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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 12173
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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I am a British citizen living in Thailand working Hong

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I am a British citizen living in Thailand working for a Hong Kong registered company which delegates its personnel matters to a company in Glasgow. I am now in a rocky relationship with both. In March I was sent twice to Manila for medicals and courses. The last time I got home on April 2nd I found I had not been paid for March. Hong Kong advised because my leave had over run (whilst waiting more than a month for them to set this medical up which was to their requirement) I owed them despite my staying close to home and available to travel on short notice. This was very much on-off-on-off . Glasgow responded with quote Our apologies on not advising you sooner regarding your salary unquote. Regardless of contracts drawn up in whatever country there must be a legal requirement on the part of the Glasgow company at least in advising me well beforehand that this waiting period was on my account (contestable) and that I would not be paid. Their last messages to me were advising me they were trying to set up another course before returning to work on the 21st. I asked them if I was being paid. As yet no response. From previous experience this sounds terminal but I am currently waiting for their next move but I would like to know whether the Glasgow company has broken any laws by adopting this attitude.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Good Morning, it is for me anyway. No problem as I am still waiting for my 'company' to say something, anything. There is probably nothing I can do except perhaps take the moral high ground! Take your time.

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Thank you for your question.
I'm not sure that Scots law applies to your situation if the Glasgow company is simply employed as an HR consultant but in any event can you explain your situation a liitle more as I can't work out what your issue is. You work for this company. You had to have a medical. What precisely is your issue? Are you employed directly or self employed via an agency? What do you do?
-Could you explain your situation a little more?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

My question was simply can a Scottish company simply stop paying your wages without any notice and decide you are on leave, and then decide you have had to much and start putting you in negative territory which in 40 odd years I have never heard of. This company is not a consultant. They are hired to look after the manning, training, wages, expenses, everything so that the parent company does not need to have a personnel department. As this management company is in Glasgow I thought it was reasonable to select Scottish law. This is a long story, I will try an give you the main points.

I am a seafarer, have been for over 40 years. 60 years old in a couple of months. The marine authorities have decided that people in my profession, marine electrics have to be completely retrained from scratch to obtain a new certificate of competency. For anyone my age, no company is going to get their money back which I believe is at the heart of this. This does not affect some other nationalities though.

Beginning of February, sent to Manila for courses. Fell ill, thought it was from air pollution after 8 or 9 days, just 2 days training left. Company pulled me off course to recover following hospital report of tonsilo pharyngitis with three days of anti biotics but decided I should have a medical before flying home, 3.5 hours before being picked up for the airport actually. Suggested to them not good idea. 2 nights of no sleep coughing with mother of all sore throats for 4 days easing off with medication. Passed medical but right at end they decided should have treadmill stress test. Had a hard job to stay on my feet by this time and still not breathing 100% right so said I had to catch a plane, which was true. Company has blamed me 100% for not getting the medical saying I should have phone and had flights changed, not interested in the fact I was near collapse, a fact noted by clinic staff who kept asking if I was alright, bit ironic in the middle of a medical!. Went to hospital where I live, diagnosed with acute rinobronchitis and antibiotics for 2 weeks. Hong Kong decided because of this I should undergo a special marine insurers P&I club medical. They spend over a month setting this up with communications to me most days saying when it was possibly going to happen. In the end over a month later, middle of March sent back to Manila to complete the course from February and to take the medical. During the courses fell ill again and then found it was due to dirty air conditioners in the cheap hotels they had put me in, sent Glasgow the photos, More antibiotics. Moved to Metro Manila for medical, hotel same deal, same type of aircon, more antibiotics. Took medical. Three issues, blood sugar a bit high, Uric acid in blood a bit high. Shadow over left lung. Delay leaving Manila, Return next day, xray over left lung and then specialist to interpret xray in another clinic. Specialist shows me a lightning streak down my lung and says probably caused by my experience in the hotel in February. It will heal apparently. Blood sugar retested, normal. Given medication for Uric acid and told to come back in a week. Phone Glasgow and they said come home. Later at home am told Clinic said 2 weeks. Returned to Manila at end of March and passed the medical and returned home. 2nd April noticed my wages had not been paid. Hong Kong says because I was not on standby as I thought, being required to remain available for this medical. They maintain I was on leave. This is because I did not have a valid medical therefore I could not be available for sea duty. Of course I am waiting for them to set up this special medical, otherwise I could have nipped down to Kuala Lumpur and got the standard industry medical the same day but they told me not to back in January as they had it all organised. Hong Kong appear to be very aggressive in the replies telling me to stop referring to the sub standard accommodation and as the damage to my lung was not in the report (I have not see any results) it never happened so I am not to refer to that either. As all this was at the Hong Kong personnel managers insistence and as it all appeared to go wrong he may feel a little embarrassed and decided to point blame elsewhere. In the mean time Glasgow have told me on the 2nd that I am supposedly rejoining on the 21st and they were looking at another course for me so I could reduce my negative days owed! I asked if I was being paid and was told they would check and revert. Nothing heard until now.

Thats it in a nutshell.

Regardless of the interpretation of the contract surely a company has a duty to advise employees if their wages are going to be stopped not just ''Ooppss Sorry'' after more than a month and that comes from Glasgow.

I hope this makes some sense.


The answer to your question is no, a Scottish company has to pay your wages in accordance with the contract of employment. If it's doesn't do so you are entitled to go to an employment tribunal in Glasgow and ask the tribunal to make an order for payment of wages outstanding under the contract.
All of that assumes that your employer is a Scottish employer.
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 12173
Experience: 30 years as a practising solicitor.
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