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Hi all

Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin.

Once upon a time I was working for a flooring company after 2 years I left but then returned a month later after things didn't work out with another company. I then worked a further 20 months up until Jan 2008.

In October 2006 the company moved to bigger premises and I was asked to decorate the old and the new premises I agreed as I used to be a decorator in a former life. As time was tight and my partner was not working I asked would it be ok if she helped. No problem said the boss. Over the next couple of weeks the boss got to know my partner and offered her a full time position training on a 3 month trial basis. She would be paid £30 per day but the money would be paid on my wages as a bonus. Our working day was 9.5 hours.

We were grateful for the opportunity and she accepted.


Everything was going well, the boss was happy, there was even a magazine article about her being the first female fitter for the company.

We were working mainly on fairly large construction sites around west London so my partner was sent to take the HSE CSCS test also on a 3 day fitting course. Things were looking good........3 months passed......6 months passed......9 months passed.......September 2007 finally she was taken on the cards at the rate of £50 per day ....and they all lived happily ever after?...........not quite.


Had a great christmas. Returned to work on 3rd Jan 2008. On 7th Jan had a phone call at work and was told to go to the office at 5.30 for a "chat".

We met with the boss and the contracts manager and were told that we were being made redundant with 1 months notice from that date because the company could not afford to employ us as direct labour but they had plenty of work so we could buy our company van and work for them on a subcontract basis.This offer was an empty one as the contracts manager(also a director) had made it clear in the past that we didn't fit in so we knew work would not be offered to us. We left the office stunned.


Next day we went to site feeling pretty miserable when 2 other fitters turned up saying they had been sent to finish our work. We gave up and went home. The company did not contact us until 10th Jan when we were told we were in breach of contract and would not get our months pay.


We have since written to the company informing them we believe the way we were treated was unfair and they had paid less than minimum wage to my partner for over 10 months.

The reply we received was a denial it was unfair also they deny my partner worked for them until September 2007 although they did say "Prior to your full time employment in September 2007 the company did offer you experience on a part time basis" .

Sorry but I drove the van and I was contracted to work 9.5 hrs on site every day with 2 to 3 hrs travelling on top, her "experience" was never part time. The reply also contains blatent lies that we are hardly in a position to refute.


We feel we are dealing with some kind of monster who's word is law.

Any help we could get on which route to take next would be much appreciated. Thanks all.




Ps next novel War and peace 2

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It does sound like Unfair Dismissal since there were no real grounds for dismissal. There was work to be done, you were doing your work, and they sent someone else to finish your work so money was not a problem for them.


It does seem a bit tricky with your partber being paid as a "bonus" on your wages however, if it can be substantiated that she was working from a certain time, be it witnesses, security footage etc then you should have a case for a claim there.


I suggest you contact a solicitor. You may have to provide more information regarding the working conditions and your employment contract but on the face of what you have said above, you do have a case for a claim for Unfair Dismissal.

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Sorry to hear of your troubles. You could use the magazine article stating she was the first female fitter as evidance she was working for them.


The difficulty I believe you may have is you simply gave up and walked out. Did you not speak to anyone in the company during this time?


If you walk away from your job you are not fulfilling your contract and the company could argue you had left. Does the letter say you have been dismissed, if so you need to lodge an appeal against their decision. You will need to have shown to any tribunal that you made every effort to resolve this with the employer before proceeding to tribunal although you should still submit within the time limits even if you are still seeking remedy.


All the best,



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Thanks for your replies, nice to have people out there.



The company were employing sub-contractors on a full time basis when we were made redundant and they still are to this date.

We have managed to contact the company secretary who left Dec 2007 who delt with timesheets and pay. We had a very interesting chat.



I left messages but had no reply. I spoke to another employee on 9th Jan who had been told we had left the company. He knew nothing about redundancies. Humiliation and anger took over.

Any correspondance we have with the company now is by letter. We were told we were in breach of contract from 9th Jan and would not receive any pay or benifits from that date. We were made redundant.


Update- I have found out that my partner, when she was taken on the cards was getting paid £5.26 ph (minimum wage £5.52)


They did not follow the 3 step procedure.


We have an appointment with CAB tomorrow to complete the Tribunal forms still a long way to go but they were wrong.


Thanks again for your interest we will keep you informed.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Thanks for the offer dcdkpug but we can't afford a solicitor at the mo. We are still waiting for a response from them until 30/4.


We now have witness statements and site evidence (daily signing in register from building contractors)


Question for anybody. If an offer is made what should we be looking for?


Thanks to all

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