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europa16

Son sacked after 2 weeks, not paid

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My son started work with a local electrical contractor on a full time basis. 

He gave the company his details, bank account details and NI number that first week, and received a cheque and payslip for week 1.

 

The end of the second week, he was sacked as they “didn’t have the time or patience to train” him (despite knowing his skill level when they took him on).

They claimed there would be a 1 month probation period.

 

He hasn’t been paid for that second week, and despite emailing the director of the company, his email has gone unanswered. 

 

Due to the short period, he never received a contract,.

He can prove he worked the second week but could the company try and get out of paying him by saying he wasn’t there that second week, as there’s no paperwork?

He’s owed 30hrs pay.

 

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Although he doesn't have normal employment rights because he hasn't worked there for two years, he would at least have contractual rights and I would say that he would be entitled to 7 days notice.

I'd be looking to recover the money for the week that he had worked plus money for the seven days notice which he hadn't worked.

As he prepared to take a County Court action?


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He has said he would if we (parents) have his back, which we do 100%

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Well in that case send them a letter of claim and then issue the papers. Don't muck around.

What's the name of the firm?


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How old is your son


Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

If my advice helps you, click the star icon at the bottom of my post and feel free to say thanks

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Son is 20, it was his first job. 

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Son is 20, it was his first job.

54 minutes ago, BankFodder said:

Well in that case send them a letter of claim and then issue the papers. Don't muck around.

What's the name of the firm?

Have Pm’d you the name of the firm as I don’t feel comfortable making it public.

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1 hour ago, BankFodder said:

Although he doesn't have normal employment rights because he hasn't worked there for two years, he would at least have contractual rights and I would say that he would be entitled to 7 days notice.

 

Unfortunately, he’d only been there 2 weeks so hadn’t reached the 1 month point where contractual notice periods kick in 😕

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Sorry, but I'm afraid Bankfodder had made an error in law. In employment law, there  is no notice period of the person had worked less than a month, so no notice pay is due. He is only entitled to the weeks work plus any accrued holiday pay. An employment tribunal claim is free to make, and is more beautiful than the county court. Basically he would need to send the employer a letter before action saying that he intends to take legal action unless the amount owed is paid within a reasonable time (usually 21 or 28 days). If it isn't paid you can start pre- claim processes with ACAS, and for these small claims, that is usually enough because it's too much trouble for the employer not to pay up. 

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8 hours ago, sangie5952 said:

Sorry, but I'm afraid Bankfodder had made an error in law. In employment law, there  is no notice period of the person had worked less than a month...

 

In fact the solution that I was referring to was not an employment law solution but rather an ordinary common law contract solution. It seems to me that apart from the hundred percent winner of receiving the weeks money which has been withheld, there is an implied term that notice will be given and in a period of employment as short as this one then I would have thought that a County Court would have no difficulty finding that the contract contained an implied term that there should be a notice period of one week given by either side.

However, I have received your PM – and you might like to send a copy to sangie5952 as well who I'm sure will have no difficulty treating it confidentially.
I think it's a very hard knock indeed for a young man on his first job to be treated in this way. I also find it quite extraordinary that they are apparently withholding a weeks pay even though he attended the workplace and presumably worked. I do find myself asking whether there isn't some other aspect of this which we don't know about. Presumably there was no bad behaviour and no problems with punctuality. Presumably when he applied for the job and they gave it to him they knew that he needed training.

I visited the website of the company – and certainly it would appear that they are quite a substantial company and I bit mystified as to why they should apparently behave in this way.

I see that your son has been offered a reference – and I suppose that if he caused problems for them then the reference might not be forthcoming. On the other hand, reference after only two weeks work would seem to me to be fairly unimpressive.

I wonder if there isn't something we don't understand. I'm sure you wouldn't want to undermine the position of your son but I'm wondering whether it might be appropriate for you to phone your son's boss and arrange a meeting and try to find out exactly what has gone on.

 

If you wanted to bring a small claim then there is no doubt that you would succeed for the unpaid week. Frankly if the company was going to be that difficult then I would add the extra week' s notice period just as a bit of a try on. It won't make any particular difference to the claim fee and as sangie5952  has already pointed out, they might consider that is simply too much trouble to defend – even on the notice period.

I think it's a bit of a heartbreaking story but maybe needs a bit further investigation
 


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Posted (edited)

I don't have the wider detail to which Bankfodder is referring, but I do wish to clarify one point - there is no implied term to give one weeks notice in the first month, because there is law that makes this matter entirely and utterly clear. In the absence of an actual written contractual term, the notice period is that which the law sets out. No court, civil or otherwise, has the lawful right to operate contrary to the law and decide otherwise. 

 

On a small matter of opinion, I would advise against trying to talk to the employer yourself. I do understand where Bankfodder is coming from in suggesting that, but I have substantial experience in "talking to employers" on behalf of other people - it's my job! Being totally blunt, there is often a "variation" in the employers version of events compared to the employees version. Obviously, at a fundamental level, that's to be expected. But it also doesn't mean either party is not telling the truth. Truth is often in the eye of the beholder. And sometimes, yes, one or other party lies about things to make themselves look better. My job is to untangle that. Your job isn't. Your job is to be "parent". 

 

It is possible that he's not told you the truth. So when the employer tells you the truth, are you going to believe them? What does that say to your son if you believe the employer- even if it's true?! Or are you going to argue with the employer and say that your sons version is true? Will that improve things any? Etc. Etc. And if the employer is lying, is you talking to them going to fix anything? 

 

In the end, he's now a grown up, and having his parent intervene may or may not feel ok to him, but it's a big bad world out there and he needs to deal with it (with some wise advice from the parents) himself. There are no more notes to the teacher to be written....

 

Whatever has gone on here, it's not an auspicious start to his career and he knows that. But there are silver linings.... he has absolutely no excuse to now not realise that if he intends to work, he needs to join a union, because it is their job to talk to the employer when things go wrong, and even if he's done something silly that has  got him here, a union official doesn't care about that - precisely because we aren't the parent!

Edited by sangie5952

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Would you mind linking us to that law please.


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"The end of the second week, he was sacked as they “didn’t have the time or patience to train” him (despite knowing his skill level when they took him on)."

 

I think sacked is the wrong word here.

 

The company might have known the level of skill when they took him on, but that does not mean that they had properly organised for experienced staff to supervise and train him.

 

Who knows, but perhaps the experienced staff did not like the company employing inexperienced staff and they refused to take on responsibility for being supervisors. So they just complained that your Son had not shown the basic skill level they could work with to train him up.

 

In regard to the situation regarding pay, It may be that the HR/payroll team at the company just need to be contacted to chase this up. The Director of the company might just not have any involvement and would just pass on emails.


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2 hours ago, unclebulgaria67 said:

"The end of the second week, he was sacked as they “didn’t have the time or patience to train” him (despite knowing his skill level when they took him on)."

 

I think sacked is the wrong word here.

 

The company might have known the level of skill when they took him on, but that does not mean that they had properly organised for experienced staff to supervise and train him.

 

Who knows, but perhaps the experienced staff did not like the company employing inexperienced staff and they refused to take on responsibility for being supervisors. So they just complained that your Son had not shown the basic skill level they could work with to train him up.

 

In regard to the situation regarding pay, It may be that the HR/payroll team at the company just need to be contacted to chase this up. The Director of the company might just not have any involvement and would just pass on emails.

All of this could be true but if they made a commitment to the young man and if the young man made a commitment back to them then I think that if the company had any internal problems or if they found that they weren't able to provide the appropriate training – then that is a problem that they have to deal with.

I don't think it should be a matter for the new employee.

I agree that it would certainly be worth making some enquiries because it seems too extraordinary that they don't want to pay him for the last week.

 

 

 

1 hour ago, Ethel Street said:

Statutory notice periods are covered by the Employment Rights Act 1996 section 86

 

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1996/18/part/IX/crossheading/minimum-period-of-notice

 

ACAS guidance

 

http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=4096

 

Thanks for this link – but I don't see anything which prevents the insertion of an implied term into an employment contract in the circumstances.

The legislation seems to me to provide for clear minimum standards after certain qualifying periods. However I haven't noticed anything which says that an employer can dismiss somebody summary and without notice simply because they have worked less than the protected period.

However, sangie5952  is the person who has identified and referred to this rule in very convinced terms so I'm still waiting for the rule to be identified. I'm very happy to change my point of view if somebody can show me the rule. However, in the absence of that then the common laws was available and I think that it is entirely reasonable to argue that where a young man has committed himself to a period of employment and presumably has abandoned looking elsewhere, started to alter his arrangement so that he can carry out his side of the bargain and has formed reasonable expectations that he is going to be in the employment for some time, then I can easily imagine that a charge would be prepared to imply some short notice period.

 

Of course we have all said that there needs to be some questions asked as to what has really happened here, but if it really is the case that this company took somebody on knowing that this young person was in the first employment, without experience, without training, and the company had in mind that they were going to train him. And the young man himself expected that he was going to be trained – and then suddenly after two weeks the company reveals that actually they don't have the wherewithal to carry out the training then I take the view that the young man has been very hard done by and I can scarcely imagine that a reasonable county court judge wouldn't agree and wouldn't award a notice period.

Of course I'm already speculating as to all of the facts – but this is what I read from the information we've been given so far in the opening post.

 


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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, BankFodder said:

 

Thanks for this link – but I don't see anything which prevents the insertion of an implied term into an employment contract in the circumstances.

The legislation seems to me to provide for clear minimum standards after certain qualifying periods. However I haven't noticed anything which says that an employer can dismiss somebody summary and without notice simply because they have worked less than the protected period.

However, sangie5952  is the person who has identified and referred to this rule in very convinced terms so I'm still waiting for the rule to be identified. I'm very happy to change my point of view if somebody can show me the rule. However, in the absence of that then the common laws was available and I think that it is entirely reasonable to argue that where a young man has committed himself to a period of employment and presumably has abandoned looking elsewhere, started to alter his arrangement so that he can carry out his side of the bargain and has formed reasonable expectations that he is going to be in the employment for some time, then I can easily imagine that a charge would be prepared to imply some short notice period.

 

Of course we have all said that there needs to be some questions asked as to what has really happened here, but if it really is the case that this company took somebody on knowing that this young person was in the first employment, without experience, without training, and the company had in mind that they were going to train him. And the young man himself expected that he was going to be trained – and then suddenly after two weeks the company reveals that actually they don't have the wherewithal to carry out the training then I take the view that the young man has been very hard done by and I can scarcely imagine that a reasonable county court judge wouldn't agree and wouldn't award a notice period.

Of course I'm already speculating as to all of the facts – but this is what I read from the information we've been given so far in the opening post.

 

I did not provide any further links because Ethel already did so and that is all that is required. The law sets down the notice periods, as Ethel has linked to, unless varied by individual contractual terms. This is not a case of choice - there are either better terms offered by contract, or there are the statutory terms set down in law. There are therefore no implied terms, as you suggest there are. The law is very clear. The practice of that law is very clear. Even ACAS get this correct. So if you are suggesting that "implied terms" (and by their very nature, an implied term needs something to suggest it is true!) may determine employment notice periods, then I think you need to evidence this use in law. I certainly am very convinced on this - you won't be able to, because there is none.  

 

Whilst I have every sympathy with this young person, whatever the facts of the matter, you are suggesting that a court of law operate on the basis of sympathy rather than law. That is not what courts are for. And your argument is somewhat spurious, even if a powerful tearjerker. Nobody is required to commit themselves to any period of time in employment, nor to abandon looking elsewhere for employment. This is not slavery or indenture. The "bargain" is that one works and that one gets paid. What is wrong is that the young man in question has worked and not been paid for that work (and possibly some holiday too) That is the only thing that is wrong in law. Whatever the facts of the matter he is entitled to be paid for the time he has worked, regardless of anything he may or may not have done. Neither the facts of what may have happened, nor speculation, change that fact. Even if he had done something that warranted a deduction from wages (and that doesn't seem likely since, without a written contract there could be no such clause, which is required by law except in the case of payroll errors which are treated slightly differently) he is entitled to a payslip and an explanation of such deductions made.

 

It's a shame he's lost his job, and perhaps the details around this deserve sympathy. But I do not confuse sympathy with the law or rights. 

Edited by sangie5952

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And so that's how we disagree.

If the OP comes back and confirms the story that her son is not being paid then I would recommend suing in the County Court and also adding as an element of the claim, a claim for a reasonable notice period on the basis that there is an implied term.

It will make scarcely any difference to the claim fee and it can then be left to the judge to agree or disagree. There's very high chance that the company would prefer simply to pay rather than to make an issue.

There is nothing in the rules which have been brought to my attention which suggest that it's not possible to argue the existence of a period of notice in the circumstances.

 


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48 minutes ago, BankFodder said:

And so that's how we disagree.

If the OP comes back and confirms the story that her son is not being paid then I would recommend sitting in the County Court and also adding as an element of the claim, a claim for a reasonable notice period on the basis that there is an implied term.

It will make scarcely any difference to the claim fee and it can then be left to the judge to agree or disagree. There's very high chance that the company would prefer simply to pay rather than to make an issue.

There is nothing in the rules which have been brought to my attention which suggest that it's not possible to argue the existence of a period of notice in the circumstances.

 

Well then we will have to disagree. But whilst we are making up stuff and wildly speculating on "facts", I will just point out that if, of course, there is more to this story, then your strategy could in fact be very dangerous. What actually happened may not be something that the OP - or her son - want in a court of law. Perhaps his story is entirely true. Perhaps it is entirely untrue and he has been let go for some other reason. For example, maybe he made a racist comment to his black trainer, who is now refusing to have him in the workplace; and his manager has taken pity on him and is giving him an excuse to learn his lesson without anyone knowing? The problem with speculation is that there's always a lot of it, and it is rarely ever a good basis upon which to argue law.

 

Of course, if they OP takes my advice, and simply claims what they are actually owed, and through a tribunal, they will almost certainly get the money without a tribunal and with the support of ACAS; and without any claim fee at all. Alternatively, I look forward to hearing that the county court has overruled the law, if someone can let me know when that happens?

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Thank you so much for your replies, I’ve not had chance to read through them properly so I will do that this evening.

Sangie5952, I’ve sent you a pm with a couple more details which I didn’t want to go public with (the name of the firm, etc).

 

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5 hours ago, sangie5952 said:

Well then we will have to disagree. But whilst we are making up stuff and wildly speculating on "facts", I will just point out that if, of course, there is more to this story, then your strategy could in fact be very dangerous. What actually happened may not be something that the OP - or her son - want in a court of law. Perhaps his story is entirely true. Perhaps it is entirely untrue and he has been let go for some other reason. For example, maybe he made a racist comment to his black trainer, who is now refusing to have him in the workplace; and his manager has taken pity on him and is giving him an excuse to learn his lesson without anyone knowing? The problem with speculation is that there's always a lot of it, and it is rarely ever a good basis upon which to argue law.

 

Of course, if they OP takes my advice, and simply claims what they are actually owed, and through a tribunal, they will almost certainly get the money without a tribunal and with the support of ACAS; and without any claim fee at all. Alternatively, I look forward to hearing that the county court has overruled the law, if someone can let me know when that happens?

 

I think that this would be a good moment to go back to see your son and see if you can flesh out some of the details of the story and see if there is anything which has been left out. As you read the exchanges in this thread, you will get an idea of some of the questions which are being asked


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With the best interests of the OP at the heart of this - he isn't getting his job back and life isn't fair.I have now seen the details, and no - its probably not fair. Life isn't.

My advice is to claim what he is entitled to - the money he is owed and holiday - via ACAS / a tribunal claim.Join a union. Learn the point. Move on.

The money he is owed is simple.take what he is owed and then get on with his life.I appreciate there may be other "facts" - they really aren't all that important.There are no price tags on this.

 

Stuff isn't fair in life. 

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I'm going to say it depends on your definition of "reasonable notice"  and in the absence of a contract it's worth a punt at that being a week.. see here...

 

https://www.rocketlawyer.co.uk/article/notice-periods.rl

 

So I'd add it to a letter before action and see what happened.... they can only say no, and it's low risk as it is not a malicious claim. 


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he worked  the second week so there is and was a reasonable expectation to get paid for that work.

nothing more and nothing less. No notice required. However, there is also a small amount of accrued holiday pay to claim, around 12% of gross pay for the fortnight he was employed.

Send a letter stating what is owed and why, gibe them 14 days to respind and then take the matter to a court claim ( small claims procedure) if they dontpay up orm explaqin why they arent obliged to pay him for the work done.

No email, you send a proper letter in the post so it is taken seriously

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A letter has been posted today requesting the pay for 30hrs. Although he may be due the holiday pay, it does seem unlikely so we have left this out and kept it simple, giving them 14 days from receipt.

 

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14 days or you will do what?


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