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MatthewM1117
MatthewM1117,
Category: Employment Law
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Wall of text incoming, North of England, Manchester, So far

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Wall of text incoming
JA: Where is this? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: North of England, Manchester
JA: What steps have been taken so far?
Customer: So far I'm mainly looking for some advise as citizens advice bureau isn't answering the phone
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: Hi, I work for an outbound contact centre & we recently lost a contract temporarily. We were then all sent home for the day Tuesday with the view of coming back in yestewrdayWe didn’t go back in yesterday & likely won’t be in before next week.They are refusing to answer the question whether this is unpaid or what & management are leaving the messages on ‘seen’ on the WhatsApp chat.Our salary is 18.5k basic plus commission. I’ve checked the contract, but the most it specifies is that I work between 10-7 mon-fri.If they basically tell everyone to go home for the afternoon (implying it’s paid without actually saying) am I as screwed as I think I am & would only get paid till yesterday lunch even if they only communicate this decision over the weekend?I did literally only start there on Friday last week so this is a bit of a kick on the teeth & there’s been several red flags already so wanna be rather cautious.
Customer: To make matters worse. They put it in my contract that if I quit or get fired prior to a year of employment then I need to pay them my ‘training costs’ which they priced at 350. I’ve literally just listened to calls for 2 days & then they put me straight on the phonesThey poached me from another position, which I had to leave for Mental Health reasons
Customer: Hi, I work for an outbound contact centre & we recently lost a contract temporarily. We were then all sent home for the day Tuesday with the view of coming back in yestewrdayWe didn’t go back in yesterday & likely won’t be in before next week.They are refusing to answer the question whether this is unpaid or what & management are leaving the messages on ‘seen’ on the WhatsApp chat.Our salary is 18.5k basic plus commission. I’ve checked the contract, but the most it specifies is that I work between 10-7 mon-fri.If they basically tell everyone to go home for the afternoon (implying it’s paid without actually saying) am I as screwed as I think I am & would only get paid till yesterday lunch even if they only communicate this decision over the weekend?I did literally only start there on Friday last week so this is a bit of a kick on the teeth & there’s been several red flags already so wanna be rather cautious.
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
To make matters worse. They put it in my contract that if I quit or get fired prior to a year of employment then I need to pay them my ‘training costs’ which they priced at 350. I’ve literally just listened to calls for 2 days & then they put me straight on the phonesThey poached me from another position, which I had to leave for Mental Health reasons
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Just realized that got copied & pasted a couple times so looks a bit odd since the page changed whilst I was sending
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
I'm attaching my contract of employment, as that may assist. I also started on Friday last week as requested by them, filled in a contract on the day which they lost & requested me to fill in a second contract starting Monday. I have emails etc to prove they requested me to start last Friday.
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
File attached (GQ3VMP4)

Good morning, thank you for contacting Just Answer my name is***** am a solicitor and I will be assisting you today. I am sorry to hear about your current situation, can you clarify your question is this whether you are required to be paid for this time off?

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
38; what my options are generally at this stage since if I leave they'd charge me £350 & if I don't I could be here an indefinite amount of time without pay
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Would be lovely, but due to situation I can't afford £44 so going to have to type :)

The offer of a call is automatically generated by the system, I am happy to provide a written response.

It is unlikely that the employer will be able to obtain full payment of the training as this is scheduled up until the 4th October however they may be able to request a partial payment for the training costs.

Have you managed to speak to a manager or HR about this?

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
I've not no, they've blanked every request for further information.
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
But based on the wording of the contract, is that not a contract breach on their end? it states I should work 10-7 Mon-Fri & they're currently not fullfilling that end of the bargain

Not necessarily, as there is a flexibility clause which states that  normal hours of work may be varied to meet the operational requirements of the Company.

Therefore they can change the hours that you are required to work without breaching your contract.

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Right, so am I right in thinking that leaves them not liable to pay anything for the past few days, despite them technically making me redundant without saying it? Since the pay I'm owed for the hours I had done would cancel out training costs (despite the training only being 2 days before they put me on the phones & started contributing leads)

It is difficult to assume how the company will deal with this, unfortunately due to your level of service you are unlikely to have accrued any holiday or any notice period if the company were to terminate your contract.

However, the company may take a lenient approach and allow you to leave without repaying the full training costs as you have not undertaken the completed training.

I would advise that you continue to approach the employer, and try to resolve the matter, but there is nothing stopping you in the interim from making enquiries with recruitment agents to see if you can obtain alternative employment as the current employer does appear to be in some form of difficulties.

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
I think that's likely the correct course of action. I'll get something nailed down by the end of the day & go from there. Thanks for letting me pick your brain & have a great day mate :)

Glad to be off assistance, if you have any further questions or queries please do not hesitate to contact me.

MatthewM1117 and 2 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 days ago.
I do have a few follow ups following this all as I spoke to ACAS and I got different answers for the same questions:
*They have made no effort to make information available as to when & what we are getting paid for
*They are refusing to pay for the hours worked due to a cash flow issue without actually declaring administration on the company.
*They are refusing to answer very direct questions in relation to the contract leaving fee or any questions whatsoever & going so far as to 'leave me on seen' despite chasing this up several times.
*With the contract leaving clause ACAS believed that the employer would need to prove that the £350 was directly spent on the training costs itself, otherwise they believed it was an arbritary figure.
*They are basically ghosting me at this point and refusing to answer any questions despite asking several times categorically & directly.I'm going to ring them off a withheld number & I'd like to be able to record without advising them that I am. Otherwise I won't be able to get the evidence that I require. Would this be legal?I've also tried to raise a grievance with them today & they have continued to ignore me. The company address that they also put on their emails is invalid and out of date as it's showing the previous address.ACAS was also under the impression that they may have to pay for the hours I've not worked as it's a loss of earnings which they are singularly responsible for. It was only made aware on Friday (after we finished on Weds) that we weren't getting paid. Logically this puts it into zero hour contract territory & would be a breach of contract otherwise.Thanks,Simon
Customer: replied 7 days ago.
There's been other people at the company, who have worked there longer & didn't get paid on Friday.
Customer: replied 7 days ago.
This has also caused a lot of emotional distress on my behalf, if that would effect anything legally.
Customer: replied 7 days ago.
After reading out the wording on the contract they believed it was too vague & not explicit enough for them to basically have the contract legally be 0 hrs

It would not be illegal to record the call, and should the claim proceed to a tribunal this can be used as evidence. It is possible that the company could demonstrate that monies were spent on training. I think it would be difficult to claim monies for for hours not worked due to the wording of the clause which does provide a degree of flexibility and the company could show that this was due to operational requirements however a tribunal would make the ultimate decision on the matter.