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  1. Hi, This appears to be a long post but please read it especially if you are worried about your debts / not sure what to do / on the verge of doing something about them! I posted on here around two months ago that my debts (totalling in the region of £28k on cards and loans) were getting too much and that I'd heard about CCCS & Payplan who set up debt management plans and was asking for advice on others experiences with these companies. There was then a subsuquent post advising that I decided to go with Payplan and was in the throes of liaising with them regarding them contacting my creditors. I know that not everyone will have the same experience as me with payplan but I if this post brings some hope to even one person who is in the situation I was in then maybe it'll be of some benefit. Two months on from my initial contact with Payplan, I can honestly say the only regret that I have is that I had not contacted them sooner. I was appointed a personal liasion officer and they took me through every stage of the process with great care and dedication answering (my many!) questions throughout. They were very realistic with what I could afford and put a proposal to each of my creditors. In the interim I had numerous calls and some threatening letters, I did not answer the calls and did not respond to any letters and would advise anyone starting out on a Debt Management Plan not to (so long as you are in contact with a debt management company). Within 6 weeks, all creditors had agreed to the plan, one of the 5 has frozen the interest totally until they have had all payments and another has reduced the interest to 6%. I am writing to the others (including the one who has lowered it to 6%) to request a total interest freeze. I have an online account that I can log into and see how much has been paid to each creditor each month and any updates or messages from my personal liaision officer. I also have their email address and phone number which I can contact them on if I have any queries. Don't get me wrong after I get paid each month for the last couple of months since I have been in the plan it has been scary, especially with Christmas and the present buying! Christmas is a bit leaner this year but I sat down last night and looked under the tree at the bargains that I had shopped around for (3 for 2's, buy one get one free's, last minute early sale bargains!) and I was proud that I had purchased them with my own money that I had worked hard for! Previous years I had got myself into such a tangle that I was 'robbing Peter to pay Paul' and so would think I'll put Christmas on the plastic and borrow from another card to pay it off. (This was the only time I ever used the plastic in shops, other borrowings were to keep a roof over my head and to live). I now plan my out goings each month and if I can't afford it it doesn't happen. It's hard to change your mindset of thinking 'it's okay, I've got plastic or the overdraft to fall back on' but now I'm starting to see it as a challenge! I hope I don't come across as righteous, believe me that's not my intention, I've just sat down and worked out what I have left to live on for the next 5 weeks until pay day in January and it's £250 after all bills! I'll do it though! I would like to say a huge thank you to all the kind people who responded to my previous posts asking for advice and to everyone on here who bothers to post their experiences / difficulties etc.. which I gather lots of information from. Without this site I honestly think I would be in a much worse situation right now. Wishing everyone a lovely Christmas and new year.
  2. Hi I am in the process of my DMP being arranged via Payplan, they have approached my creditors and are awaiting response from them as to my proposed repayments each month in a DMP. I have today received a letter from a company called Global Vantedge writing on behalf of MBNA saying they have been asked by MBNA to contact me in relation to my outstanding amount (last months minimum payment, not the total amount outstanding) and prompting me to send a cheque to MBNA in chester or pay via card to Global Vantedge via phone! What is more interesting is that the address on the letter is in New Delhi and it says above the address 'do not send payments or correspondance to this address' (so how come they (Gobal Vantedge) can take payment over the phone from me??!) Anyway.... This outfit have tried calling me also numerous times in the last week or so (they left a message with the same number as on the letter and I when I've done 1471 after not answering the phone it's their number also so I know it's them!) It's an 0808 freephone number. I am not calling them and obviously not paying them as I am aware from my case officer at Payplan that they are awaiting a reponse as to my proposal of DMP from MBNA. My questions are: Does anyone else have experiences of this happening with this company and if so, what occured? Does anyone know if Global Vantedge are actually a part of MBNA or know how I could find out if they are? Is it legal for MBNA- a US owned company, with offices in the UK to share my information with an office in India (outside of the EU)? Thanks!
  3. Hi all, Since my post a few weeks ago about setting up a dmp and wanting advice on who to go with I am not in the final stages of setting up dmp with payplan and all is going okay with this though it won't be up and running until the first week in November. Just 2 quick questions, this is the first month that I have not paid the minimum payments to the cards etc. I have been a little late with two card payments due within the last week and have one other on the 3rd November, I have made token payments in the bank over the counter to the late ones today of £1 (as advised by Payplan). I should have asked them this but forgot to but can anyone tell me if I should send letters confirming I have made a token payment to them while a DMP is being set up with Payplan and send them a copy of the receipt for the token payment I have made? If I do have to do this can anyone provide me with or send me in the right direction for a template letter related to this (making a token payment while setting up a DMP)? Many thanks as always for the anticipated advice!
  4. This sounds like a fairly genuine request from the employer to establish if there is any support that they could provide or any reasonable adjustments that they could provide to enable you to return to work (such as p/t working / flexi hours etc..). I would ask them to clarify the reason for the meeting initially before doing anything else, I do think that saying it's just to 'touch base' does not give you enough information. I would also ask who will be present at the meeting. You may want to email them requesting this information in writing.
  5. Thank you to everyone who has given me feedback and views on what to do, most helpful! Just to update on where I am at, I had a phone appointment with a Payplan adviser at the start of the week, he went away with all the facts and figures and rang me back yesterday with the recommendation that I go for a DMP and I will have it all paid off in 3 years, based on the hopeful anticipation that all creditors will agree to freeze the interest. They are sending me the paperwork etc.. and I am in the processes of carrying out bank account changes etc at present. Assuming the I get the paperwork in the next few days, I have been very impressed with the service from payplan, they arranged an appointment for me within a week of my initial call, the counsellor was fantastic, he gave me honest and well thought out feedback having taken the time to go away and consider my financials, he was most flexible when I had to re-arrange the time of his second call with me due to other commitments I had and above all made me feel as though I will get help from them and that there is a light at the end of the tunnel! He also outlined the support and assistance that I can expect from a dedicated case officer and their web-site which is exactly what I was looking for. Of course, like most people in this situation I am nervous of what lies ahead but I feel like I can handle it now and don't feel like a criminal anymore! As I said to the counsellor I do want to pay back what I owe but due to cuts in my finances I cannot afford to pay it back on the terms the Creditors are requesting. Anyway....as for CCCS, they never sent me the paperwork following my call with their counsellor over a week and a half ago and I was told I'd get it on email! I'm sure they work well for other people and I do support what they do but they're not for me on this occasion. I will update again with any feedback once I am in the thick of the process! But thanks again for all the advice - this site is great!
  6. Me again..! You can get free employment advice from ACAS but must have all your facts clear. Their web-site is great and their phone number is also on there so call them tommorow. Drop me some answers to my previous post and I'll see if I can also give you more guidance. I'm no expert(!) but am a HR Manager who is appalled that there are employers out there who mis-treat their employees and so I try to give some basic guidance to people on here to fight back!
  7. Point 1. Who's responsibility is it to ensure the balst chiller is working correctly? Assuming it is every employees responsibility to highlight any problems with machinery / tools etc... why is he being singled out and being disciplined for not doing it? Assuming as you intimate that he did not incite other employees to use a wire to operate it, I would ask if they can please provide date(s) and time(s) of when he allegedly incited others to do this? A bit 'out there' but....is there CCTV in the area that this was supposed to have occured and if so, assuming they can pin-point the date(s) and time(s) of said actions, can they provide CCTV evidence? Point 2 Again who's responsibility is it to ensure that the food is labelled - was it just him or are others also responsible? If they are why is he being singled out? The member of the team made a complaint ...did he bring his concerns to your partner at the time? Point 3 You refer here to a kitchen porter and not having one employed for over a month...with this in mind, is it in your partners job description / contractual responsibilities to clean the kitchen equipment and prep areas or is that the role of a kitchen porter that the boss could not be bothered to replace when he left over a month ago? No evidence of cleaning rotas or fridge temperatures being checked - is this his responsibiity and if so did he do it and how are the checks normally recorded? Does your partners hotel have a HR Manager or Managing director?
  8. Not sure where that cool face appeared from at the start of my post - apologies, think my keyboard has gremlins!
  9. Hi, The statutory legal minimum holiday entitlement for a F/T employee working 5 days per week in the UK is now 28 days per annum (calculated as 5 days x 5.6 weeks =28) however employers can include bank holidays in this so many employers will say 20 personal days + 8 UK Bank holidays. In the case of P/T employees I can advise you that where your holidays are calculated based on the amount of days you work per week (as opposed to the amount of hours) you would simply multiply the days worked by 5.6 (F/T Equiv calculation) - so MarieFab would as she says get 17 days...important to note the employer should round up to the nearest whole or half day. Then with regards to the bank hols if your working days fall on a bank hol you will then minus them from this figure. For example Marie Fab works Tues-Thurs, in England no bank hols fall on a Thurs this year so she will benefit by having the full 17 days for hols! If she worked Mon-Weds however there are 5 bank hols (I think!) that fall on a Monday in England this year so she would have 17 days, less the 5 bank hols which fall on bank hols, leaving 12 days for her personal hols....but remember that she still gets paid for the bank hols anyway as it would be a standard working day normally! I hope this makes sense, it can be confusing however, best to go to the business link web-site reffered to earlier!
  10. "Later that evening, a colleague brought another letter round, this time a Disciplinary Procedure - Statement of Grounds Letter, inviting him to attend a disciplinary hearing next week. The reasons given (3) are very minor, untrue and extremely exxagerated. The boss has got the 2 new starters to write a statement agreeing to the findings and a long standing member of the team". When is the disciplinary hearing and can you post the exact wording of the letter on here? You say colleagues have given statements, are they statements as witnesses to the 3 alledged issues?
  11. First thing is you say your partner gave the required 12 weeks notice. However he has worked there 5 years and the contractual requirement as you posted from his terms and conditions states in point i) if more than 2 years but less than 12 years, one week for each completed year of continuous employment subject to a minimum of 8 weeks. I would therefore interpret this to mean that he only has to give 8 weeks notice?? Going back to re-read other areas of your post and will come back to you on some other points shortly!
  12. Yes, I agree with this post. You may not have stolen the company van as you returned it but you did retain the cash earned from one of their customers who called the company for assistance, whilst driving their company vehicle, therefore I would query whether it's the theft the cash that the Manager was referring to and not theft of the van? Regardless..... as per my previous posts, procedure followed is flawed!
  13. Great, okay. A contract can be written down or agreed verbally. However, you are legally entitled to a written statement of particulars within 2 months of starting in a job. This should outline at the very least the main particulars relating to your employment such as your name, start date, role, salary and how you are paid and notice period. It doesn't sound like you have this but can evidence through your bank statements and with payslips that you worked for them - to be honest I'm not entirely sure how this will impact on them now that you are not working their any more but I would call ACAS and raise this query with them along with some of the main points from my earlier post as they have not followed the correct procedure in dismissing you Definitley speak to ACAS for further advice but it is likely that they may advise you to put your concern in writing to the employer first and give them a week to respond. The main crux of any letter you do would probably be centred around the fact that they have not followed statutory dismissal procedures (as referred to on my earlier post) and never provided you with a contract, written statement of particulars (as required by law within 2 months of starting) nor have they ever provided you with written disciplinary procedures at any time. The question is what are you looking to get from them?? Agreement that for you not taking further action at a tribunal they will provide you with a suitable reference and state your reason for leaving as resignation?? This will show that you attempted negotiation with them prior to taking further action, but do speak to ACAS!
  14. Okay. How were you paid, through the books PAYE or cash in hand? The reason I ask this is that you may have other things to consider if you take this further.
  15. Whoops the last line on my previous post should have said I'll come back to you!!
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