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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50206
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I have an issue with my current employer. In my contract it

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Hello, I have an issue with my current employer. In my contract it is said, that I have to pay back the recruitment agency fee which my boss payed when hired me, if I leave before 2 years of employment. I already gave my notice and my last working day is 7th of April. My boss is asking from me £2820.
Yesterday she said, that she wont pay my last salary plus my remaining holidays and then I will still owe her money.
I have been handed with contract last week ( I work there for nearly 8 months already) and I haven't signed it. I haven't been informed how much the fee is when I started and according to my boss, as I am working there and receiving my salary this means that I legally agreed on all therms and conditions. Is verbal agreenment and hand shaking equal to signature and can she leave me without money? Also even if I haven't signed this contract, I offered her to pay the money on instalments, but she demands for the full amount at the end of my working period, which I can't afford. Please give me advise, because if I don't get my montly salary I can't pay my rent and all my bills, not to mention food and essential needs.

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

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Hello Ben
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I prefer to text,because my english is not ideal and in writing is easier

So were you not aware that the agency fees had to be paid back until last week, when you were handed your contract?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I has been told that I have to pay those fees few weeks after I started,not when I agreed to work there

OK, thank you for your response. Leave it with me for now and I will review the relevant information and laws and get back to you at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Also, 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.

Many thanks for your patience. It is certainly possible to have what is known as an implied agreement, which is where you ate implied to have given your acceptance, even in the absence of anything in writing. If you did have a contract with specific conditions in and you started working under it and accepting the benefits under it, like payment etc and did not challenge it, then it is indeed likely that you would have accepted the full terms. Saying that, it does not mean they would be automatically enforceable. They still need to be reasonable and fair. Also it is important to note that without a specific contractual clause allowing them to deduct these fees from your pay, this would be unlawful and you can pursue them to recover the amounts owed.

When it comes to a repayment clause, this needs to be fair to be enforceable. Ideally it needs to be detailed with the amounts to be repaid and also have a sliding scale which reduces it as time goes by. For example 100% within the first 6 months, 75% if you leave aft 12 months and so on.

At this stage, all you can do is raise these factors with them and state that if they deduct any money without the contractual right to do so, you will have to take if further to recover it.

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 the steps you need to take if you had to recover the deductions. 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 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

Thank you. As mentioned, if there is no clause allowing the deductions to be made from your pay, this potentially amounts to an unlawful deduction from wages, which is dealt with under the Employment Rights Act 1996.

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

· If the contract specifically allows for the deductions to be made

· If the employee has given their explicit written consent

If none of the above exemptions apply, the deductions will most likely be unlawful. To take the matter further, the employer should be contacted in writing, advised that their actions are treated as unlawful deduction from wages and ask them to repay the amount in question within 7 days. State that if they fail to do so, legal proceedings could follow to recover what is owed.

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. Before making the claim ACAS must be engaged to negotiate with the employer and try to resolve this without the need for legal action. The relevant form to start this can be found here: https://ec.acas.org.uk/Submission/SingleClaimantPage

2. County Court – this is an alternative way to claim and the advantage is that the time limit is a much longer 6 years. Also there is no need to negotiate before starting a claim. The claim can be made online by going to: www.moneyclaim.gov.uk.

Hopefully by warning the employer that their actions are likely unlawful and that legal action is considered, they will be prompted to try and resolve this.