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About Bumblebee3000

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  1. king12345 - thanks. As far as I know she has a working permit and she's married to a EU citizen, but some of her friends could be illegal, I haven't asked.
  2. Thanks everyone! donarebun - I'll tell her to ask for a written contract (suspect there isn't one). It's also likely they're in breach of the minimum wage act - apparently they hadn't been paying her the minimum wage as it rose (to gbp 6.50 and then 6.70) until her husband called them to ask - and they don't seem to have repaid the amount owed from the date the wage rose, only from when they got the call or thereabouts. renegadeimp - yes, it certainly does look like a sham company. They're employing a lot of immigrants and they're using their lack of English and knowledge of the law against them. From what I heard from my friend I'm almost 100% sure that they've breached the minimum wage laws (and others) many, many times. Isn't there somewhere else she could report them to? HMRC? topcat14 - please see above re: the minimum wage. She doesn't think (will check) they're paying her the gbp 7.20/hr, which started on 1 April. Good news about the contract then - I thought the arrangements with the supervisor about working fewer hours than initially agreed to were questionable but if they continued for years and no one from the company (or their client) complained, then I guess that's acceptable. BTW, what happens if they give her a written copy of her contract (doubtful) and the terms there are different to what she agreed to initially? Does she have to sign? She hasn't signed any contracts apparently (and no written copies ever received). She thinks she has P60s and payslips but she'll check. Regarding "disciplining" - apparently she was issued some kind of a discipline letter a few months ago (she will look for it), which she was asked to sign (and she did). Not sure if her husband received or signed any such thing before he was sacked though. They seem to be under the impression that she represents both herself and her husband somehow - ? SoggyMoggy - indeed, I can't make heads or tails out of their calculations. I think they just pulled the numbers out of nowhere. king12345 - I was appalled myself. They've really pulled out all the stops, haven't they? I'm sure these are the kinds of letters they used to sack most of my friend's old colleagues who were probably intimidated by this kind of language enough that they left on their own. Thanks again, I'll help her draft a letter tonight so she can hand it in later this week.
  3. Thanks, ericsbrother - they have already withheld GBP 60 in the last 2 weeks' pay and will presumably continue to do so. Would you suggest that she actually submit a county court claim (after informing them she'll do so) if the employer doesn't respond or give her back the withheld wages? Also, would it be best for her leave before she receives a response to the above (that is, ASAP) or should she wait for a response? There's the danger of them withholding her last 2 weeks' wages if she does not give a notice (not sure what that is but she mentioned a week)... Thanks very much!
  4. Posting on behalf of a friend, who is employed by a cleaning company. The facts: - She's been working for the company for 5+ years as a cleaner for a certain client for GBP 6.50/hr for 2 hrs/day (10hrs/week) and her husband was also employed there for the same wage for 3 hrs/day (15 hrs/week). - There is no written contract and she and her husband have never received anything from the employer except salary payments into their accounts. - Ever since she's been working there she was told by her supervisor that as long as the offices are cleaned properly it doesn't matter how many hours she works. As a result, she's been going for 3-4 hours/day to do both hers and her husband's work and was always paid for 5 hours/day. No complaints regarding her work have been made. - Her husband was sacked in Feb 2016 because he never showed up at work (even though the verbal arrangement has always been that she does the work of 2 people - apparently this was the norm at the company). This was after a management change, which also caused her old supervisor to be sacked. - Now she's received a letter from her employer (see below), which basically states that she's inflated the hours she was supposed to work and she owes the client of the employer 736 hours for 2015 (only) or GBP 4,784 and they are going to deduct it from her salary (which they've already started to do). It would become due if she decides to leave. They also include her husband's hours into this amount (not sure how they calculated 736 hours). I'm pretty sure most of the assertions in the letter are questionable, to say the least. She should have received a written contract and they can't just withhold money from her salary. They mention a meeting between her and the client last August, which she does not recall. They claim that the security guard has been tallying her hours in addition to her punching in/out and that's how they claim they've calculated 736 hours, which is not really believable. It's also clear that the company is trying to get rid of her (as they've already sacked her husband and most of her old colleagues), so she's going to look for another job. However, she wouldn't want to get a debt collections agency on her back and she would like the withheld money returned. So my question is what she should do at this point. LETTER - date 21 March 2016 [suspiciously close to the official minimum wage hike, too...] Dear **** Our customer has highlighted deficiencies in the hours that have been worked during 2015. 1. It would appear that on the majority of working days, only one person attended site when there should have been two, namely you and your husband. 2. Our customer has analysed the signing in times that you entered in the log book on their floor against the hours recorded by the security guard downstairs when you arrived and left the building each day. It would appear that you have been entering earlier arrival times and later departure times on the customer book their floor, compared with these recorded by the security guard. Consequently our customer has requested a refund of 736 hours' work that has not been carried out during 2015. You were aware that two people should be on site for 2.5 hours a day. From the evidence put to us, your husband very rarely attended site and you knew that. Further, you have been inflating the hours you have been working on site. You had a meeting directly with our customer in August where the deficiencies in the cleaning provision were pointed out and following this, two staff did start working again but this lasted just thirteen days. You and your husband have stolen 736 hours during 2015 from our customer. Based on an hourly rate of GBP 6.50, that is GBP 4,784. Accordingly this amount is to be repaid. We will arrange to commence recovery of this over payment from you at the rate of GBP 30.00 per week until the over payment is cleared. Should you leave our employment, the full amount will become due and we will expect payment immediately. Should you wish to discuss this matter further, kindly contact me immediately. Yours sincerely, *** Operations Director
  5. [QUOTE=mariner51;4643283]I would be worried about new LL saying he has no liability if you move in early. Agreed. Specifically, the proposed liability release is worded as: "...we accept no liability (other than to meet the reasonable costs of the clean) and require release from any claim under the tenancy agreement or otherwise which may arise in connection with you taking possession on this accelerated basis." If he receives confirmation from the electrician that the electrics are fine and is comfortable with the dehumidifier having done its job, then what else would he need release from? (the "clean" refers to the beginning of tenancy professional clean which we would have to undertake next week and which he's agreed to pay for). He also needs to move out some of his belongings out of the flat, which was originally agreed but he's now moved this to next week, so we'd have to allow the movers access to do so. He's also requested access (with advance notice) for any further repairs that might need to be undertaken as a result of the flood (which we're ok with). Other than that, I'm not sure what else is there to do for him next week. If I were a judge I'd be wondering whether he's got something to hide!
  6. Thanks raydetinu, this sounds quite reasonable. If this is only a matter of a week to fix up the new flat then moving into a hotel/b&b would probably be a top option at this point. We'll have to wait till the electrician's verdict tomorrow to make a decision though - if he says it'll take longer, then we'll have to rethink...
  7. Thanks raydetinu. Yep, the pregnancy was not an unexpected "obstacle" and we are trying to do the best we can. Actually, the contract was modified only in respect of the previous contracts - it is actually a clean AST contract starting on 1 June that specifies that we can give 1 month's notice anytime (the landlord can give 2). Still getting conflicting opinions as to whether this means I have any fixed term in the contract! Yes, we paid the deposit & 1st month's rent on the new flat. Since we haven't moved in, however, I understand it's more complicated since the landlord could just dissolve the contract/give us back the money, which is not what we want (and I don't think he does either as he's told us he thinks he can get things sorted in a week). We now have been offered the option to move in this weekend as previously agreed if we accept that he has no liability for us moving in a week early, as well as on the conditions that the electrician OKs the flat on friday (tomorrow) and the dehumidifiers can be removed by saturday. I was hoping (probably naively) that I could get a bit of clarity online before getting legal advice but unfortunately this is not turning out to be the case. Between a rock and a hard place right now!
  8. Yeah, the advanced state of the pregnancy makes it extremely difficult to either try to find a new place or move after this weekend. Doctor said yesterday that we're crazy to be moving this weekend anyhow.
  9. Well, the heading of the contract says AST but we had agreed to remove the definition of a fixed period from it. We specifically agreed on giving notice on any day (not just rent day) and to pay a pro-rated amount if the rent payment day and the leaving day don't match. Yes, there is a deposit and it's protected. I got some direction that the new landlord is not obligated to provide alternative accommodation because we haven't moved in yet. He's really keen to help anyway...
  10. Thank you for your reply (you've obviously noticed that I posted this elsewhere as well). As in my explanation in the other thread, we actually have an AST with no fixed term (we had a fixed term previously in the same flat) starting from 1 June and we could give a month's notice at any time (we gave notice on 11 October and ended the tenancy on 10 November). Rent was monthly. If we are not able to move this weekend (most likely), then we don't want to vacate on 10 November (and don't want to get charged mesne rent) - is that likely in these circumstances?
  11. Just to clarify - I'm the tenant here! Here's the situation - we have a fixed term contract with a private landlord and we served a notice to leave, which was accepted by the landlord and their letting agents, who in turn served us with notice 21(1)(b) expiring on 30 December. We are due to move out on 10 November (the expiration date of our own notice) into a new flat . However, we were just told by the new landlord that there's been a leak in the new flat, which might prevent us from moving in on 10 November - he's not sure when we could move in since some of the electrics might have been affected (the leak came from the flat above and the water went into the wall behind the storage heater/electrics cupboard/one of the bedrooms as well as on some of the carpets). As far as I could find out from some online research, we now have a couple of options: 1) Move out on the 10th as agreed and into a hotel/temporary housing while storing most of our belongings - I assume the new landlord's insurance should pay some/all of this extra expense? We then would move into the new flat whenever it's deemed habitable (that is, the electrics have been checked and the walls/carpets dried out). 2) Not move out of the current flat until the new flat is ready. I understand that our own notice has merely terminated the fixed term of the existing contract but then if we don't move out then a statutory tenancy automatically begins, which would terminate on 30 December as per the notice 21(1)(b), which we have already been served. Is that right? If so, then: - do we have to give further notice to move out after 10 November (when the fixed term expires)? This would be difficult since we don't know when the new flat would be ready for us to move into. - would we be liable for rent until 30 December? We would definitely want to avoid this. - is it right that the landlord would not be able to evict us/make us leave until at least 30 December? If the above is not correct, then do we have any statutory rights to remain for any period beyond 10 November? Again, there is the question of who would be liable for the extra expense but at least we wouldn't have to move twice! 3) Not move out of our current flat and try to find a new flat. The new landlord offered us to get out of the contract but we are not keen since it was really difficult to find this one (also see below). A further difficulty is caused by my wife currently being over 8 months pregnant with our second child and our first is only 1.5 years old. We have no help/relatives around, so the original move date itself was already a big compromise (we really needed the extra space and the new flat is great). Therefore options 1 and 3 would be quite difficult and option 2 might also be messy - we really don't want to have to move +/- 2 weeks around the due date. However, option 2 seems to be the only realistic one at this point (assuming we can flex the move in date with the new landlord). We already checked with our current landlord and received an immediate "no" to our request to stay a couple of weeks longer as he has plans to sell the flat, has booked flights to move in the day after we leave (he lives abroad), etc. Although we understand this, I don't see what else we could do?
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