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python79

Ex employer withholding my pay!!

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Hi all,

 

hoping for some advice if possible...

I recently resigned from a sales role, to move to another firm after feeling very 'pushed out'.

Turns out i was right to, as a week later they made all my colleagues re-apply for their jobs on a much lower wage...

 

Anyway, when i left they treated me really badly, making me commute an unreasonable distance during my notice period to another office, withdrawing my company vehicle early, bad-mouthing me etc etc.

they made an enormous fuss about restrictive covenants in my contract, and even conducted a recorded exit interview to reaffirm those covenants.

 

Since then, my notice period has finished, and they have not paid me.

After ignoring my calls and emails, i sent them a letter (recorded) threatening to take them to court (as per the emploment rights act 1996) to recover the money owed, and also claim any bank charges etc incurred as a result of not being paid.

 

As if by magic, the day they rec'd my letter i got an email stating that they want me to sign yet again to confirm that i will not breach the restrictive covenants before they will release my salary.

 

As I see it, i already signed to this effect by signing their contract when i joined them, and again it was affirmed in the exit interview, which to me, means that i am under no obligation to sign anything further, but they do have an obligation to pay me.

 

They should have paid me on the contracted payday, and for them to deliberatley not pay me, then ignore me, i do not see why i should have to sign another form before they agree to pay me.

 

My question is this, if i refuse to sign anything else, and it goes to court, will a court accuse me of being difficult or would they agree that i do not have to sign anything (especially as my contract is now officially terminated) but that the company are obliged to pay up regardless?

 

Essentially, as they have interfered with my finances, and it is against the law to withhold wages, why should i sign anything and give control back to them? shouldnt they just pay up?

 

Sorry to ramble, thanks in advance for your replies!!

Edited by python79
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As an employer, I would be very surprised if your former employer would want this to go to court because it would be a massive hassle, unless of course they are a big company that has the capacity to waste time in this manner.

 

Perhaps you should suggest that they discharge their obligations to you otherwise you will take legal action.

 

I can only imagine that they have cash-flow problems otherwise they would just pay you to get rid of you. Maybe they wouldn't like people (suppliers / customers) to know this if you catch my drift.:rolleyes:

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Thanks for the reply,

 

yes i already have threatened them with court, and they are big, but it seems cut and shut to me - its illegal to withhold pay full stop, and they wouldnt want a ccj - i just wouldnt want a court to suggest that if im refusing to sign another form then i may be thinking of breaching the covenants - my point is that i already signed to that effect by signing their contract!

(so to be fair i am refusing out of principle)

so you think im ok to refuse and just reaffirm my demand for payment?

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I can't see why not.

 

I just wonder why on earth they would want to withhold your pay.?...

 

At the end of the day I guess you should balance how much / quick you want your money against your principles:(

Edited by kurvaface
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You are correct in that it is not legal to withhold salary however they could potentially withold commision.

 

Best bet is to just issue an employment tribunal summons, they then usually pay up. It costs too much for them to defend it.

 

I also think that they cannot enforce the covenants and there is case law on this. The covenant they are asking for effectively restricts your trade which is illegal under most circumstances. Look it up.

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i spose youre right, i dont want to give them control back, but i could do with the £!

also, the reason the MD gave me for withholding my pay was 'youve left, so why should I do you any favours? sue me.'

that was why i sent the legally worded letter...

basically theyre just being annoying!

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thanks helios, luckily its all made up of basic & accrued holiday pay, so as far as i could see they cant withhold...i wanted to take them to a county court to save on costs, and i was told i could charge interest on the money owed?

As i said to Kurva, im wondering if i refuse to sign their latest declaration, and they decided to go to court would a court think i was being unreasonable, but im starting to think from the kind replies from you all here that they have to pay up whether i sign again or not!

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They have to pay up!

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guys, any ideas on how i could word my reply to their email stating that they will pay me once i have signed another declaration?

thanks in advance

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I wouldn't sign anything. I'd just write and say that unless that I'm paid the outstanding monies within 7 days then I will serve you with an employment tribunal summons or whatever it's called. If no response or satisfaction then just do it. You can do it online and it's cheap.

 

They will either defend or conceed. If they defend then ACAS will get involved. If that happens and they still want to defend then it will cost a lot more as they will need legal representation.

 

Try it and see what happens.

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thanks for all the replies, i think i will do as helios suggests because it appears to me that they are asking me to sign to confirm i will not breach contract, yet they have already breached contract by not paying me!

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