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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 73475
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I run a cleaning company. A member of staff damaged a work

Customer Question

I run a cleaning company. A member of staff damaged a work top with oven cleaner and I've offered a free clean plus £200 to compensate them. I can't afford more than this as my business insurance won't cover the damage and it's coming out of my personal finances. I've already suffered financial hardship due to the pandemic. I'd like to know how I stand legally as I feel she is harassing me for more money.
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Leeds
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: I've had quotes for the repair which average at £200. I've offered her the money and she is saying we need to discuss it further as she isn't happy with it.
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: No
Submitted: 14 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 14 days ago.

Hello, I’m Ben. It’s my pleasure to assist you today. I may also ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
Ok
Customer: replied 14 days ago.
No phone calls
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 14 days ago.

How long ago was this please?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 14 days ago.

and what are your terms with regards ***** ***** in customers' homes?

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
6 weeks ago
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 14 days ago.

Thanks, and what are your terms with regards ***** ***** in customers' homes?

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
I don't have any official terms and conditions
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 14 days ago.

OK I understand and thank you for providing this information. Please do not worry and leave it with me for now; I will get back to you with my answer as soon as I can which will be at some point today. The system will notify you when this happens. Please do not reply in the meantime as this may unnecessarily delay my response. Many thanks.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 14 days ago.

Many thanks for your patience, I am pleased to be able to continue assisting with your query now. First of all, I am sorry to hear about the issues you have experienced in your situation.

Due to the employee’s negligence, you will have what is known as ‘vicarious liability’, meaning that as their employer you are ultimately liable for their actions. In terms of what compensation the customer can expect, that will depend entirely on the nature and level of damage and what it would cost to fix that. They cannot expect a new-for-old replacement and if they are to be put in a better position than the one they were in before this, you can expect to offer reduced compensation only, or ask them to contribute.

So if you have to provide a brand new worktop, they have to contribute as theirs was not brand new. If it is just a repair, then you have to cover whatever it costs to fix it. They cannot be making a profit out of you or requesting unreasonable solutions so whilst you can discuss this further with them to see what they want, stick to your position.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 14 days ago.

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand. If anything remains unclear, I will be more than happy to clarify it for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.