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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 49858
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I left my last employer December of last year. 2 weeks ago

Customer Question

I left my last employer December of last year. 2 weeks ago I received a letter informing me they were going to take legal action unless I repaid a salary overpayment.
After contacting them directly the same day I received the letter it seems that some holiday pay that was agreed with my Regional Manager is the problem. I gave 4 weeks notice but only worked 3 of those weeks as the last week was holiday. Now they are suggesting the last week was an overpayment that should not have been paid.
There is no indication of who informed HR to reclaim the funds, all I know is the action was supposed to have happened shortly after I left, despite only having heard of it 2 weeks ago.
I was informed that HR would conduct an investigation and get back to me, I chased them last week but have heard nothing. I am concerned now that this investigation seems to be taking way too long and I don’t seem to be able to get an update.
What actions would you advise? I am also interested to know what your thoughts would be regarding claiming against them. A threat of court action is nothing to be ta***** *****ghtly and I am literally panicking like mad over this, despite knowing nothing wrong has happened my end. I have explained to them that I am pregnant and would like a swift resolution to avoid stress but they seems to be dragging it out.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.

Ben Jones : Hello, my name is Ben and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. What would you be claiming for against them?
JACUSTOMER-dcgx94wo- :

Some form of damages i guess for the threat of court action. At the moment i am wondering more about where i stand if they dont communicate with me further.

Ben Jones :

I am afraid you have no claim against them, and can’t just claim for the threat of court action against you. The real issue here is whether the employer has a claim against you. Do you agree that there was an overpayment or was the holiday all genuine and approved by the employer and was something which you had accrued and could take at the time?

JACUSTOMER-dcgx94wo- :

Everything was approved by the Area Manager at the time. I dont have a record of it as didnt see the need. Its quite common to take holiday when leaving.

Ben Jones :

If the employer has genuinely overpaid you then they will be allowed to pursue this and ask you to repay them any money which was not legally due to you. However, this does not appear to be the case here because you had holidays which were genuinely accrued and it was agreed that you would take them as part of your notice period. Even if you were expected to work that time, you would still be owed for the holidays as any accrued but untaken holidays will form part of your final pay with the employer.

It could be that the employer is currently working on incorrect information and basing their position on that. This could simply be an error so you could ask them for any evidence to show why they believe that they have a valid claim and to justify their actions. There is nothing stopping them from threatening legal action or even suing you, even if you have a genuine defence against this, and it would simply mean that they do not win their claim and walk away with nothing. I understand that this is resulting in a degree of stress for you but this is the nature of legal disputes and you cannot just claim for how you are made to feel as a result of being accused of this and threatened with legal action.

So for now you should try and get the evidence from them and also provide your details as to why you believe there is no case against you. Remind them you are pregnant and how this is affecting you and state that if they continue threatening legal action without any proper justification you will eventually treat this as harassment. If you do not hear from them either way then that is better than to continue being threatened and you should assume that nothing is going ahead, unless you hear from them otherwise.

Ben Jones :

Hope this clarifies your position? If you could please let me know that would be great, thank you

Ben Jones :

Hello, I see you have accessed and read my answer to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? I just need to know whether to close the question or not? Thanks

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.
Hello Sarah, could you please let me know if I have answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this – this is needed so I can either keep the question open or close it if no further advice is required? Thank you