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Enforcing a COT3


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ACAS recently mediated a COT3 agreement between myself and my former company. The agreement involved my former company agreeing to pay me my wages, etc that they owed me and also to ship my household effects back to me (that was in my employment contract). The company has paid me the money but has not sent my effects to me. It has now gone well past the 7 days that they were required to do so in the COT3. What course of actions do I have?

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ACAS recently mediated a COT3 agreement between myself and my former company. The agreement involved my former company agreeing to pay me my wages, etc that they owed me and also to ship my household effects back to me (that was in my employment contract). The company has paid me the money but has not sent my effects to me. It has now gone well past the 7 days that they were required to do so in the COT3. What course of actions do I have?

 

There is only one action that you can take, and that is through the civil courts. Packing and shipping goods (or arranging for ot to be done) is not necessarily something which can be done in a week or two, so perhaps before looking at what action you can take to enforce it, you should ask the former employer what they are doing to action the agreement on this matter? It is certainly going to be simpler to get the matter resolved rather than having to take legal action to enforce it.

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I am a barrister specialising in employment law, and only represent employees. My advice on employment issues is advice - not legal opinion - and is based only on the facts you provide. If you want an accurate assessment of your case and prospects, you should get legal opinion from a lawyer - not a public forum. Anything I tell you is for guidance only, and is based on my experience of the law in the context of what details you provide.

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Thanks for that.

I have tried contacting their solictor (everything was done through her) and she is not responding now. It has been 5 weeks now since the COT3 was signed . My former employer has been telling me that my stuff was on its way, but not giving me the name and contact details of the shipping agent for a couple of weeks. Now they are not even bothering to respond.

How do you take action through the civil courts?

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Well this is an unusual one. I think you would have to sue for loss of the goods because that is the only loss that you can quantify. You would have to write to them first and warn them that they have broken the terms of the COT3, outline the loss incurred, and tell them that if the goods or the payment for them is not made within a reasonable time (I usually state 28 days) then you will make a claim to the County Court for the loss without further notification. If this does not resolve the matter then you will have to make the claim through the appropriate county court route.

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I am a barrister specialising in employment law, and only represent employees. My advice on employment issues is advice - not legal opinion - and is based only on the facts you provide. If you want an accurate assessment of your case and prospects, you should get legal opinion from a lawyer - not a public forum. Anything I tell you is for guidance only, and is based on my experience of the law in the context of what details you provide.

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Thanks for that. I think that giving them anymore time is not going to help matters as it was them that put the 7 days to compy bit in the contract so that must mean that they thought that time was adequate to compy in. How about this for a suggestion: I will give them to the end of the week. In the mean time I will hire replacement items and add the costs to the court claim. I will advise them of this fact. How do you go about the court claim?

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Thanks for that. I think that giving them anymore time is not going to help matters as it was them that put the 7 days to compy bit in the contract so that must mean that they thought that time was adequate to compy in. How about this for a suggestion: I will give them to the end of the week. In the mean time I will hire replacement items and add the costs to the court claim. I will advise them of this fact. How do you go about the court claim?

 

It doesn't work like that. You don't get to decide whether it is enough time. The court will expect you to do this, and to warn them and give a reasonable amount of time. If you do not do so you will be wasting your money making a claim! If you hire things and then they comply you will find it difficult to make a claim. You do have to make all reasonable steps to resolve a breach of contract before taking further legal action. As for how you make a county court claim - it is a normal law suit for breach of contract / loss - not my area of law so you will need to check out the process and the costs depending on how much your claim is for.

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I am a barrister specialising in employment law, and only represent employees. My advice on employment issues is advice - not legal opinion - and is based only on the facts you provide. If you want an accurate assessment of your case and prospects, you should get legal opinion from a lawyer - not a public forum. Anything I tell you is for guidance only, and is based on my experience of the law in the context of what details you provide.

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