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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 49816
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I was recruited as a Sales Manager in a small independant

Customer Question

Hello, I was recruited as a Sales Manager in a small independant Estate agents in Bristol in July 2014. The owner- new to the business used a recruitment agency to recruit myself to do property sales and another manager to handle a portfolio of 150 managed lets. The lettings manger proved pretty incompetent and I had to step in and do my work plus some of hers with some help I'd recruited. I received praise and promotion six months later- Senior Branch Manager- same basic plus agreed industry commission of 15% of my own sales/ listed property sold. After 8 months whilst I had hit the agreed KPIs of the sole owner ( Limited company) I was 'out of the blue' called to a 'disciplinary' - me and the owner in a pub, no others and a list of issues. I formally wrote and countered the hugely innacurate list list but was that night given notice of seven days. My problem was whilst the ceo/ owner agreed they'd pay me 19 I'd worked of May, plus 11 days holiday due and any unclaimed costs or 'completion commissions owing to three months. I was told when no pay came he had 'cashflow' problems. Wait a bit after chasing for next month finally in July I was sent £1000 of the £3,000 owing in wages. Eventually after being told no mre would be paid - he'd incurred some spurious losses- I put in a County Court claim for the remaining unpaid £2K of wages. The reply to my claim came 20 days later with a 'counter claim' on me of £4,950 (just under small claims thresh hold). It was said to be for a sale that 'fell thru after I'd left and some bogus compensation. I am incensed as this is insult ( literally slander/ defammation ) to injury. Your opinion is much appreciated. Robert S
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

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

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

What specific questions do you have about this and what are you hoping to achieve?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I would like an opinion of how I best pursue my claim in the face of this counter-claim. I can I believe represent myself at court BUt as the defendant/ former employer is being advised by Penninsula HR legal services I am concerned not to let my reasonable claim back-fire as i am now defending myself against a £4,950 counter-claim. Feeling a bit exposed.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and laws and will get back to you as soon as I can. Please do not respond to this message as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Many thanks for your patience. Whilst the employer can try and make a claim for whatever they want, as they are the ones who have made it, they are the ones who would need to prove it is true and justifiable.

So whilst they may be able to prove that the sale had fallen through, that does not mean that you will be liable for these costs. To be able to claim against you they will further need to prove that you either had a clause in your contract allowing them to pursue you for such losses, or that the reason for this was that you had acted in a negligent manner. When assessing whether this was negligence the court would look at what a reasonable sales manager with your experience and in your position would have done in the same circumstances and if the actions you took fell below the reasonable standard expected of someone in that position. There has to be a clear failure to act within what could be considered acceptable and reasonable expectations in these circumstances for you to have any culpability.

Also do not be too worried about them being advised by Peninsula – they are not really legally qualified, they are an HR advisory service, their help will be limited and not really backed up by legal knowledge so I would expect them to be hand holding the company through the procedures more than anything.

I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. If this has answered your question please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars from the top of the page. I spend a lot of time and effort answering individual queries and I am not credited for my time until you leave your rating. If you still need further help please get back to me on here and I will assist as best as I can. Many thanks.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello, do you need any further assistance or are you happy with the above response? Look forward to hearing from you.