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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50191
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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When the company I worked a catering contract 4 years

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When the company I worked for lost a catering contract 4 years ago, under the terms of TUPE I was given an Excel document specifying the terms of my transfer which I verbally agreed to. It specified I was entitled to 4 weeks sick pay. I recently had my very first day of sickness absence in 12 years and the Company say I am not entitled to sick pay. The document does not have any signatures or heading on the first page so the Company say it is not binding. I never received a contract from the company when they took over and they say they don't have one for me. What is my position as every time I contact HR they say it is up to me to provide proof of the sickness entitlement.
Ben Jones : Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Did you have that entitlement before the transfer?

As far as I am aware yes. I have spoken to HR department at the previous employer but they no longer have my contract details as it was four years ago.

Ben Jones :

The fact that there is no heading or signature on the document does not mean that it is not legally binding – these are not legally necessary for it to be binding. The law protects you under TUPE in a sense that it transfers all of your existing contractual terms and conditions from your previous employment to your new one. If you had the entitlement in the previous job then you will retain it in the new one. You may not have your old contract any longer but this document will serve as some evidence of what had transferred and what your current conditions are. If the employer refuses to honour it then you are able to claim that it amounts to a breach of contract or unlawful deduction of wages.

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.

I hope this clarifies your position? If you could please quickly let me know that would be great, as it is important for us to keep track of customer satisfaction. Thank you


Thank you for your answer, it clarifies my position greatly. Will save me a lot of time searching for answers. Excellent service

Ben Jones :

many thanks and all the best

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