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withholding final pay for 2 months

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Hey Guys,


Apologies in advance, this could become an essay.


I changed jobs in mid October, and this is following on from some posts i wrote on CAG regarding paternity at the time..


I had approached my boss in plenty of time for the notice period for paternity and he told me a pack of lies about how it worked. he said that i have 2 weeks to take but advised me to not take it all in one go in case i needed more time off further on. i could take the 2 weeks as odd days here and there over the next year. i then asked what notice to give and he said we will 'play it by ear' at the time. Clearly he was hoping i would take a couple of days which he would overlook and then come back.. i don't think he wanted to go through the hassle of paternity payments etc.

I then found a new job and handed in my 4 weeks notice which would have ended long before my son's due date, but after working a week of it my partner went into early labour and had our son late on the friday evening. So the Monday morning i called my boss and told him it was a complicated c-section delivery and i would need at least a week as per our agreement to support my partner who was pretty much temporarily disabled by the surgery. He told me that it was unacceptable and he needed me in after a couple of days as the company was very busy and behind on work. this caused a lot of upset and distress to my partner at a vulnerable time and i was advised to seek legal help which i did, and it was at this point i found out how paternity really works.

So i wrote my boss an email stating that i had taken what he told me to be gospel but that i had since discovered that he had gave me false information, so i would be taking the 2 weeks i was entitled to. He replied saying that he totally agreed with me and sorry for the upset. basically admitting he had knowingly tried to deny me my rights.

For my final week, i asked my doctor to sign me off as i was still rather angry and despondent about the company and it would not have been in anyone's interest for me to go back.


My final day was October 15th, on Octobers pay-day nothing was paid into my account so i contacted the accounts person at the company to enquire. She said that i did have money owing (about £250 from SPP and SSP) but that she was having trouble closing my payroll and needed to speak to sage support.. also that she was waiting for advice from HMRC about taxes etc.. also she needed to confirm the amount to be paid with the afore mentioned boss (managing director) who was on holiday that week.

Im not too desperate for this money so a week later i chased her and she said that she had now got all the information and was going to process it. I assumed this was going to be immediately but i saw nothing in my account for a week.. by this point Novembers pay day was close enough that i waited to see if they were going to do all the pay together, but today there is nothing in my account once again.


I was a computer systems engineer and programmer, one thing my boss wanted before i left the company was full documentation on the programming i did and the servers and systems that were in place even though i had to pull it all apart and learn it myself when i started at the company... i did say that i would get this to them but to be honest i've not had time between my new job and medical problems with my newborn. my boss told me it was my 'responsibility' to provide this information when i contacted him to tell him i was starting paternity. i think this is possibly the reason he is withholding pay, i think he can be quite childish and probably hopes it bothers me... but it doesn't.


so does this constitute unlawful withholding of pay ?? and do i have any legal responsibility to provide the information they want ? needless to say if this is how they are going to be im glad i haven't provided the info.


i would like to send him an email asking for reasons why they haven't paid me and point out that if there are no reasons i will be taking legal action. would i be within my rights to take legal action ? i've kept all the emails about the paternity leave and also from the accounts department stating that i do have pay to come and that it should have been processed by now.


any advice greatly appreciated


kind regards



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It absolutely represents witholding of pay - the only way that this would be lawful is if you had agreed to forego wages until such time as you provided any information requested! There are very few circumstances where such a failure to pay wages due would be lawful - basically he would have to pay you for time completed and then recover through court action if necessary, any work, reports etc that you had agreed to provide prior to leaving.


You have the right under S.13 of the Employment Rights Act to demand all amounts due (including untaken holiday at the time of leaving) or else ask a Tribunal to make a ruling. Send a LBA asking for the money within a specific period (usually 7 days or 14 days) or you will lodge a claim with an Employment Tribunal (complete an ET1 online).

Any advice given is done so on the assumption that recipients will also take professional advice where appropriate.






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Sidewinder, thank you for replying.


My concern and reason for asking about the legal responsibility to provide them the information is that i thought the lack of it would be a bit of a show stopper for them. Things like passwords into certain programs and the setup instructions for a couple of core systems.

However it has been 10 weeks now since i was there and they seem to be doing just fine... im assuming if there is anything he could do about it i would have heard from them by now?


still this bit you wrote concerns me


basically he would have to pay you for time completed and then recover through court action if necessary, any work, reports etc that you had agreed to provide prior to leaving.
there are emails where i've said i will provide information, but as i said i've been busy with medical problems with my now 10 week old and quite frankly if the rest of the team were smart enough they could get around these problems


so should i send the letter / email asking for the payment and see if anything else come along ? this guy is quite clued up legally and having known him for over a year i know that he loves playing little tricks and catching people out who try to take him on.. very childish


if it did go to court, would there be any benefit to me from the email where he basically admits feeding me false information.




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As SW says. In the meantime, you should make sure youve set up child benefit for your baby and tax credits to help tide you over. You may also be able to claim JSA, or housing benefit or income support - might be worth speaking to the CAB.

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