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Hi,

 

I feel so alone and ganged up on in my situation of work.

 

I had been at this job for around 5 months - 3 and a half months contractually as i started off temporary at first.

I was given the role of Manager when i only applied for front of house, i had NO experience and they knew this but gave me the role anyway.

I was also bought a mobile phone as they asked me to help them with social media but my phone at the time wasn't capable of doing the things they needed. The phone was said to be MINE as a way to get me to accept their job offer as at the time i had another that was for more money.

 

I worked at a personally training gym in Hampstead, i would work from 6:15am until 20:00 at night most times. Inclusive of weekends. I would work no matter what!! I never had a day off. I requested if i could have April 11th off due to me being in hospital that previous night very unwell, and it was refused. I recieved a message from my boss saying "you better take responsibility and go in" even after i explained my have a massive bandage on my nose from the excessive nose bleeds i were having.

 

On April the 11th the owner of the company came to me shouting and embarrassing me in front of other members of staff and clients about the lack of work another member of staff had not done (I get this on a daily basis) but this day was different. I was being shouted and sworn at. When i walked away from the front desk into the staff room to remove myself from the horrible situation, i was followed by my boss, (it was just him and i alone) where i was then told to hand over my keys and leave the premises.

I took this as i was being dismissed, so i gathered my things and left.

 

Later that day i received whatsapp messages from my boss saying he pays my wages and i should have some respect along with telling me that he has put down that i have handed my notice in and he did not dismiss me. He also said that the phone they bought for me is to be returned as this is company property. But the phone was purchased for ME not for the company. I never signed anything to state that the phone belonged to the company and i was to hand it over once my time and the company would be up. Also - when the phone had got broken and the screen was smashed (By my manager) I was told "well it's your phone so you have to pay to get it fixed" to which i did.

 

On the day this all happened (April 11th 2017) i received an email at 5:00am saying my rights to be admin on their company facebook page had been removed, at first i thought this was an error util i got to work and this happened.

I have emailed the company copying in the HR team and any other person relevant, explaining i did NOT hand my notice in, i was asked to give my keys back and leave. But i then received an email from another member of the management team saying they had witnessed me saying i am handing my notice in, but he was outside on his mobile when i left the company crying due to be sacked! I have told them to check back at their cctv to prove he was NOT there before carrying out anymore lies.

 

When i started at the company, they did not want to pay me the salary i was asking for as i did not have previous management experience but I was an office manager and that was the asking salary and the offered salary from the other job i declined. I then offered them a lower salary for myself on a 3month probation period to prove myself and then after i would go up to my asking salary, to which they agreed and it was put in my contract. I worked so hard in that place, working day and night including weekends without days off. When i was to take a day off or even half a day i would get angry messages making me go in. I would get abusive phone calls and texts if another member of staff would do something wrong or even if they did something wrong, i was told everything would always be my fault.

 

All inappropriate and abusive messages i still hold on file.

 

I have told the company that i am owed my notice period of ONE month's wages, along with my holiday pay and the money owed from where i worked up until i got unfairly dismissed at the pay rise amount. I then received an email saying that i verbally agreed that i would accept an extended probation period so it would therefor be 1 week probation period money at the lower salary amount inc. of holiday minus x1 day that they claim for me to have quit along with deducting £400 for the phone.

 

The company has struggled ever since they took over the gym and never pay any invoices, avoids the tax man, does not pay staff wages on time or at all and uses soooooo many excuses as to why. There are a number amount of staff that have now left the company that are awaiting their payments still and he has personally told me himself he will not be paying none of them.

He even has one previous member of staff taking him to court in regards to his wages from November.

 

The HR lady has not tried to help me at all and has been on their side the whole way and i feel alone and do not know what to do to make sure i get exactly what i am owed. I have bills and rent to pay at the end of this month :(

 

Any help and advice would be much appreciated.

 

THANK YOU IN ADVANCE x

 

Sheree

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I'm not quite clear what you are aiming for.

 

Pay? (In lieu of notice??)

Compensation for being dismissed?

 

You have limited rights regarding dismissal due to the short period you have been there, and may have to go to court to get paid.

 

Whilst having a job seems better than not having a job, it doesn't sound like a pleasant place to work.

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Sorry. Yes i was hoping to get some kind of compensation but i know i have limited rights as the employment was under 2 years so i am focused on receiving the full amount owed.

 

I am hoping for someone to help put me in the right direction to see if i definitely have a case and how much it would cost me and is it worth me going down the legal route? Or any advice on where to go from here on my own to make sure i cam get my owed funds.

 

I am glad i do not work there anymore but i wouldn't put myself out of work so would rather i had the time to find something else first. No income means no roof over my head etc. :(

 

Thank you for replying x

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Pretty much all of this is irrelevant. It sounds like a pretty awful place to work - and not the first time I have heard such stories about employment in gyms. But this boils down to two items only:

 

I think you are on a hiding to nothing about the phone. Companies do not buy personal gifts of phones like this, and without any evidence that it was a gift, it is a company phone. So what is your evidence that the phone was ever your personal phone, and not a phone owned by the company for use as part of your employment. And getting a screen fixed isn't evidence of that - it's evidence of you repairing something you broke! Unless you have evidence that someone in the company broke it? Were you paying the bills? Or did you buy the phone initially?

 

You aren't getting compensation, so you should get that out of your head. You can only get what you are owed. So what evidence do you have that your notice period is one month? In the absence of evidence, it is going to get messy. You say you passed probation, they say it was extended and you didn't. Nobody could accurately predict who would win that one; and winning may not be much help if they win the argument about the phone - unless you return it to them (and make sure you get a receipt saying it is in good order), because you may end up having to repay that amount for the phone.

 

A lesson for the future. HR are there for the employer, not you. If you want someone there for you, it's called a union. Join one.

 

I'll wait for you to explain what evidence you can provide before suggesting any possible options.

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Pretty much all of this is irrelevant. It sounds like a pretty awful place to work - and not the first time I have heard such stories about employment in gyms. But this boils down to two items only:

 

I think you are on a hiding to nothing about the phone. Companies do not buy personal gifts of phones like this, and without any evidence that it was a gift, it is a company phone. So what is your evidence that the phone was ever your personal phone, and not a phone owned by the company for use as part of your employment. And getting a screen fixed isn't evidence of that - it's evidence of you repairing something you broke! Unless you have evidence that someone in the company broke it? Were you paying the bills? Or did you buy the phone initially?

 

You aren't getting compensation, so you should get that out of your head. You can only get what you are owed. So what evidence do you have that your notice period is one month? In the absence of evidence, it is going to get messy. You say you passed probation, they say it was extended and you didn't. Nobody could accurately predict who would win that one; and winning may not be much help if they win the argument about the phone - unless you return it to them (and make sure you get a receipt saying it is in good order), because you may end up having to repay that amount for the phone.

 

A lesson for the future. HR are there for the employer, not you. If you want someone there for you, it's called a union. Join one.

 

I'll wait for you to explain what evidence you can provide before suggesting any possible options.

 

I have messages from the owner detailing that the phone belongs to myself and i am responsible for fixing the screen along with him owning responsibility of breaking my phone. Yes, i pay the phone plan bills but the phone was bought from one of his friends for myself as i said i was going to buy one when i get paid, he offered to buy me one instead then and there.

 

I have a contract stating my notice period after my 3 month probation is up that i need to give 1 month notice in writing.

 

I have an email from the company asking if i would accept a further 1 month probation which i replied in email - I DECLINE THE ONE MONTH PROBATION. We never had any further meetings in regards to this, it was agreed that i get my pay rise.

 

Thank you for your response

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you have changed the meaning of the story about the phone twice, so once and for all. who paid for the phone and who signed the contract with the telecoms provider?

as for notice and holiday, these will be rolled together as it will be assumed that you would take any holiday due during your notice period.

The notice you have to give is not the same as the notice they have to give to dismiss you so will be owed a weeks pay unless your contract says you are also due a month's notice Basically you are due a fortnights pay to take holiday pay into account. As you realise from all the other peopel who havent been paid, you will have to sue him to get the money as I very much doubt if he intends to just hand it over. You might want to look at your pay slips and discuss your tax and NI contributions with HMRC to make sure they have been credited properly.

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Add to the comments by Eric's brother, by declining to extend the probation, YOU RESIGNED!!! It isn't a question! The employer decides whether you have passed. They told you they wished to extend it, you can't decline that, so your notice was, in any case, still one week.

 

In my view, by your own version of events, you resigned your own job whilst still in the probation period.

 

Oh, and offering to pay for the phone is not the same thing as buying it for you! It is still arguable that that was the employer buying the phone and ownership is still his. You didn't buy it.

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Add to the comments by Eric's brother, by declining to extend the probation, YOU RESIGNED!!! It isn't a question! The employer decides whether you have passed. They told you they wished to extend it, you can't decline that, so your notice was, in any case, still one week.

 

In my view, by your own version of events, you resigned your own job whilst still in the probation period.

 

Oh, and offering to pay for the phone is not the same thing as buying it for you! It is still arguable that that was the employer buying the phone and ownership is still his. You didn't buy it.

 

I am only here for advice, not an argument.

 

The email was not from my employer but from his wife asking if I would accept an extended probation period to which i said no. Nothing more was said of this and i carried on working there, so why after 3 weeks of his wife suggesting this would i still be an employee at the company if i resigned? They kept me on until they found someone else for half the money and then sacked me. I never had a probation meeting i only received an email with suggestions. All i am asking if this is fair for the employer to do? To me it is very unprofessional.

 

Ok, i understand about the phone, by all means, i will return it.

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you have changed the meaning of the story about the phone twice, so once and for all. who paid for the phone and who signed the contract with the telecoms provider?

as for notice and holiday, these will be rolled together as it will be assumed that you would take any holiday due during your notice period.

The notice you have to give is not the same as the notice they have to give to dismiss you so will be owed a weeks pay unless your contract says you are also due a month's notice Basically you are due a fortnights pay to take holiday pay into account. As you realise from all the other peopel who havent been paid, you will have to sue him to get the money as I very much doubt if he intends to just hand it over. You might want to look at your pay slips and discuss your tax and NI contributions with HMRC to make sure they have been credited properly.

 

The telecoms provider is paid by me - I already had the contract with the phone company and my employer purchased the phone separately. - Sorry for the confusion.

 

I do not have and never have recieved my payslip - this was something i was requesting every month but always got fobbed off with excuses. So i am guessing he was probably dodgy :(

 

Thank you for your help

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I am only here for advice, not an argument.

 

The email was not from my employer but from his wife asking if I would accept an extended probation period to which i said no. Nothing more was said of this and i carried on working there, so why after 3 weeks of his wife suggesting this would i still be an employee at the company if i resigned? They kept me on until they found someone else for half the money and then sacked me. I never had a probation meeting i only received an email with suggestions. All i am asking if this is fair for the employer to do? To me it is very unprofessional.

 

Ok, i understand about the phone, by all means, i will return it.

 

It is rather unfortunate that you are of the opinion that someone is arguing with you when they point out something you do not like. And very rude to thank someone else for their advice on the basis that you think it suits you better. You received a email telling you that the employer intended to extend the probation. They didn't need to discuss it further, and you didn't have a right to decline it. Your continuing to work there is construed in law as agreeing the terms. That isn't an argument, it's advice. The fact you don't like it is irrelevant. You were still on probation. It doesn't matter who told you it - they acted on the part of the company.

 

But I have better things to do than to offer advice and my time to people who lack the grace to have manners. Good luck with it all.

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It is rather unfortunate that you are of the opinion that someone is arguing with you when they point out something you do not like. And very rude to thank someone else for their advice on the basis that you think it suits you better. You received a email telling you that the employer intended to extend the probation. They didn't need to discuss it further, and you didn't have a right to decline it. Your continuing to work there is construed in law as agreeing the terms. That isn't an argument, it's advice. The fact you don't like it is irrelevant. You were still on probation. It doesn't matter who told you it - they acted on the part of the company.

 

But I have better things to do than to offer advice and my time to people who lack the grace to have manners. Good luck with it all.

 

I apologise that i did not thank you for your advice, i agree, it was very rude of me and also wasn't done purposely. When you are capitalising your words it comes across like you are angry at me for some reason, so i just said i am not here for an argument.

 

Thank you for your help and advice and again i am sorry if i came across rude.

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I apologise that i did not thank you for your advice, i agree, it was very rude of me and also wasn't done purposely. When you are capitalising your words it comes across like you are angry at me for some reason, so i just said i am not here for an argument.

 

Thank you for your help and advice and again i am sorry if i came across rude.

On an iPad I don't have other methods of emphasis - the range of options on the computer aren't available. And apology accepted.

 

But what you need to understand is that in employment law, things don't always need to be agreed on the way you seem to think they do. Given, this employer doesn't sound to be nice at all. But there is a huge difference between being horrible and "not being legal". In employment law, continuing to work means ACCEPTANCE of terms, not refusal! And the "person" got work for is the company - a limited company is legally a "person" in this context. So if the bosses wife writes to you, that no different than the bosses Secretary or assistant writing to you - it still counts. And they may have phrased it politely, but they weren't asking for your agreement, they were telling you what is the case. Continuing a probation period is an employers choice, not a negotiation. By continuing to work, you agreed to the term. It might be argued that got were doing so under protest, but that would be irrelevant because you don't have the right to an employment tribunal to decide that, and no other court had jurisdiction to decide it.

 

So you take them to the county court for a debt of one months notice. Their solicitor counters with the court not having jurisdiction because only an employment tribunal can determine the terms of a contract of employment. The court agrees. You pay for an employment tribunal claim, and honestly, there's a big chance you'll lose. And still owe them the money for the phone!

 

I think you walked into this. A lot of people do. There are bad employers out there. You ended up working for one. But they often know exactly the limits of the law they can push. And you made the classic error of thinking HR are neutral or on your side. Their job is always to protect the employers backside. You find a decent, honest, neutral one, and they usually work for a great employer in the first place!

 

Now, cut through all the irrelevant stuff. What can you prove? In writing. Because that's all we have to work with.

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No pay slip? then contact HMRC and ask them about your tax and NI deductions by this company as you fear they are not being correctly assigned and you dotn want to get into difficulties with either them or the DWP. They will have rewal time reporting so will be able to tell you waht deductions have been made and paid to them. If they have no records then you should make a formal complaint and they will do what they think is necessary.

I disagree that a small claims court will automatically send a claim for unpaid wages to the ET. They can deal witht he matter as a simple breach of contract and many cases are processed when the amount is small and no other employment issue is raised. You just have to use the right words on the claim form so it is clear what the legal reason for the claim is.

As for the phone,there is a great deal of he siad she said about this and I suspect that your ex-employer is only making a fuss becasue you ahve allowed yourself to be walked all over in many other matters so he sees you as a doormat. Once you start telling him what is what in the proper manner then that will be forgotten. You must be formal and forceful but avoid threast of action you cannot or do not intend to take. So, if you dotn ahve the stomach for court dont bother with a LBA

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I didn't say that the county court would automatically send a dispute about unpaid wages to a tribunal. Because what I was pointing out is that in the first instance this is not a dispute about unpaid wages. It is a dispute about the terms of a contract of employment and the amount of notice due. And that is a matter that the county court cannot decide, because they cannot determine, in law, whether the probation should be deemed fulfilled or not. The dispute about unpaid wages, in this case, is secondary to the dispute about the contractual terms. If a tribunal agreed with the way I have interpreted this due amount is only one week. That makers a significant difference when considering the pros and cons of legal action.

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I personally would go ahead and issue a small claim against this employer through the moneyclaimonline system. The claim would be for one month's notice pay. There is a fee but I can't see any real disadvantage.

 

This will obviously obliterate any chance of getting a reference from them. But it doesn't sound like you are getting a reference anyway.

 

Unless they have something in writing which clearly entitles them to extend the probation period referred to in your contract, I don't see how they could extend your probation. In any event - even if you are on probation - you are still entitled to a week's notice once you have one month's service (assuming you are an employee, not classed as self-employed).

 

If they want you to pay for the phone, they can raise a counterclaim. If they don't raise a counterclaim I'd just keep it. If they didn't put the proper paperwork in place that's their problem.

 

So you take them to the county courticon for a debt of one months notice. Their solicitor counters with the court not having jurisdiction because only an employment tribunal can determine the terms of a contract of employment. The court agrees. You pay for an employment tribunal claim, and honestly, there's a big chance you'll lose. And still owe them the money for the phone!

Is this strictly correct? Breach of contract claims (such as unpaid wage claims) are often brought in court. There was a recent case which suggests it is the other way around, albeit this was in relation to a statutory statement of T&Cs rather than the contract as a whole ... http://www.thompsons.law.co.uk/ltext/lelr-weekly-204-constructive-contracts.htm

 

I'd suggest Op goes with court rather the ET unless there is a very good reason ... it is much cheaper for most small claims, easier to enforce if the employer refuses to pay, less procedural traps and no need to waste time with ACAS.

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I wouldn't disagree with the comments about the relative costs risk. My concern is that this is not a breach of contract claim - which I agree is straightforward - but a claim for determination of the contract terms. The latter being employment tribunal jurisdiction. If the claim is for one weeks notice, then that is fine. The difficult is if the OP claims a month - because the employer very clearly put in writing the fact that the probation was not passed and they were extending it. If the OP claims this as the evidence that they passed probation and therefore were entitled to a months notice, then the employer has evidence that they said the probation was being extended. At that point it all become messy and the jurisdiction of a tribunal. If the OP settles for claiming one week, then there is no such risk. Except, of course, for the possibility of counter claim. These are risks only the OP can decide upon, because nobody can predict what the employer might do. But given the employers history described here, then there is no guarantee that they will fold.

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I see. I wouldn't have thought the Op needs to get a standalone determination of contract terms - the court can interpret the contract as part of deciding the debt claim.

 

I agree there is a risk with everything, for what my 2pence is worth as a stranger, personally I'd be issuing a claim through the moneyclaimonline system against this employer pretty quickly. Op there is help available on here if you want to go ahead and do that.

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