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    • Biden doesn't seem bothered about negotiating a trade treaty to suit the UK government's timetable. I don't suppose they saw this coming, not that the amount of trade involved makes up for what's being lost with Europe anyway.   https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-boris-johnson-usa-trade-deal-b1807616.html
    • No we haven’t mentioned divorce yet The fair split is I give him half the equity and anything he wants to take from the house  I just feel he is now being unreasonable because I won’t change my mind and take him back 
    • Hi.   Have you spoken to a divorce lawyer or has your husband? Trying to look at this from the outside, it sounds as if it would be better to agree a fair split according to divorce law rather than deciding between you.   Sadly, once money becomes involved things can become more complicated, but I'd have thought a divorce lawyer would be able to advise.   ETA: Here's some advice from the government.   HB
    • I forgot to say he keeps trying to make me feel bad as well about it being his mums money that went into the house saying he should be entitled to more of a share because it was his mum who left us the money that done the house up
    • Hi all I’m hoping for a bit of advice please    My husband and I are separating after 20 years together, been married 16 years this year I have a 21 year old son from a previous relationship who still lives with us in our 2 bed house which we bought in 2015.   We inherited a large sum of money back in 2017 after his mum passed away and we invested a lot into the house had it completely renovated.   The marriage has been more like a brother & sister relationship for many years and although I’d threatened to leave before I always just gave in and carried on but now I’ve had enough so have decided this is it.   I work full time, he is newly self employed and doesn’t earn as much as me therefore he can’t buy me out so he said I could buy him out.  We have 100k equity. First he agreed on 50k then he spoke to someone who said he is entitled to half of the value, not the equity so asked for 100k  I told him he wasn’t entitled, he agreed and changed back to 50k I have now got the ball rolling, been offered a mortgage and the paperwork is under way. Then he asked for another 1k which I have agreed to. I have paid out £500 to have his name removed from things so far. He has now said he thinks I’m up to something and is refusing to sign the paperwork to do with removing his name from the land registry. He says he is rethinking it and may not want to sell to me as all of a sudden he doesn’t trust me.  I keep trying to talk to him and he won’t. I’ve said my son and I need to know where we will be living but he won’t take my son into account says he’s old enough to live on his own.  We have racked up debts between us but the majority are in his name only, one of them is for sofa finance in my name only which I am keeping so he said he won’t pay that but expects me to pay half of the debts in his name as we both spent the money. My question is, can he change his mind now? Can he pull the rug from underneath me when he has agreed to sell to me but nothing is yet signed?  Is it right my son doesn’t come into the equation because he’s an adult although he’s my child and still lives at home?  We had been getting on up until this was said last night and it’s because I haven’t given in to him again I know but I need to know where I stand legally  Thanks 
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    • I sent in the bailiffs to the BBC. They collected £350. It made me smile.
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    • Hi @BankFodder
      Sorry for only updating you now, but after your guidance with submitting the claim it was pretty straight forward and I didn't want to unnecessarily waste your time. Especially with this guide you wrote here, so many thanks for that
      So I issued the claim on day 15 and they requested more time to respond.
      They took until the last day to respond and denied the claim, unsurprisingly saying my contract was with Packlink and not with them.
       
      I opted for mediation, and it played out very similarly to other people's experiences.
       
      In the first call I outlined my case, and I referred to the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 as the reason to why I do in fact have a contract with them. 
       
      In the second call the mediator came back with an offer of the full amount of the phone and postage £146.93, but not the court costs. I said I was not willing to accept this and the mediator came across as a bit irritated that I would not accept this and said I should be flexible. I insisted that the law was on my side and I was willing to take them to court. The mediator went back to Hermes with what I said.
       
      In the third call the mediator said that they would offer the full amount. However, he said that Hermes still thought that I should have taken the case against Packlink instead, and that they would try to recover the court costs themselves from Packlink.
       
      To be fair to them, if Packlink wasn't based in Spain I would've made the claim against them instead. But since they are overseas and the law lets me take action against Hermes directly, it's the best way of trying to recover the money.
       
      So this is a great win. Thank you so much for your help and all of the resources available on this site. It has helped me so much especially as someone who does not know anything about making money claims.
       
      Many thanks, stay safe and have a good Christmas!
       
       
        • Thanks
    • Hermes and mediation hints. https://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/topic/428981-hermes-and-mediation-hints/&do=findComment&comment=5080003
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    • Natwest Bank Transfer Fraud Call HMRC Please help. https://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/topic/428951-natwest-bank-transfer-fraud-call-hmrc-please-help/&do=findComment&comment=5079786
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Hello, I was hoping for some guidance please, I have been off work long term due to work related stress. The employer wants to hold a return to work interview and a consultation about the proposed reduction in my hours at the same time.

 

I refused to go to the first consultation as they said they had asked for details from occupational health on how to do any risk assessments but they did not have the details yet. So I thought there's no point going to a consultation if they don't know how to handle the situation yet.

 

They say I'm in breach of contract by refusing to consult, and they are giving me a second chance which is fine, but they said in the letter that even if I didn't come to the meeting or refused to comment they would terminate my current contract anyway and start me on the new reduced hours one.

 

Do you think I've been reasonable in refusing to attend the first consultation meeting beacause they didn't carry out the risk assessment, am I right in thinking the return to work interview should be held before the consultation and are they entitled to just reduce my hours without my agreement (the reduction is about 43% and they will not budge on this so it's more like a dictation rather than a consultation)?

 

Thank you for your time :-)

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Do you think I've been reasonable in refusing to attend the first consultation meeting beacause they didn't carry out the risk assessment, am I right in thinking the return to work interview should be held before the consultation and are they entitled to just reduce my hours without my agreement (the reduction is about 43% and they will not budge on this so it's more like a dictation rather than a consultation)?

 

 

If a risk assessment was agreed as part of any return to work programme then it is not unreasonable to expect this to be completed prior to agreeing when and how you should return to work

 

As for the reduction in hours it seems drastic, but providing that adequate notice is given, the employer can terminate any existing contract and offer to re-engage on new terms. It is still a breach of contract, but in offering to re-engage any loss is mitigated which would make it very difficult to gain anything from a Tribunal claim. The 'consultation' will be documented in writing and would serve to prove in the event of legal action that all attempts were made to gain agreement to the change before it was necessary to enforce it.

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

 

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Thank you very much Sidewinder, I was wondering if they have the right to reduce hours from me and give them to casual workers (I am a contracted employee). I also have claims with ACAS for discrimination and victimisation, so this wouldn't have gone down well. I won't go back on the reduced hours contract as it's not worth the stress. I've been bullied by members of the management team including HR so they would have to make me redundant (but would this be a true redundancy as I was told by a colleague that if the job still exists then it's not a true redundancy it would be unfair dismissal). Also, if I took redundancy can I still pursue my claims in the ET?

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Thank you very much Sidewinder, I was wondering if they have the right to reduce hours from me and give them to casual workers (I am a contracted employee). I also have claims with ACAS for discrimination and victimisation, so this wouldn't have gone down well. I won't go back on the reduced hours contract as it's not worth the stress. I've been bullied by members of the management team including HR so they would have to make me redundant (but would this be a true redundancy as I was told by a colleague that if the job still exists then it's not a true redundancy it would be unfair dismissal). Also, if I took redundancy can I still pursue my claims in the ET?

 

I don't think its a redundancy situation per se. It's a variation of contracts due to business needs, which is a little different. It's usually viewed as more of an attempt to avoid redundancies by implementing alternative, shorter working hours.

 

Tricky situation for the employer, though, because of your absence from work. However, they've given you an opportunity to be consulted with over the change. If you don't take that opportunity, the employer would arguably still have fulfilled it's obligations and could terminate your contract and offer re engagement on new terms, as above.

 

The only way you would be unable to pursue your claims would be if any "redundancy" acceptance was under a settlement agreement, where you would be waiving your legal right to claim. Otherwise, you could just pocket the cash and still issue proceedings.

 

If you have ongoing discrimination claims, it's worth seeing whether you are the only affected employee, as that could give you a further argument for victimisation if you're being singled out.

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Hi Becky,

 

Thank you for your reply, I appreciate your help. I don't think this is a variation as the change is 43%, they tried to enforce these changes on me before I went sick with all the stress. There are no business reasons as I checked it out, they were saying that I had too much responsibility and wanted to spread it around a bit, so they are trying to take my contracted hours and give them to casual workers, as and when.

 

If I said that I refused to accept the new contract could this be viewed as a resignation and could that absolve them from making notice and redundancy payments? I've been there donkeys years and it is worth a fair bit, so they will probably try anything to try and wriggle out of paying it.

Edited by rogerthedodger
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However, if you remain off sick, there is nothing to stop them dismissing you on that basis. You would not then be entitled to redundancy payments.

 

You need to tread carefully. I don't think you are in quite as strong a postion as you seem to think.

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Hi there, thank you I'm not off sick, I've been fit for work for three weeks, they have been prevaricating my return to work - I've just been waiting for my return to work interview and they want to combine the consultation with it.

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Hi Becky,

 

Thank you for your reply, I appreciate your help. I don't think this is a variation as the change is 43%, they tried to enforce these changes on me before I went sick with all the stress. There are no business reasons as I checked it out, they were saying that I had too much responsibility and wanted to spread it around a bit, so they are trying to take my contracted hours and give them to casual workers, as and when.

 

If I said that I refused to accept the new contract could this be viewed as a resignation and could that absolve them from making notice and redundancy payments? I've been there donkeys years and it is worth a fair bit, so they will probably try anything to try and wriggle out of paying it.

 

No, it's unlikely to be viewed as a resignation.

 

Ultimately your options are to accept the new terms, refuse the terms and work under protest (which may not be practicable given the hours!) or refuse to sign and wait to be dismissed and re engaged (and you could issue tribunal proceedings for unfair dismissal whether or not you accepted the new contract).

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How can this situation impact on your discrimination and vicitimisation claims.

Not sure posters have realised this is a more complex issue.

The main quesiton is are they doing this to anyone else? And did this process start after your claims went in?

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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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it's perfectly possible to be consulted on redundancy or hours changes before you have returned to work. Do one without the other if they are not ready for you to go back.

 

I'd also want to be clear you are on medical suspension if your doctor says you are fit to go back, so would write in and ask for clarification on that.

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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Hello, they aren't victimising anyone else, and this started when I complained about the proposed change to my hours. I was both bullied and ignored which made me sick with stress and the anxiety aggravated my asthma. I went off sick before the consultation took place. I lodged a grievance though and I'm going through that now while they sort out my return to work and consultation. By the way, I suppose it's normal for a grievance response to admit no liability, but no investigation was carried out and none of my specific issues were dealt with. I'm going to appeal but I think it's probably futile.

 

Oh I would like to add that they have actually changed their business reasons for the second attempt at consultation. I was off sick for about five months, back then they said their reasons were to spread the responsibility around (as when I go away I'm the only one doing the job and I'm hard to find a temp for) but now they are citing a small improvement in footfall as the business reason for cutting my hours.

 

Could a judge say that a new contract with a 43% drop in hours (this equates to a loss of about £8,900 gross pay not including company holiday pay and pension etc) is a suitable alternative (just in case I have to go down the unfair dismissal road)?

Edited by rogerthedodger
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Hello everyone, they terminated my contract because I objected to the drop in hours and in the new contract there was a clause that stated that I couldn't work anywhere else that was similar in nature without their agreement. It's so acrimonious now I don't trust them to allow me to work anywhere else. I can't afford to take a 43% drop in wages so I declined their offer. They said they would put my termination in writing, but no mention of redundancy payment. I'll phone ACAS tomorrow and see what I have to do next :???: Thank you all for your replies, I will keep you posted.

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It sounds very much as though redundancy was not a consideration - at the end of the day if the job still exists, albeit with reduced hours) then at cannot be a genuine redundancy situation and it would solely be down to the employer taking a sympathetic view if that were to have been offered. If the change was to save money then I don't think it likely that they would wish to be 'sympathetic' where this would undoubtedly cost the money that they were trying to save.

 

With regard to what action is possible, much will depend on the way that the employer has acted, so make sure that you gather as much evidence and information as possible - letters, emails, phone transcripts - all may be necessary to prove that the employer's actions were wholly unreasonable. Who else was affected, for example? How many other employees had their pay frozen? Was this across the board including management? What level of consultation was offered?

 

Insofar as restrictive covenants over future employment are concerned, much would depend on the nature and scope of the restriction. For how long would you be bound by the clause? Over what geographical area? What level of information do you possess and how much damage would be caused to your (former) employer's business were you to take that to a rival. Strictly speaking any restriction should serve only to allow the employer to protect themselves from harm following your dismissal, so the wording is crucial and you often find that there would be little possibility of them successfully obtaining an injunction if they were to enforce the clause. It is also the case that their claim may be damaged were you not being compensated for the undoubted restraint of trade that would be caused by you not being able to work in your chosen profession - that is why many organisations use gardening leave as a tool to protect against employees leaving to work for rivals.

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

 

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Hello Sidewinder, thank you very much for your reply, well the business reason they gave for wanting to reduce my hours was that they wanted to spread my responsibility around as when I am away or sick then I'm difficult to cover. It wasn't a reason to save money as such. The restrictive clause was in the new contract, so effectively they wanted to reduce my pay by 43% and stop me from working for other employers to make up for the shortfall in pay unless they agreed in advance. I have claims against them for victimisation and discrimination with lots of evidence including recordings of meetings (not concealed recordings) so they really don't want me around now and I suspect if I did manage to find other work they would stop me in an effort to get me to resign.

Edited by rogerthedodger
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