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Everything posted by rebeccas78

  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!!
  16. Hi, Sorry to hear that you are in this situation. A couple of questions: *The two Directors that you refer to who are also at risk of redundancy- are they male or female? *"He'd try to wangle it so that they pay me 6 weeks SMP to sweeten the deal" - As you are in the consultation period, is he pre-empting the outcome of a 'possible' redundancy situation? While consultation does not have to end in agreement, it must be properly carried out with a view to reaching agreement, including ways of avoiding the redundancies or minimising their effect, it does not always necessarily end in redundancy, with this in mind..... *Have they provided you with any suggested suitable alternative positions or an alterntive way of working your current role (for example would you consider working shorter hours?) IF yours role is definitley made redundant? I understand that they have said your role is dimishing or could be re-distributed but as they based it on a job spec from 3 years ago I would ask how they analysed your role and decided that you should be put at risk? If there anyone else in Marketing? I'm not great with the financial side of your query but as a HR Manager who has been through redundancies recently and is aware of the do's and don'ts I may be able to help you on this side of things. Let me know the answers to the above and I'll come to you.
  17. Hi, A few questions: *Did you take the payment and not disclose it to your Manager? *Were you intending on disclosing it to your Manager and if so when? *If your colleague was able to inform your Manager that you 'took' the vehicle, was he there on the Friday evening when you took it and so witnessed it and was aware of the situation (i.e you were assisting a regular customer)? *Are there any written procedures on using company vehicles and if so what do they say? I know you say you understand why he sacked you but want to know if he followed the correct procedures but I am not sure the reasons why he sacked you are clear, hence my questions. If you are focussing on the procedure he followed then I would ask: * if you have ever received written disciplinary procedures which should detail how the company handle such circumstances, if you have what to these procedures say? While theft of company propoery is a gross misconduct offence, I don't think the company have followed the correct procedure. In brief: *you should have been suspended pending an investigation (normally paid suspension) *they should have investigated their allegations - this investigation may have included a meeting with you to discuss their concerns further and allow you to answer their questions *if they then were certain an offence of this nature had been committed, you should have received a written invitation to a disciplinary hearing with not less than 24 hours notice of the hearing being scheduled to take place and this letter should also have advised you of your right to a witness (normally a fellow employee or union rep if applicable) *they should then have reached their decision and advised you of this either at the end of this disciplinary meeting or by a deadline (agreed with you) following the hearing if they needed more time to consider what course of action to take. *If after following this procedure the employer decided to dismiss you, they should have provided you with written reasons for your dismissal and details of your right to appeal against the decision and who this appeal should be addressed to. If there is another level above your Manager, they should hear the appeal. (Where possible, it is not good practice for the same person who dismissed you to hear the appeal as it could be seen as a conflict of interest). Here is a link to the ACAS code of practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures. It is definitley worth you looking at it. http://www.acas.org.uk/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=272&p=0 I'm not an expert but offer this advice as a HR Manager who sometimes has to deal with similar difficult situations and tries to look at both sides of the argument! Please let me know how you get on!
  18. It is scary that some people don't know about their employment rights but to be honest most people understandably expect their employers to treat them with respect and not abuse their rights, this would be great in an ideal world but is not always the case! I hope it all works out well - please let me know if they don't play ball!
  19. Hi, As a HR Manager, I would say that your daughters employer is being unreasonable. I have attached a great link to the business link web-site page about an employees right to paid time off for ante-natal appointments. This is a great source of information and answers all questions you have (it is written for the employer so read it from the opposite perspective!). All pregnant employees have the right to paid time off to attend antenatal care appointments. Antenatal care covers not only medical examinations but also, for example, relaxation classes and parentcraft classes. However, the right to time off only applies if the appointment is advised by a midwife, health visitor or registered medical practitioner (eg a doctor). Therefore, the employer is entitled to ask for evidence of antenatal appointments - except in the case of the very first appointment. The employer can request that the employee shows: written documentation from a registered medical practitioner, a midwife or a health visitor confirming that she is pregnant an appointment card or some other document showing that an appointment has been made As I said they appear to be being unreasonable in the circumstances. If they continue your daughter may want to compile a grievance based on being unlawfully discriminated against in the process of asserting a statutory right (asking for time off for an antenatal appointment), she may alternatively just want to 'informally' drop this into a conversation with her Manager or HR Manager! It may be the case, as it sometimes is in this type of situation that the person who is being difficult with her has no understanding of the employees rights in this situation. I am sure if she went to HR they would advise her properly (I hope it wasn't HR who have mis-lead her originally, if it is then that's a worry!) Please let me know how she gets on! Employees' right to paid time off for antenatal care | Business Link
  20. Hi, I take it you looked at my post on the employment section! I think this site is great and will pop into the employment section to see if I can assist and return the favour to others! I will update on here next Monday evening following my appointment with Payplan to let you know what I decide to do! Many thanks again.
  21. Hi, I have tried to speak to Natwest in particular regarding my loan but their answer to helping me with the £10k I owe on that was to consolidate all my other debt with this amount and my o/d into one loan and repay it over five years at a stupidly high rate of interest and that just wouldn't work for me. I have not approached the other cards regarding freezing interest etc.. mainly as my partner was previously in a similar situation with 2 of the 4 cards that I have mentioned and asked them for such assistance and to keep it short let's just say that they were terrible to him after that! But I do understand why you recommend that. My credit history has already taken a bashing! Mainly because over the 2 last years (approx) I have been applying for 0% cards and being a credit card tart! The problem was when I ended up having to use them for my living costs and then was late paying two of them by one day and they invoked the normal interest rate. I then applied for other cards which I didn't get and that dented my credit rating further. I guess that having also gone over my o/d limit in twice in recent months won't have helped my rating either. If I end up going the DMP route (which looks highly likely!) I don't plan on ever getting into debt again and never want another loan or credit card! Many thanks for your advice!
  22. Hi, The cards are: Egg within the last 8 months, Virgin started in April 09, Mint-not sure maybe around 2 years, M&S around 2 years also. Loan through Natwest, June 08, no PPI. O/D, went over limit twice in last few months, was charged £25 each time. Not sure how all this works to be honest! Can you explain to me what CCA is and how it works? Thank you.
  23. Hi, Many thanks for your reply and offer of help. I have never had any experience of either CCCS or payplan before (fortunatley I guess!). CCCS were very helpful on the phone appointment but I feel a little 'worried' that I hand over the 'hands on' management of my debts to someone else and it is slightly out of my control! Up to now I have been managing to pay the mimimum payments albeit through robbing Peter to pay Paul! but I have not defaulted. I will speak to payplan next Monday and will decide after that how to progress. On my appointment the counsellor said that I am in an advantageous situation as I can pay £633 per month between 6 creditors (4 credit cards, 1 personal loan and 1 o/d) and pay off all my debt in 3 years and 9 months so long as they all freeze the interest. This is great but I am worried that they won't all (if any) agree to freezing the interest and worried about what could happpen or what I should do if that happens! You mention that I could consider making a complaint about their actions, as I want to plan ahead(!) can you provide me with some more information about how I would go about doing this or where I could get template letter(s) etc..? Many thanks again!
  24. Hi, I'm relatively new to this so I hope this appears in the right forum! I have recently had a phone appointment with CCCS regarding my current debts and their advice is to go with a DMP which I understand and am relatively relieved about doing (albeit not looking forward to the calls / letters etc from Credit card companies and bank!!) anyway, the thing is that after my appointment I discovered through this site that another company also offers to manage a DMP for an individual at no cost and they are called Payplan. I have now arranged a phone appointment with them also for the start of next week but was wondering if people could give me any advice based on their good / bad experiences of who they would recommend out of the two? Also, a further question re DMP.... if I go for a DMP and some of the creditors don't agree to freeze the interest, I assume that the debt will continue to escalate due to interest charges so will I still be expected to repay it all anyway / end up in court over not paying the total amount / be issued with a CCJ etc..? Many thanks for some much needed advice in advance!
  25. Hi, I'm no expert but I am a HR Manager and am used to handling holiday requests for staff and dealing with any related queries. Firstly are there any written procedures in your company for the process to follow when booking holiday? If so, what do they say and have you followed them? From what you say it sounds as though you have! You gave more than enough notice of over three months and the fact that you have had to chase your Manager for approval for over three months and are still none the wiser with only 4 weeks left to go is not right. You cannot be expected to make your holiday plans alongside when he wants to have leave! He will just have to cope, any understanding organisation would strategically plan for cover of some kind in these situations such as cross training other staff to step in when you are off or getting temp support in. I would email your Manager first thing in the morning (so you have this recorded in writing), keep it polite but assertive so something like: "As you are aware in May I requested a week of leave for .......dates in Sept by submitting my card to you for approval, I have subsequently asked you to authorise my requested dates over the last few months but have not any response. I am aware that you may prefer me to take the same time periods off as you but feel that providing with you with over 3 months notice I have been more than reasonable by allowing for time for any cover to be arranged. I am happy to complete a handover with a designated colleague(s) prior to my requested leave dates. Please can you confirm that these dates are authorised? Many thanks...." Depending upon if there is a written procedure for booking holiday and obviously if it is relevant you may also want to quote this to him. If you do not receive a response by Thursday afternoon, I would consult your HR department or your Managers superior and present the email as further evidence. Advise them that your partner has booked and paid for the holiday as you both expected that due to the advanced notice provided and as you were aware your Manager was not off at the same time, the dates would be approved. Whatever you do, do not go AWOL (absent without leave) from work on the dates that you have requested if the dates area not approved as this would be a gross misconduct offence and could result in disciplinary action against you and possibly dismissal. Hope this helps! Let me know how it goes!
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