Marc Gander - The Consumer Survival Handbook


A 220 page introduction to all things consumer related by our own BankFodder.

Includes energy companies, mobile phone providers, retailers, banks, insurance companies,debt collection agencies, reclaim companies, secondhand car sellers, cowboy garages, cowboy builders and all the rest who put their own profits before you.

£6.99



Patricia Pearl - Small Claims Procedure - A Practical Guide


An excellent guide for the layperson in how to use the County Court - a must if you are intending to start a claim.

£19.99 + £1.50 (P&P)


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  1. #1
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    Default Employer withheld wages

    Out sick from work long term due to Work injury ( employer negligence)

    Left work due to illness and employer withheld final wages and payment in lieu of holidays p45 was issued

    Their reason was a loan to purchase equipment needed for that role in Work and the loan was not finished. There is currently a PI claim in place.
    Went down the early conciliation route with ACAS and employer refused to engage so ET filed. At this point employer must have realised they had applied the holiday pay directly to the loan to clear the loan and no deducted tax and ni from it.

    I have had to apply for out of work benefits and I get a phone callicon from the DWP stating I was paid in April and currently have no entitlement. This was the holiday pay that they took of the loan made the tax and national insurance deduction and reapplied the payment to the loan

    I have contacted employer and they basically say tough and are refusing to do anything

    Where do I stand, I have currently 0 income and a family to feed. Currently selling belongings via fb for food


  2. #2

    Default Re: Employer withheld wages

    It's a difficult position to be in, but you'll come out a winner.
    Are you in a union?
    If so, are their solicitors dealing with the ET claim?
    What about the personal injury claim?
    In the mean time, if i were you i would get a long term interest free credit card and use that for food and bills, but you need to be very careful with your expenditures.
    If in a union they usually have hardship payment schemes or wage payment for a few months when you lose your job and it's not your fault.
    Good luck.


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    Default Re: Employer withheld wages

    thanks for the reply. The union are not backing me. They prevented me pursuing an ET against employer day 1 and I missed the initial time limit and that is why I had to get a solicitor to do PI claim

    I am taking the separate ET claim for the wages myself although it was reviewed by the employment dept at PI Solicitors office first. Itís not economical to get a solicitor but due to the other case they review for free.

    Cannot get a credit card as credit is poor as missed payments etc due to long term sick


  4. #4

    Default Re: Employer withheld wages

    local welfare assistance?

    https://www.turn2us.org.uk/Benefit-g...are-Assistance

    and food bank to keep them fed while you sort things out.

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  5. #5

    Default Re: Employer withheld wages

    so is the equipment you bought with the loan any use to you now you have left their employ? if not they should have bought it in the first place under the PUWER part of the 6 pack.
    I know it was common for engineers to make or buy their own tools that they then took with them if they changed jobs but no-one would expect a mechnical engineer to buy a lathe to do his day to day work for example.
    let us know what it was that you needed the loan for and the detaisl of its requirement to perform your duties and we might suggest that you recover the money for this from them anyway.
    As you have no income there will be a remission of fees and possible elgal aid should you go down the court route. No win no fee is rare for ET or small claimicon matters but the PI will certainly geain interest from many specialist firms


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Employer withheld wages

    It was a vehicle that I needed for traveling from site to site and to have this vehicle was a requirement of the role along with specific insurance regarding equipment etc

    The engine of my initial vehicle I had blew after a few years and Work had a scheme for low interest finance with conditions against the allowances that could be claimed for mileage fuel etc

    Unfortunately the vehicle will have to go as i can no longer drive a manual and cannot drive at all at the moment due to medication etc.

    There were less then 6 months payments left on it out of 5 years.

    The usual procedure for anyone else who left if one of these loans was in place with the more than 3/4 of the payments made was to raise an invoice to them and continue to maintain the agreed monthly payments

    There was a contact signed by myself and the employer agreeing to a set amount repayable every month.

    The loan repayments would be affordable even on benefits and that is not the issue as itís being dealt with via the tribunal

    My biggest issue now is this ďpayment ď on the system that is showing stating I received a payment of wages in April which I didnít. This is preventing me getting any means tested benefits of which I am entitled too.

    Work are refusing to rectify this as all payments due to me were due beginning of March and my P45 reflects these payments

    It appears that I am being punished for daring to take a case against them


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    Quote Originally Posted by Emmzzi View Post
    local welfare assistance?

    https://www.turn2us.org.uk/Benefit-g...are-Assistance

    and food bank to keep them fed while you sort things out.

    Thanks it looks like this will be the case unfortunately


  8. #8

    Default Re: Employer withheld wages

    No employer is allowed to deduct so much from the last pay packet so as to leave a person without money. I think there is a maximum percentage and this is law so overrides any contract regarding repaying the loan. It would apply if it was a season ticket loan as well. Most employers understand that a car isnt a consumabkle item so will accept you continuing to pay them back on the same basis as when you were employed unless you left under a cloud
    you should also look into whetehr you got paid the full allowances you could ahve claimed for use of your own vehicle, for example if they paid a mileage allowance did that actually cover your costs and was that allowance tax free? That is why people get company cars, a fleet lease arrangement costs the company less than the cost for paying individuals piecemeal.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Employer withheld wages

    Sorry, but that is incorrect. An employer is not allowed to deduct from wages to such an extent that it reduces the wage below the MNW / NLW unless there is a written agreement in place. But that does not apply to the final wage, and they can indeed take the whole wage if it is owed, and still go after the employee for any further debt. So yes - they are allowed to leave a person without money.

    Am I reading this correctly - the employer loaned you money to purchase a vehicle which was registered in your name? If that is the case, the rest is entirely irrelevant I'm afraid. It's your vehicle and the fact you no longer need it is not the employers problem. What they might have done with others, or what other employers have done does not change the fact that you signed a loan contract with the employer, and it is the terms of that contract that apply. If the contract permits them to recoup the loan in the way that they have done, you have given them permission to do it. And if that is the case, your tribunal claim will fail. So those are the issues you need to address - not what happened to other people, whether you need the car or not, or whether they took all our part of the salary. Did they have a loan agreement / contractual agreement, and what do those permit?

    This is entirely different from a PI claim, but I don't doubt that the reason they have done it is because of that claim. So you are probably right about their motives. But their motives are also irrelevant... the only thing that matters is whether they have the authority to make that deduction. And I'd be surprised if they didn't - I can't recall the last time I saw an employer loan agreement that didn't permit deductions from wages, and since yours had already been taking payments from wages I would assume that they have been doing so under that agreement.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Sangie595 View Post
    Sorry, but that is incorrect. An employer is not allowed to deduct from wages to such an extent that it reduces the wage below the MNW / NLW unless there is a written agreement in place. But that does not apply to the final wage, and they can indeed take the whole wage if it is owed, and still go after the employee for any further debt. So yes - they are allowed to leave a person without money.

    Am I reading this correctly - the employer loaned you money to purchase a vehicle which was registered in your name? If that is the case, the rest is entirely irrelevant I'm afraid. It's your vehicle and the fact you no longer need it is not the employers problem. What they might have done with others, or what other employers have done does not change the fact that you signed a loan contract with the employer, and it is the terms of that contract that apply. If the contract permits them to recoup the loan in the way that they have done, you have given them permission to do it. And if that is the case, your tribunal claim will fail. So those are the issues you need to address - not what happened to other people, whether you need the car or not, or whether they took all our part of the salary. Did they have a loan agreement / contractual agreement, and what do those permit?

    This is entirely different from a PI claim, but I don't doubt that the reason they have done it is because of that claim. So you are probably right about their motives. But their motives are also irrelevant... the only thing that matters is whether they have the authority to make that deduction. And I'd be surprised if they didn't - I can't recall the last time I saw an employer loan agreement that didn't permit deductions from wages, and since yours had already been taking payments from wages I would assume that they have been doing so under that agreement.
    Apologies I have had no internet for a few days now.
    I have been told by 2 employment Solicitors and ACAS that they are in the wrong regarding withholding the pay

    My more immediate concern is the way they processed the holiday pay.

    They processed the holiday pay after they had even issued my p45.

    They initially paid it against the loan without deducting the tax and ni. They then took it off in April and made the necessary page and ni deductions and put it back on the loan

    This is now showing as a payment on the system and as a result I cannot get any benefit entitlement


  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigjim24 View Post
    Apologies I have had no internet for a few days now.
    I have been told by 2 employment Solicitors and ACAS that they are in the wrong regarding withholding the pay

    My more immediate concern is the way they processed the holiday pay.

    They processed the holiday pay after they had even issued my p45.

    They initially paid it against the loan without deducting the tax and ni. They then took it off in April and made the necessary page and ni deductions and put it back on the loan

    This is now showing as a payment on the system and as a result I cannot get any benefit entitlement
    Have you looked into New Style ESA contributionicon based benefit ? This is a benefit that is based on you having paid National Insurance enough for 2 out of the last 3 years and you currently being not fit to work.

    Would you be eligible to receive payment under that, given your health situation ?


  12. #12
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigjim24 View Post
    Apologies I have had no internet for a few days now.
    I have been told by 2 employment Solicitors and ACAS that they are in the wrong regarding withholding the pay

    My more immediate concern is the way they processed the holiday pay.

    They processed the holiday pay after they had even issued my p45.

    They initially paid it against the loan without deducting the tax and ni. They then took it off in April and made the necessary page and ni deductions and put it back on the loan

    This is now showing as a payment on the system and as a result I cannot get any benefit entitlement
    If ACAS told me that you can't normally claim unfair dismissal without two years service, I'd go and check - they get things wrong more often than they should. And I can't see your contacts but be cautious if the solicitors haven't either... all I am telling you is that such deductions can be lawful if you have agreed them, and it is very unusual for an employer to process a large loan without ensuring they have the right to deduct from salary. And if they have already been doing so without such an agreement in place, technically you have a right to reclaim all those. Although you would still owe the money. But I was actually clarifying the point that a previous poster had made - it is not correct that that an empire is limited in how much of a final salary deduction they can make. The issue at hand is whether they have that written agreement or not, not the amount of the deduction.

    Tax law isn't my forte, but it's not uncommon for people to be owed pay ( back pay for example) after a P45 had been issued, and I understood that they can't "go backwards" and apply the payment to a previous tax period, even if it relates to that period. But I'd be happy to be corrected in that matter. I agree that it's not "nice" to leave you without money, but that isn't unlawful per se, and none of their concern whether you qualify for benefits. I'm not being harsh in saying that - just stating the facts as I see them. Your eligibility for benefits isn't their concern, but their correct payments to HMRC are. You might be better asking about this on a benefits board - I don't know much about benefits, and many posters here won't necessarily know the answers. Because one thing is certain - you won't get a tribunal judgement on this sooner than you qualify for benefits, and if they refuse to conciliate, whether you won a tribunal or not, it won't get you money now when you need it.


  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sangie595 View Post
    If ACAS told me that you can't normally claim unfair dismissal without two years service, I'd go and check - they get things wrong more often than they should. And I can't see your contacts but be cautious if the solicitors haven't either... all I am telling you is that such deductions can be lawful if you have agreed them, and it is very unusual for an employer to process a large loan without ensuring they have the right to deduct from salary. And if they have already been doing so without such an agreement in place, technically you have a right to reclaim all those. Although you would still owe the money. But I was actually clarifying the point that a previous poster had made - it is not correct that that an empire is limited in how much of a final salary deduction they can make. The issue at hand is whether they have that written agreement or not, not the amount of the deduction.

    Tax law isn't my forte, but it's not uncommon for people to be owed pay ( back pay for example) after a P45 had been issued, and I understood that they can't "go backwards" and apply the payment to a previous tax period, even if it relates to that period. But I'd be happy to be corrected in that matter. I agree that it's not "nice" to leave you without money, but that isn't unlawful per se, and none of their concern whether you qualify for benefits. I'm not being harsh in saying that - just stating the facts as I see them. Your eligibility for benefits isn't their concern, but their correct payments to HMRC are. You might be better asking about this on a benefits board - I don't know much about benefits, and many posters here won't necessarily know the answers. Because one thing is certain - you won't get a tribunal judgement on this sooner than you qualify for benefits, and if they refuse to conciliate, whether you won a tribunal or not, it won't get you money now when you need it.
    Sorry for the late reply, my internet service has been disconnected as I canít pay for it.

    I had given my work contract and car loan agreement to both Acas and solicitor. There is nothing in the contract or agreement allowing them to do what they have done.

    There is a paragraph in the agreement that does discuss leaving during the term which states payments as agreed must be maintained until the loan is repaid in full


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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigjim24 View Post
    Sorry for the late reply, my internet service has been disconnected as I canít pay for it.

    I had given my work contract and car loan agreement to both Acas and solicitor. There is nothing in the contract or agreement allowing them to do what they have done.

    There is a paragraph in the agreement that does discuss leaving during the term which states payments as agreed must be maintained until the loan is repaid in full
    And are all your payments up to date? I ask because if you are unable to pay for your Internet service, does that mean that you have missed loan payments? Do you see where this is going? The law rarely exists in a vacuum. It isn't as simple as simply saying that they shouldn't have deducted this from your final payment. That might be the case, in isolation. But is your alternative ending up in court for defaulting on your debt, and the consequences of that? I honestly have to say that there is no straight forward answer to this. But it still comes back to the fact that the employer has the money, and no court action will get it from them in a matter of weeks if they are refusing to pay it to you, so it will not solve your current predicament. I'm surprised that your solicitor doesn't consider this to be "part of their job" since where there is a bigger legal/ financial claim, it would commonly be all seen as part of the same issue (since you wouldn't be in this situation if it weren't for the alleged negligence/ liability), but again, that doesn't help you right now. And I'm not sure what would.


  16. #16

    Default Re: Employer withheld wages

    Regarding the PI claim : has the employer (and/or their insurer!) been contacted regarding:
    a) an interim payment (especially if liability isnít disputed, but quantum is), and
    b) early rehabilitation.
    What stage is the PI claim at?

    This doesnít have anything to do with the threadís title, but may give you some income much quicker than an ET claim.


  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sangie595 View Post
    And are all your payments up to date? I ask because if you are unable to pay for your Internet service, does that mean that you have missed loan payments? Do you see where this is going? The law rarely exists in a vacuum. It isn't as simple as simply saying that they shouldn't have deducted this from your final payment. That might be the case, in isolation. But is your alternative ending up in court for defaulting on your debt, and the consequences of that? I honestly have to say that there is no straight forward answer to this. But it still comes back to the fact that the employer has the money, and no court action will get it from them in a matter of weeks if they are refusing to pay it to you, so it will not solve your current predicament. I'm surprised that your solicitor doesn't consider this to be "part of their job" since where there is a bigger legal/ financial claim, it would commonly be all seen as part of the same issue (since you wouldn't be in this situation if it weren't for the alleged negligence/ liability), but again, that doesn't help you right now. And I'm not sure what would.
    The loan payments were completely up to date. There was an agreement for them to deduct that exact amount from my salary at source on a monthly basis. My solicitor is a PI solicitor only and did refer me to employment solicitor who reviewed everything and said I do have a case for ET but itís not economical to pursue via solicitor as costs would outweigh the award. The PI solicitor can only include this as what they have done has had further health implications but Work and insurance have not issued a response other than acknowledgement of the claim and paperwork to schedule a court date is being issued next week. It was felt by both Solicitors at the time the ET May be quicker

    Internet has been cut off as I missed the payment at the end of March due to wages being withheld.

    Dwp have now said I am entitled to benefits but payment will not commence until end of May as they are basing this on what Work has done even though p45 shows correct gross figures and leaving date as March

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    Quote Originally Posted by BazzaS View Post
    Regarding the PI claim : has the employer (and/or their insurer!) been contacted regarding:
    a) an interim payment (especially if liability isnít disputed, but quantum is), and
    b) early rehabilitation.
    What stage is the PI claim at?

    This doesnít have anything to do with the threadís title, but may give you some income much quicker than an ET claim.
    Work have completely shut down and are not communicating with me or pi solicitor. Court papers are being filed next week


  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by BazzaS View Post
    has the employer (and/or their insurer!) been contacted regarding:
    a) an interim payment (especially if liability isnít disputed, but quantum is), and
    b) early rehabilitation.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bigjim24 View Post
    Work have completely shut down and are not communicating with me or pi solicitor. Court papers are being filed next week
    And their insurer?


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Employer withheld wages

    I fear that we are talking at cross purposes and that we can't really assist you here. These boards are always limited by the fact that we know part of the story, from one point of view. in this case there is a huge picture, and we have a corner piece of the jigsaw!

    You say that the solicitor told you an ET was quicker. That begs the question "quicker than what?". If we are talking about a PI claim, that's certainly true. I've been dealing with one of these for four years now and the end isn't yet in sight - and the employer agrees with the claim! PI claims typically take years unless they are relatively minor, and if that were the case one assumes you wouldn't have lost your job over it. Maybe I'm being pessimistic, but we generally allow for 5-7 years for a contested claim, at least. That's assuming the employer actually still exists at the end of that period, of course.

    But unless you are living in that area of the country where there are no lengthy lists for tribunals (and I don't know where that is - the lists are over the top everywhere I see) you could still be waiting several months for a hearing. Let's assume the employer plays out the response deadline the full 28 days, then agrees to pay, but draws out the payment - that's what, a couple of months? They decide to let the tribunal take its course - possibly as little as another 2-3 months, but could be 6 or more!

    Your question was, what can you do because you can't afford food now. So assuming that you are right and they shouldn't have taken that money, it's irrelevant - you still won't be able to get any money quicker than the benefits system pays out. Which is why I have suggested that you would be well advised to get advice on your current situation and what can be done about it now.

    And your payments might have been up to date in March. It's May now, and you still owe them money. Are you paying your loan now? Probably not if you can't afford food. That is what I was saying before - you can be counter sued for not paying the loan. That going too continue to be the case, and what you owe will continue to grow - anything you might win, eventually, at a tribunal doesn't pay the bills now and could be more than wiped out by action against you by the employer.

    Which is why I am perplexed that the solicitor isn't tying them in knots over this. It is a situation arising directly out of the alleged negligence. If we were confident that there was a negligence case, then we would be treating this as part of the claim. Not that that would get the money any faster (although we would have passed you to our welfare fund by now for immediate help). But we wouldn't be leaving it to you to sort out. And we wouldn't be expecting it to do a thing to resolve your current cash flow issues. We'd have told you that.

    So I'm not sure what we can do to help you to get money faster. I don't see an employment law related method of doing that. And that's what I'm trying to say - this is all complicated, it takes time, and it doesn't, literally, put food on the table today. Possibly someone on the benefits board will have an idea about how to do that - but it's not entirely likely that there will be someone on this board who can so unless someone with great benefits knowledge happens in this thread, you won't be seen....


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