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Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 674
Experience:  Expert
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I am writing in on behalf of my mum. She works as a carer on

Customer Question

Good afternoon. I am writing in on behalf of my mum. She works as a carer on a zero-hour contract basis. She decided she did not want to work for the company anymore, and she handed her notice on 18th August with a 4-weeks notice period.During her notice period, she had her annual leave booked for 30.08-12.09. She thought that her contract with the employer would be terminated on 15.09, four weeks after she handed her notice in. Unfortunately, her employer keeps telling her that her holiday cannot be included in her notice period, and she still has to work for the company for two following weeks. Is it legal?Thank you in advance for your help on this matter.
Weronika Wozniak
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Peterborough, Cambridgeshire
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: None, because we did not know what exactly we should do
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, I stated everything in the message above
Submitted: 15 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  MatthewM1117 replied 15 days ago.

Good afternoon, thank you for contacting Just Answer my name is***** am a solicitor and I will be assisting you today. Does your mothers contract specify the length of her notice period?

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
it states that as she has been working with that company for more than six months, the notice period is four weeks
Expert:  MatthewM1117 replied 15 days ago.

Thank you for the clarification, an employee can ask to take holiday in your notice period, but it's up to your employer to decide if you can take it.

Your mum should have specified that this was to contribute to her notice period. However, your mother could leave and on the 15th September and there is very little that the employer can do about this.

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Thank you for your answer. Does this mean that if she leaves on the 15th September and does not go to any of the rota calls after that date, her employer cannot start any legal action against her?
Expert:  MatthewM1117 replied 15 days ago.

They could try to make a claim for breach of contract, however the costs of the claim would greatly outweigh any award. In addition with a breach of contract claim the employer would need to show losses however they are going to find it virtually impossible to show any loss in the circumstances.

Expert:  MatthewM1117 replied 15 days ago.

Do you have any follow up questions?

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Than you for your help so far. Only one thing. My mother's contract states that the employer reserves the right to deduct a day's pay for each day of his period not worked. If these days would be after the 15th September, would the company be still able to charge my mother for unattended calls?
Expert:  MatthewM1117 replied 15 days ago.

This is likely to amount to a penalty clause.  A clause is likely to be unenforceable for being a penalty where it is intended to punish the employee, rather than compensate the employer for reasonable costs.. However, this is usually decided on a case by case basis and decided by the facts of the matter.

Expert:  MatthewM1117 replied 15 days ago.
Hopefully I have answered your question but if anything remains unclear please do not hesitate to contact me further.
Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Good morning. Thank you so much for being so helpful so far. I thought we were all done with the case. Unfortunately, when my mother called her employer with her friend yesterday to inform him that she would not continue to work for him after the 15th September, he would not let them speak and, as a result, they were all speaking with raised voices. My mum had a panic attack as a result, and her friend sent the employer a WhatsApp message saying that she would not attend her evening call because of that.Later that day, her employer emailed her asking to confirm that she would not attend her evening call, but she did not reply to the email, as she was afraid he would use it against her in a theoretical future claim. He also removed her from the group chats and denied her access to an online platform for the company's employees.Earlier today, he emailed her again, saying that she did not reply to his email and failed to attend her calls on the 13th and 14th September without informing him about it, putting their service users at risk. She did, however, attend her morning calls on 13th September and had no calls on the 14th on her rota. She also sent him a WhatsApp text about her anxiety and a panic attack caused by the phone call discussion. She chose WhatsApp because it has been their primary channel of communication so far.Should she start looking for a lawyer who would represent her if the situation with her ex-employer escalates? Should she reply to the email or leave it as it is for the time being? Thank you in advance for your reply.
Expert:  MatthewM1117 replied 13 days ago.

There would be little need to instruct solicitors as there is so far no legal action being taken. I would advise that she does respond so that the company can find an employee to cover her work if she does intend to be absent.