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chazobbs

Taking employer to small claims court for unpaid wages

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HI,

 

I hope I am posting this in the right section?

 

Time in employment 5+ years, new ownership June 2012.

 

I handed my notice in at work in early September due to alarm bells ringing financially after the business ownership was transferred.

I was paid in increments for August salary, debt collectors and arrears made me nervous that the business couldn't sustain payment of my salary each month.

 

I handed notice in in early September, worked my notice period until 1st October when we were greeted with a text message to inform us that we were having our salaries withheld due to stealing and poaching. All untrue.

I handed a grievance letter to my previous employer which he refused to accept receipt of, we then re-sent via special delivery. I was in a state of distress so visited my GP who signed me off for 1 week. I sent the fit note in to my previous employer at the same times as the grievance letter.

 

Shortly after this we received a letter from his solicitor outlining the reasons for withheld salary, we responded refuting all claims and demanding payment before court action to recover outstanding payments.

 

I received no response or monies and proceeded to file a small claims application against the business name due to our previous employer refusing to accept communication from ACAS.

 

I have had a response to our service of claim whereby he has changed the address to which all documents relating to my claim should be sent from that of the business to his current home address, he is also contesting jurisdiction.

 

Unfortunately I have never received a payslip from the new owner of the business so I am unable to determine the name of the company that pays the salaries on behalf of the business. Although the reference from payment received are that of the trading name of the shop we don't know from which account this was sent, whether it was a personal account or another business account.

 

What I have been able to ascertain after a little research is that my previous employer does trade in a company name which he has applied to be struck off the list of companies register at Companies House (This information I found out this morning).

 

Here are relevant dates;

 

21/08/2012 Employer applied to have his company struck off.

10/09/2012 Notice handed in.

01/10/2012 Employer withheld salary payment due.

01/10/2012 Grievance letter and fit note submitted to employer.

10/10/2012 Letter received from employer solicitor.

12/10/2012 Response letter to solicitor.

26/10/2012 Claim issued against employer.

31/10/2012 Deemed served.

06/11/2012 Acknowledgment of service declaring intention of defending all of the claim and contesting jurisdiction.

20/11/2012 Employer must dispute jurisdiction by this date.

21/11/2012 Company will be struck off Register of Companies.

28/11/2012 Employer must file his defence by this date.

 

The next course of action for me is to object to the dissolution of this company.

 

Where I really need advice is the following;

 

Is there a template for the objection?

Should I now make a small claim against this new company, although I have no proof that this company is responsible for the payment of wages for the business?

Can I notify the courts that I believe that the claim could be against the individual, the business he is closing down or the trading name of the shop or is it enough that I have included the trading name of the shop - where do I stand legally with this claim and who it is directed to? As he has given his name and home address as the address for all correspondence is that the new defendant or is it all smoke and mirrors waiting for the company to be dissolved?

 

I hope it is clear to see that he is looking to dissolve this business to escape the outstanding payments to me, another employee and who knows who else.

 

I really hope some one can offer some help and advice as time is running out for me to object to the closure of this business.

 

Thank you in advance.

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Has the business been bought out? If so, they could be liable for the unpaid wages depending on the date of the transfer (if applicable).

 

Have you now left the company - was this in October?

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Hi Becky,

 

Yes left on 1st October due to stress, notice period finished 9th October.

 

The business is still trading with my previous employer and there is no sign that it is due to cease. The current employer has had ownership of the business since June 2012.

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It appears your actual claim is relatively straight forward but is muddled by the changes of company/addresses which add a lot of confusion, perhaps it could be possible to name all the companies and individual as respondents, are there a few employees who could band together to pay for a solicitor, it appears that it may be quite easy to unwrangle the web of companies to identify the proper respondent then you could proceed.

 

Andy

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Thanks for your reply Andy.

 

The monies owed are small in comparison to the cost of a solicitor unfortunately (£1100)

 

How could we add the names of the employer himself and the company he is trying to dissolve to the claim against the shop - is this possible?

 

Thanks.

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Yes I have submitted a claim already but the particulars of claim details can be sent separately to the defendant and the court up to 14 days after the claim has been served.

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