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    • March 23: As the coronavirus crisis escalates, the UK is placed into lockdown with strict limitations on travel. The Government guidelines state: “You should not be visiting family members who do not live in your home.” The prime minister tells the UK public they "must stay at home". People are warned not to meet friends or family members they do not live with. Those with symptoms had already been told to self-isolate     Friday 27 March: Downing Street On the day Cummings ran out of No 10, his wife, Mary Wakefield, appears to have been already ill, according to her Spectator article about the experience, in which she says: “My husband did rush home to look after me.”   Both Boris Johnson and Health Secretary Matt Hancock test positive for coronavirus, while chief medical officer Chris Whitty says he has symptoms of the disease and is self-isolating.   Mr Cummings said: "I suddenly got a call from my wife who was looking after our four-year-old child. She told me she suddenly felt badly ill." He went home and after a couple of hours his wife felt better and he returned to work. "There were many critical things at work and she asked me to return [to work] in the afternoon and I did." He then "drove up to Durham that night arriving at roughly midnight" with his family.     In spectator articles on 24th and 25th April * Wakefield (wife) wrote in the spectator that Cummings said “I feel weird” and collapsed 24 hours after he came home to look after her * She went on to explain that for the next 10 days “Dom couldn’t get out of bed. Day in, day out for ten days he lay doggo with a high fever and spasms that made the muscles lump and twitch in his legs.” * Cummings wrote that “at the end of March and for the first two weeks of April I was ill, so we were both shut in together.” * The following days, by Wakefield’s account, were a mixture of family idyll and health nightmare, as she made a “palace out of polystyrene packaging” with their son … even as Cummings’s breathing got so bad that she feared he should be in hospital. But 10 days after her husband first fell ill, she said, he began to feel better – just as Boris Johnson went into hospital. That would place the improvement in his condition around Sunday 5 April,     Sat March 28th Is apparently the day Cummings said “I feel weird” and collapsed 24 hours after he came home to look after her His wife went on to explain that for the next 10 days “Dom couldn’t get out of bed. Day in, day out for ten days he lay doggo with a high fever and spasms that made the muscles lump and twitch in his legs.” Cummings wrote that “at the end of March and for the first two weeks of April I was ill, so we were both shut in together.” 10 days from March 28th – would take us to the 7th April.   Mon March 30: Downing Street confirms Mr Cummings is suffering from coronavirus symptoms and is self-isolating.   Tuesday 31 March/1st April: Durham The police have said that on 31 March they were “made aware of reports” of Cummings’s presence in the area and had then contacted the family to “reiterate the appropriate advice around essential travel”.   2 April: During the night, Mr Cummings' four-year-old son "threw up and had a bad fever". Following medical advice, an ambulance took the child to hospital. He was accompanied by Mr Cummings' wife   3 April: Mr Cummings' son spent the night in hospital and woke up the next day having "recovered". He was tested for coronavirus and his mother, who was with him at the hospital, was told "they should return home". According to Mr Cummings, there were no taxis so he "drove to the hospital, picked him up and returned home". He said he "did not leave the car or have any contact with anybody on this short trip".   Sunday 5 April: The ‘Abba’ sighting (despite claims of ten days where he couldn’t get up with a high fever) Cummings alledgedly seen in Garden with AbbA blaring But 10 days after her husband first fell ill, she said, he began to feel better – just as Boris Johnson went into hospital. Which would place the improvement in his condition around Sunday 5 April, … Although the claimed 10 days after the 28th – the earliest point at which Cummings was said to have been symptomatic – would be the 7 April. The Guardian approaches Downing Street about the story, only to be told by a spokesman: “It will be a no comment on that one.” Mr Cummings said "after I started to recover, one day in the second week, I tried to walk outside the house". He confirmed he, his wife and his son went for a walk into woods owned by his father and it was at this point he was seen by passers-by but his family "had no interaction with them". The exact date is not clear but his second week isolating in Durham would have between 4-11th   6 April: At some point in the week leading up to this date, Mr Cummings discussed his decision to travel to Durham with the prime minister. "When we were both sick and in bed," he said, "I mentioned to him what I had done. Unsurprisingly given the condition we were in, neither of us remember the conversation in any detail."   Fri April 10: Number 10 is again contacted for comment regarding Mr Cumming’s trip by the Guardian. Instead of defending the journey, officials declined to comment.   Fri 10th/Sat 11th April: The 14-day period of Cummings’s isolation would have expired on 10/11th April, assuming it is counted from when Wakefield appears to have first fallen ill on 27 March or when Cummings fell ill 24 hours later.   11 April: Believing he had recovered by this date, albeit "feeling weak and exhausted", Mr Cummings said he "sought expert medical advice". "I explained our family's symptoms and all the timings and asked if it was safe to return to work on Monday or Tuesday, seek childcare and so on. I was told that it was safe and I could return to work"   Sunday 12 April: Barnard Castle Wakefield’s birthday, according to Companies House records – they allegedly made a trip to Barnard Castle, a charming town 30 miles from the Cummings’s family property, described on the English Heritage website as having “fantastic views” and “plenty to do for families on a day out”. That detail emerged in an interview with Robin Lees, a retired chemistry teacher who lives in the town. Lees, who says he has a photographic memory, told the Guardian he was “a bit gobsmacked” to see Cummings, and then was so incensed that he made a note of the family car’s numberplate and checked it online when he got home. Cummings acknowledges he drove to Barnard Castle, 30 miles from his parents' home in Durham, with his wife and child. He explained this episode as needing to test his driving was fine before making the long drive back to London. He said he'd been having problems with his vision   Tuesday 14 April: London The Guardian asked Wakefield to confirm whether the family had been in London throughout the lockdown period, but received no reply. Cummings was photographed back in Downing Street on 14 April   Sunday 19 April: ‘bluebell’ woods - Cummings and Wakefield in Houghall woods? Could Cummings have then gone back to the north-east from London? Downing Street is emphatic that he did not. The denial came after another witness claimed to the Guardian and Sunday Mirror that they had seen Cummings and Wakefield on a country walk in Houghall Woods, a beauty spot near his parents’ property in Durham. According to this account, Cummings said: “Aren’t the bluebells lovely?” Cummings says he did not return to Durham   Monday 20 April Cummings seen in London again   May 23: Downing Street statement: “Owing to his wife being infected with suspected coronavirus and the high likelihood that he would himself become unwell, it was essential for Dominic Cummings to ensure his young child could be properly cared for.” The statement said: “At no stage was he or his family spoken to by the police about this matter, as is being reported. “His actions were in line with coronavirus guidelines. Mr Cummings believes he behaved reasonably and legally.” Speaking outside his home, Mr Cummings reiterated: “I behaved reasonably and legally”. When a reporter suggested to him that his actions did not look good, he replied: “Who cares about good looks? “It’s a question of doing the right thing. It’s not about what you guys think.” Later at the daily Downing Street briefing, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said Mr Cummings had the PM’s “full support” and that Mr Johnson “knew that he was unwell and that he was in lockdown”. Mr Shapps said it had always been permissible for families to travel to be closer to their relatives as long as they “go to that location and stay in that location”. Meanwhile, deputy chief medical officer for England, Dr Jenny Harries, said that travelling during lockdown was permissible if “there was an extreme risk to life”, with a “safeguarding clause” attached to all advice to prevent vulnerable people being stuck at home with no support.   Health Secretary Matt Hancock and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak have tweeted their support for Mr Cummings.   Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said on Monday morning that Mr Cummings had "set out absolutely clearly and absolutely categorically he didn't break the rules and didn't break the law". The attorney general, Suella Braverman, tweet on Saturday in which she quoted the full text of the No 10 statement on Boris Johnson’s chief aide in which the prime minister said he had behaved “responsibly and legally”.   (Disgraceful) Boris Johnson said at the weekend Cummings acted “responsibly and legally and with integrity”   “The PM’s risible defence of Cummings is an insult to all those who have made such sacrifices to ensure the safety of others,” said Johne Inge, the bishop of Worcester, on Twitter.   “What planet are they on?” asked a front page headline in the Daily Mail, an influential right-wing paper usually supportive of Johnson.   https://descrier.co.uk/politics/dominic-cummings-and-wife-tried-to-cover-up-lockdown-breach-in-articles-for-the-spectator/   https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/may/24/dominic-cummings-timeline-what-we-know-about-his-movements   https://www.eveningexpress.co.uk/news/uk/timeline-the-coronavirus-lockdown-and-dominic-cummings-trip-to-durham/   https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-52784290   https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/may/25/attorney-general-faces-calls-to-resign-defends-dominic-cummings-suella-braverman   https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-health-coronavirus-britain-cummings/what-planet-are-they-on-no-respite-for-johnson-and-aide-idUKKBN2310UE   https://cyprus-mail.com/2020/05/25/what-plant-are-they-on-press-slams-johnson-and-cummings/
    • simply tell them on the phone writing only sorry as I might want to escalate this to the fos or court. sorry but no speaky..speaky   you night find this interesting?   https://www.theguardian.com/money/2012/jun/09/life-insurance-misselling-aviva-hamilton-life   dx
    • I've had a few missed calls and then text from RBS wanting to talk about the letter I sent, two posts up.    Am I best to wait for them to write? Didn't really want to get into a discussion with them about it ideally!
    • I haven’t even looked.  I doubt some PR bod would have been in the loop.
    • Gove will be rubbing his little hands together in glee. He been quite careful in his limited wording in 'supporting demonic. but he poo'd his own pot a bit with that priority preferential test   No confidence vote (in PM not party).
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Tom87

Charged by employer for property stolen in office during fire drill

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Hi all, thanks in advance for reading and any advice. I'll try to be as concise as possible.

 

I have an iPhone provided by my work. It states on the iPhone Policy that if you lose the phone or it is stolen, you will have the price of the iPhone taken off the next payslip. The only exception is if you can provide a police certificate that it was stolen, but there is a sub-exception here that states you still have to pay if the theft was facilitated to clear negligence on your part, e.g. leaving it unsupervised in a public place.

 

In November 2015 there was a fire drill at work. I immediately left the building. When the drill ended and I returned to my office, my work phone had been stolen off my desk.

 

When I informed Asset Management of the theft, the person at the desk seemed understanding and stated verbally that this should be OK and I shouldn't be charged as when there is a fire drill, you must leave immediately and not stop to pick up personal belongings. I was provided with a new work phone a few days later and there were no other comments made by them.

 

Come end of November, I have £300 taken off my payslip for the cost of a new iPhone 5. Before even considering whether they can do this, the price is not right. They currently retail on Amazon at £251, and I strongly suspect my employer gets them at a far lower price seeing as they order hundreds for their employees. So they are making a profit on this.

 

By email, I questioned the deduction (and the price). In their email reply, they didn't dispute my story but said I was negligent as I should have taken the phone with me. I pointed to the fire regulations, which state, word for word: "...evacuate the building immediately and do not stop for any personal belongings. Delaying the evacuation to gather personal belongings risks the lives of you and your colleagues and may constitute gross misconduct."

 

Their reply to this was that it was "obvious" that small items like your phone don't count in this rule, as your phone will be sitting on your desk (where we have a dedicated power cable for our phones) and so you will lose no time in picking it up. And they said making a police report for theft is pointless as it was now "too long ago" and in any case I was negligent (see 1st para.).

 

I also raised the fact that there is CCTV - not in my office, but in the hall adjoining it. I.e. my office door is in clear view of the camera, so can see everyone who enters or leaves the office. This is the only door to the office. Even if the phone isn't recovered, I told them they can at least find out who stole it, on a matter of principle/ethics. They replied "data protection" and were extremely obstructive. What's the point of CCTV in this location if not to stop things being stolen from the premises or find the people who do steal?

 

I issued a written reply by recorded delivery, challenging the deduction by quoting the fire regulations and stating that no exceptions are listed. I received no reply. I waited for my December payslip and there was no £300 refund.

 

Where do I stand here? I was simply following the fire regulations. I am not in a trade union. Would CAB be a good start? Could I also claim interest on the money they are withholding from me? I have been careful not to mention legal threats as I know most people who say this never act on it. I am now at the stage where I would be happy to leave/lose my job to fight this. Threatening with going to the press would be futile as they are a very large company that has had a few controversies in the past and couldn't care less about negative coverage. Even if I can't get a refund on the facts, can I challenge the amount that they deducted as it is considerably more than the retail value of the phone?

 

Thanks in advance, sorry for the long post!

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Raise a formal greivance?


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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Hi all, thanks in advance for reading and any advice. I'll try to be as concise as possible.

 

I have an iPhone provided by my work. It states on the iPhone Policy that if you lose the phone or it is stolen, you will have the price of the iPhone taken off the next payslip. The only exception is if you can provide a police certificate that it was stolen, but there is a sub-exception here that states you still have to pay if the theft was facilitated to clear negligence on your part, e.g. leaving it unsupervised in a public place.

 

In November 2015 there was a fire drill at work. I immediately left the building. When the drill ended and I returned to my office, my work phone had been stolen off my desk.

 

When I informed Asset Management of the theft, the person at the desk seemed understanding and stated verbally that this should be OK and I shouldn't be charged as when there is a fire drill, you must leave immediately and not stop to pick up personal belongings. I was provided with a new work phone a few days later and there were no other comments made by them.

 

Come end of November, I have £300 taken off my payslip for the cost of a new iPhone 5. Before even considering whether they can do this, the price is not right. They currently retail on Amazon at £251, and I strongly suspect my employer gets them at a far lower price seeing as they order hundreds for their employees. So they are making a profit on this.

 

By email, I questioned the deduction (and the price). In their email reply, they didn't dispute my story but said I was negligent as I should have taken the phone with me. I pointed to the fire regulations, which state, word for word: "...evacuate the building immediately and do not stop for any personal belongings. Delaying the evacuation to gather personal belongings risks the lives of you and your colleagues and may constitute gross misconduct."

 

Their reply to this was that it was "obvious" that small items like your phone don't count in this rule, as your phone will be sitting on your desk (where we have a dedicated power cable for our phones) and so you will lose no time in picking it up. And they said making a police report for theft is pointless as it was now "too long ago" and in any case I was negligent (see 1st para.).

 

I also raised the fact that there is CCTV - not in my office, but in the hall adjoining it. I.e. my office door is in clear view of the camera, so can see everyone who enters or leaves the office. This is the only door to the office. Even if the phone isn't recovered, I told them they can at least find out who stole it, on a matter of principle/ethics. They replied "data protection" and were extremely obstructive. What's the point of CCTV in this location if not to stop things being stolen from the premises or find the people who do steal?

 

I issued a written reply by recorded delivery, challenging the deduction by quoting the fire regulations and stating that no exceptions are listed. I received no reply. I waited for my December payslip and there was no £300 refund.

 

Where do I stand here? I was simply following the fire regulations. I am not in a trade union. Would CAB be a good start? Could I also claim interest on the money they are withholding from me? I have been careful not to mention legal threats as I know most people who say this never act on it. I am now at the stage where I would be happy to leave/lose my job to fight this. Threatening with going to the press would be futile as they are a very large company that has had a few controversies in the past and couldn't care less about negative coverage. Even if I can't get a refund on the facts, can I challenge the amount that they deducted as it is considerably more than the retail value of the phone?

 

Thanks in advance, sorry for the long post!

IMO you need to submit a formal written complaint stating that you did not violate company policy and therefore they were incorrect in deducting the cost of the phone from your pay. Provide a copy of the company fire drill policy and ask them to show where in the policy it states that small items are not classed as personal items under the policy. Also, as the phone was left on company property ask them where in the company policies it shows that the company is not liable or responsible for the loss of the phone as you hold the company liable for the loss due to them not securing the office and allowing the theft of phone. Inform them that you require payment of the £300 within 14 days or you will consider your legal options.

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As above. Formal grievance. There was no negligence, apart from that of the company in not investigating a theft of company property.


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How many people are there in the office? How big is it?


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Thank you for the helpful replies. I will do the formal grievance then. In the building are about 500 employees. There are six of us in my office.

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I would also be tempted to report the theft to the police. That way you will have a crime reference number and investigation and it may go further towards proving your employer had no right to deduct.

 

You also need to bear in mind the three month limitation period - I would contact the police and then contact ACAS to start early conciliation for unlawful deductions from your wages.

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Are you not able to use "Find my iPhone" to locate it? At least it should be able to be locked and blocked.

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Are you not able to use "Find my iPhone" to locate it? At least it should be able to be locked and blocked.

 

 

|Snap, I thought these smart phones had some kind of inbuilt GPS. Has there been any use of the phone - phone bills should be able to answer that one ?


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You say that the policy states you must pay the replacement cost unless you have a policy report, but that doesn't apply if you have been negligent.

 

Assuming that you agreed to the policy when you were provided with the phone, it sounds to me like the employer is entitled to charge you. This is because you do not have a police report. Under the wording of the policy, the question of whether you are negligent or not only comes into the picture if you have a police report.

 

There might be a legal argument that the employer was not allowed to deduct from your wages unless they can prove you agreed to the policy in writing or it is part of your contract (see http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1996/18/section/13).

 

Ultimately, if you want to push this forward, you can raise a grievance and kick up a stink. If that doesn't get you anywhere, you could raise a small claim against your employer through the moneyclaimonline service. Is it really worth suing your employer over £300? I doubt it, but that's your decision.


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You say that the policy states you must pay the replacement cost unless you have a policy report, but that doesn't apply if you have been negligent.

 

Assuming that you agreed to the policy when you were provided with the phone, it sounds to me like the employer is entitled to charge you. This is because you do not have a police report. Under the wording of the policy, the question of whether you are negligent or not only comes into the picture if you have a police report.

 

 

Sorry I don't agree. The fire drill policy, according to to OP, which is part of a requirement under statute under health and safety regs, states that to leave premises and do not take any belongings with you. This would override any contractual obligation the company set. Imo

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Simply call the police non-emergency number and make a report. Then you have a police report and reference number you can give to your employer.

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Yep, get a crime number and let employer know that you have done so and have a word with whoever is in charge of the CCTV data that you have done this and want the footage kept as potential evidence. They are not obliged to but it would make it harder to defnd their actions and at a pinch get them a warning from the police about failing to help an officer in the execution of his duties by deliberately destroying evidence of a crime.

Mind you, do ordinary police officers investigate crimes any more?

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Raise a grievance; you should have also been notified of the deduction before they took it, preferably in writing.

 

I would also call 101 and report to local police explaining why you have to report it.

Really your employer should report it as it is their property.

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open

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Thank you BankFodder for your help in re-opening the thread!

 

Just a small update about this. Thanks to everyone again for your very helpful advice.

 

The reason I never reported back was because a settlement was reached with my now-former employer regarding this matter.

I am not allowed to talk about the terms of the settlement, and I was not allowed to mention its very existence for 4 years

 

(hence now I can reveal that, and finally tell my ex-colleagues and friends the truth).

 

But I can say that you helped me in doing this, so thank you genuinely for that, as there were a number of things I would not have thought of without your comments, which helped me in reaching the solution!

 

Have a great day all.

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Thanks for the update. Of course we are all extremely curious now because we would like to know what the settlement was – and also who the employer was.

It's amazing that they felt that they had to accompany this by a Non Disclosure Agreement. It seems to me that the result was a foregone conclusion. I can't imagine that they penalised you the cost of the phone.

Do tell…!


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NDA's are not worth the paper they are written on unless they gave you a lot more than your would have earnt during the qualifying period so reporting their misbhaviour when they have only paid you off a small amount wont cost you if they do decide to try and enforce it because the damages they can recover will be nil. If they paid you a million quid to keep quiet then it would be another matter as they could ask for a sizeable proportion of that back

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