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Employment related query-former employee claiming money for damage caused during employment?

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So this is an unsual one on behalf of my sisters boyfriend.


Recently, he left his job because he found better employment elsewhere. The job he was in required a months notice.


He advised his employers on the Thursday that he would be leaving on the Friday-not 4 weeks notice, but his new job started the following Monday, and quite frankly, its a fact of life that sometimes your new job means you cant work your notice. Unfortunate, but sometimes unavoidable.


He told the secretary, who advised that the boss would not be happy, and indeed he was not. He told the person in question to "f**k off and leave now). So basically, he was instructed to leave the premesis by the boss, who had taken offence.


I think my sisters boyfriend was quite expecting them to refuse to pay him, because he hadnt worked his notice. I also think he was prepared to accept that as the price of getting out of a job he didnt like, as he would be getting paid from his new job and wouldnt be any worse off for that month.


However it hasnt worked out like that. The previous employer, who has never been the mostpleasant of employers, has sent him a letter demanding around £1000 for a previous incident. A response was written politely declining to pay this money, and since then a letter has been sent by the companies solicitor giving the person in question 7 days to pay, or else face court action.


The issue is however, that the £2000 he is requesting, is related to an incident that happened during his employment that bares some detailed description.


Prior to Christmas last year, my sisters boyfriend was using a piece of machinery that caused damage to company property.


The company said to their employee that he should pay £600 (30% of the repair costs), and they would pay the rest, rather than going through the companies public liability insurance. The alternative was that the company would claim, and they would charge their employee the £2000 excess fee. Naively perhaps, he agreed to this, because it was just before Christmas and didnt want to rock the boat and possibly lose his job. He undoubtedly felt pressured into this and agreed arguably under duress.


However, this strikes me as extremely dubious practice by the employer? Surely they have public liability insurance for precisely these kind of accidents, and surely they cannot justifiably demand their employees pay the excesses of their own insurance claims?


Regardless, this is what they did, and the full £2000 is apparently what the former employer is rather vindictively demanding back, seemingly out of nothing but spiteful annoyance that he didnt work his notice. If this was to end up in a small claims court, would it stand up? Would my sisters boyfriend have a reasonable case to counter-claim against the company for pressuring him into paying even the £600 when they should have gone through their public liability insurance? How do you suggest he responds to this?



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To take it to small claims the other party needs to name the correct party on the claim. As the insurance excess was never in your sister's boyfriend's name they will be due diddly. Unless of course he signed an agreement he would pay?

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No agreement No liability.


They have to prove that agreement. So if there is nothign in writing and they prove the 600 payment, it could be argued without anything signed by the employee that it was a Full and Final payment and the matter was closed.



Check his previous employers contract. It may have a damages clause in it.




How much holiday was accrued and not used? That can be offset against any notice not worked.








The SabreSheep, All information is offered on good faith and based on mine and others experiences. I am not a qualified legal professional and you should always seek legal advice if you are unsure of your position.

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something sounds wrong here. pubic liabiity insurance is what it sounds like - it's for injures to the public, not damage to equipment!


Anyway. Needs proof of repair costs and proof employee was soley liable for the damage.

Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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