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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50158
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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My daughters boyfriend was a kitchen manager in a well known

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My daughters boyfriend was a kitchen manager in a well known brand of pub. He was only there for approx. 4 weeks and in that time he was verbally and physically abused by the general manager. He was also not paid for all the hours he worked. He went off sick with stress and was advised by his doctor not to return to this job so he resigned. He sent a e.mail and spoke with the area manager regarding his treatment at the pub and he said he would investigate. A date was set for a meeting about 3 weeks after he resigned to carry out their own investigation. This meeting took place on Tuesday on premises owed by the company and when no other staff members were around, he was locked in the premises by the area manager and another member of the pub chain but he was not allowed to bring a independent witness. He was totally perplexed by their attitude and forcefulness and it was like he was the villain and not the victim. He felt threatened and was coerced into signing a statement of the meeting. The area manager is good friends and a golfing buddy of the general manager so my question is would the meeting or the signed statement stand up in a court of law. He as since had a threatening text message from someone at the pub .

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Ben Jones :

What was the statement for, what did he sign exactly?


It was a statement of what was said at the meeting,

Ben Jones :

Hello, sorry I was offline by the time you had replied. What would this matter go to court for – is he thinking of making a claim against them or is he worried they may make a claim against him?


He is thinking of claiming for loss of earnings (hours he never got paid for) and verbal and physical abuse which lead to ill health.

Ben Jones :

Hi, sorry we keep missing each other. He is entitled to be paid for any hours he has worked for the company so if they are refusing to do so he can claim that this amounts to unlawful deduction of wages and make a claim to recover what he is due.


Under law, an employer can only make deductions from, or withhold an employee’s wages in the following circumstances:

  • If it is legally allowed (e.g. to deduct tax);

  • If it is to recover an earlier overpayment of wages made by the employer; or

  • 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. 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:

  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:


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.


In terms of the ill health that would be more difficult to claim. All he can consider is a personal injury claim but the following considerations must be considered:

  • Some recognised illness must have been suffered. This could include clinical depression, specific trauma stress, a physical injury (e.g. stroke), etc.

  • The illness must have been caused directly by the employer's negligence, such as failing to appropriately deal with managing stress in the workplace

  • The illness must have been reasonably foreseeable - for example if the employee experienced one breakdown, that would have indicated to the employer that there is a problem and that further issues could arise if things were not dealt with appropriately.

  • The time limit to claim is 3 years from the time the injury was suffered.


It is not that easy to win and he is best advised to consult with a personal injury lawyer, some of which may offer an initial consultation for free, to see if there is enough to justify taking this any further.


I hope this has answered your query. Please take a second to leave a positive rating, or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you


The statement that he signed at the meeting would that stand up in court.

Ben Jones :

Yes it could...although only a Judge would have the final say. Although he may certainly challenge it by arguing it was signed under duress

Ben Jones :

Does this clarify your position?




Thank you

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