omission causes or is likely to cause damage or harm to any person in body, mind, reputation or property.Dishonest or fraudulent disposition of property (section 421, Penal Code). This offence is committed where a person dishonestly or fraudulently removes, conceals or delivers to any person without adequate consideration, any property, intending to prevent the distribution of the property among the person's creditors.Dishonest or fraudulent prevention of payment of a debt (section 422, Penal Code). This offence is committed where a person dishonestly or fraudulently prevents any debt or demands due, being made available to that person's creditors.Dishonest or fraudulent execution of a deed of transfer (section 423, Penal Code). This offence is committed where a person dishonestly signs, executes or becomes a party to any deed or instruments that purports to transfer or subject to any charge, any property, or any interest, and which contains any false statement relating to the consideration of the transfer or charge, or relating to the person(s) for whose use or benefit it is intended to operate.
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
https://uk.practicallaw.thomsonreuters.com/3-618-7957?__lrTS=20180122063409204&transitionType=Default&contextData=(sc.Default)&firstPage=true&bhcp=1
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I have signed a contract with a person I have not met under the pretences that he would pay me salary. I was living in Bangkok in Thailand when I signed the contract and returned it to a person I have never met, who then countersigns it and returns it by email.Can this not be deemed fraud when someone gets you to sign a contract online without jurisdiction promising you payment and then not paying. It's cheating.

Hi there, unfortunately, I cannot comment on foreign jurisdictions' laws so I cannot tell you if this will be considered fraud in those parts of the world. For that you will need to take advice from a local solicitor

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
A few more questions Ben.You wrote me: "
To initiate the conciliation procedure ACAS can be contacted online by filling in the following form (https://ec.acas.org.uk/Submission/SingleClaimantPage), or by phone on 0300(###) ###-####1.) If I follow this step, is your recommendation to have someone represent me - or is your advice to represent myself.
2.) As you know, I now live in Jakarta in Indonesia, and if this goes to a tribunal, which I currently think it will, will I need to be physically present at the tribunal?
3.) What kinds of costs are associated with this?
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
In addition to the above, I chose to write to the entire team of my previous organisation, as I do not want any of the people I have hired and who have trusted me to do so, to fall into a similar trap of lies and constant immoral behaviour of the owner of the firm. Copy of that email is attached. I am capable of delivering proof on EVERYTHING mentioned in this email.I received a reply from the owner, who I cc'ed on the e-mail that he considered it slander. He later sent an email to the same group of people doing exactly the same thing, which I would consider slander. Also attached.I have sent him e-mails on almost a daily basis since around Christmas, asking him to pay me what he owes me and he has ignored those completely, Only when I took this action, he seems to have come out to reply.I have pleaded with him to pay what is owed to me on so many occasions and he has completely ignored me, so I saw no other alternative.My reply to him yesterday was:
Vide your latest response to my previous attempts to seek reconciliation with you pursuant to the documented terms and conditions of my employment, you're hereby informed that my previous position stands. Should you fail to remedy the outstanding situation promptly and accordingly no later than January 24th 2018, I will reserve my rights to proceed to seek redress via all legal and official means necessary and vehemently to enforce the said terms that were breached without further notice should you fail to provide an adequate response.Further, you are reminded that in a previous email you have acknowledged the monies due to me when you conveyed your financial position in relation to the matter. Had you felt any mitigating issues toward the matter possible you elected to ignore my appeals instead of apprising me of the relevant, including your failure to remit any remuneration to me between the months of August to October. Thus any employment contract you claim I am obligated to is at the most redundant. "There has be no other communication since that.

Hi there, you do not have representation whilst dealing with ACAS. You basically use them as a negotiator between you and the employer. It is relatively informal. You can however be represented if you go to tribunal - it is not a requirement but you can get a lawyer if needed.

If you live abroad you will likely still be expected to attend the final hearing. Potentially you may be able to get represented by a lawyer and not be there but that can affect your claim because you will not be there to be questioned and cross examined if needed and it can affect your prospects of success.

The claim itself is free but if you had to use a lawyer that will of course incur costs. How much that is would depend on the level of involvement you request. It could be several hundred for minimal involvement to a couple of thousand for fuller involvement and representation.

In terms of the alleged slander (in fact it is libel as it is in written form, whereas slander is verbal) the ultimate defence to that is the truth. So if you can show that what you said is factually correct, there can be no libel.