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Teddybear154

Can a employer withhold wages due to covid 19

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My husband has worked for the same place for 5 years and until last year had never had problems with his wages. He gets paid 4 weekly and is paid by cheque.

 

Last year from around September he started to get his pay late. He was getting his pay but late. It was annoying we ended up having to pay rent late a few times but eventually we managed to work around it. But now things have got worse.

 

My husbands last 2 wage cheques have bounced. He has managed to get a small amount in cash from his employer but not enough to cover all bills or rent. We were un able to pay rent last month. We did not even have enough money for food.

 

I have managed to get together enough money to pay this months rent ,plus a bit by selling things on eBay, gumtree ec. But I rent house from housing association and they want last months rent and this months rent paid by Monday.

 

They say if they don't receive all money in full they will seek a procession order and will have us evicted. I just don't know what to do we have 4 young children 2 with special needs.

 

If we are thrown out of are home we have no where to go. We will be homeless. I have some money coming in next week but not until Tuesday. So I could pay in full both months rent on Tuesday. But housing association say this is not good enough.

 

They are planning to try and take full amount on Monday by direct debit. We can't ask bank for a loan or over draft as we have low credit rating. We have been slowly sorting are debt problems. But with these two bounced wage cheques. It is putting us back in a mess. We have no one we can ask to borrow money.

 

None of my family could afford to lend us the money. My husbands family could but he is French and his family live in France. It will take too long to get money here from France as his family are old fashion they don't use online banking or any thing and will only send a euro cheque. What should We do?

 

 

My husband has asked his employer every day this week for the wages he is owed. The employer just keeps saying ill have it for you tomorrow. And they say the same the next day. My husband is looking for another job but has not found any thing yet.

 

Any advice would be much appreciated

Edited by citizenB
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I will flag your thread for some site team attention.


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Thatis a horrible situation to be in. It sounds like your husband needs to issue a court claim ASAP for the outstanding money and you can't afford to really wait any longer in doing so. Either fill in an ET1 for the Employment Tribunal claim, or go through the county court - the ET process is generally felt to be less formal, but ironically I actually find our local county courts to be much friendlier and less formal.... so I guess it depends on your local area. I would probably still favour the ET route though as it's free and you aren't really in any danger of costs awards.

 

Just to add, it will be difficult for anyone to evict you from your home with small children - so that should buy you some time at least.

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I agree that you should be making a court claim against the employer, even if it doesnt recover his wages, it will be proof that he hasnt been paid his wages and you could show this to companies chasing you for debts.

 

What does his contract say about pay and payment dates ?

 

He needs to take a tough line with his employer and give him a Notice Before Action if neccassary.

 

Andy

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Hi

 

Housing

 

Something else to consider is dont let it sit what the housing association has stated about eviction as they are meant to assist people in your circumstances but if they dont know the full facts that may be a reason for their actions at present.

 

Have you at all went to the housing association and explained the difficulties your are having at present, and also checked to see if they employ a welfare officer and if so get yourself an appointment to assist you with housing issue.

 

Some things to check on the housing associations website is, welfare officer, rents arrears, problems paying your rent as this will give you more info.

 

Employer

 

Now does is say anything in your contract of employment that you will be paid on the "X" day of every month, or "every 4 weeks" or any other term, it is implied that your bank account will be furnished with your wages on that day - if so then the employer is responsible to ensure that the money is transferred in time for that date.

 

Something to consider is that if your wages are not in your account on that specific day, then your employer could be in breach of contract, therefore if you incur any charges or penalties then these can be reclaimed, now the but this hinges on the delay being due to your company paying the wages in - the retribution is the responsibility of whoever's action caused the delay.

Edited by stu007

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Have to agree with stu here as well, think the HA are being real arses about the situation and normally are very accommodating. I find it strange that they are being that forceful. I would speak to your housing officer with regard to this and tell them about the situation as said and tell them that any further court costs are not going to assist with the situation. Maybe even provide some bank statements to show the cheque deposit and it being returned. The eviction process is along drawn out process and they will need to wait a full two months of no payment before they can instigate proceedings adn it will take at least another two before it comes to court, so hopefully can be resolved in this time.

 

I would also get hubby to start looking elsewhere for work, if they are having cash flow problems where you work and it is a local company I can only see it getting worse.

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Hello there.

 

I've edited your main title to match the one in post no. 1, I hope it's what you wanted. You can't edit your own thread title. :)

 

My best, HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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I am very sorry you are in this situation. Its unusual for a HA to be this tough so soon. I'd advise you to call Shelter http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/housing_association_tenants and find out what HA's can and can't do in this situation. I don't know if you owe more than two month's rent, or have a iffy payment history in the past.., but whatever the situation is, get advice from the experts as urgently as you can.

 

I have been in a similiar situation with an ex.., employer paid wages late, we were in a dicey situation financially anyway and this was enough to tip the balance totally (it was a two month period for us too). The employer did offer to pay our bank charges but when they realised how high they were, they reneged on this so we did get into a lot of trouble that I would never want to be in again.

 

I would advise also calling ACAS.., again they will tell you what an employer can and can't do legally. I hope this helps.

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Jsut to add to the point above, if there is a clear contractual obligation to pay wages on a certain date and they are not then the employer may well be liable for any consequential losses that you incur, I would point this out to him.

 

Ive been paid late twice, on first occasion the company had a word with banks concerned and they actualoy reversed bank charges, on second occasion the company paid the bank charges.

 

Andy

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Are you on a starter tenancy with the HA or are you secured. In any case prior to repossesion they would need a court order and i feel a judge would be reasonable. However as the others have said,talk to the H A.

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Hi Teddybear. I'm really sorry to hear about your situation - it's one my partner and I found ourselves in many years ago.

 

To add to the excellent advice that you've been given, I just wanted to add that the sooner he finds a new job, the better. There's a great temptation in this situation to stay put in the hope that you can recover some of the money you've lost, but in my experience it isn't going to happen. If they've reached the point where they're bouncing pay checks, they're probably not long off going bust completely. Better to minimise your losses and get out now.


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My husband has worked for the same place for 5 years now. My husband works really hard and always does what they ask and they show him no respect in return. When any one else asks to take holiday they are always aloud to take what ever holiday they want when they want. When my husband asks for holiday the answer is always no or yes then they change there mind at last minute.

 

2 years ago my husband requested 2 weeks off he gave a years notice. As I wanted to book to take my husband to New York for his 40th birthday. They said yes no problem my husband could have the time off. So We booked flights hotel and every thing. 2 weeks before we were due to go my husbands employer said my husband could not have the time off. They even threatened to fire my husband if he went any way. We had to cancel holiday, and lost a lot of money. They then went and gave the same 2 weeks off my husband had requested to another member of staff.

 

This last year they have continually refused to let my husband take his holiday. They finally let him take 1 week in November but 2 days in to his holiday they demanded that he come back to work as another member of staff who was due to come back from holiday had called in sick. They pestered him by phone and came to house as we only live 5 minutes away. They again threaten to fire my husband so he had to go back to work.

 

Holiday has to be taken between April and march. My husband was not aloud to take any holiday in January as other staff were off. They then told him he could have the first 3 weeks of February. My husband actually started his holiday the last week of January in the end. He was off for one week. Then the pestering started again. They had sacked another member of staff and told my husband he had to go back to work. They phoned and came to house and again threatened to fire my husband. So my husband has gone back to work.

 

He has already been told he can't take any more holiday this month as they don't have the staff. And he can't take any time off in march as another member of staff is off for the whole of march. My husband has got to take his holiday by the end of march but can't as they won't let him.

 

Where does my husband stand legally. Can they stop him taking his holiday. If his employer won't let him take his holiday, can he insist on being paid for the holiday they have refused to let him take or can he insist on the holiday being rolled over. To the next year.

 

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Also so we know for another time if my husband refused to go back to work in the middle of his holiday, could they fire him or would it be seen as unfair dismissal.

 

Thanks in advance for any advice..

 

Ps. My husband has been looking for a new job as is fed up now but there are not many jobs around where we live. We have 4 children and so can't afford for my husband to be out f work and no money coming in.

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When your husband request holiday and they agree - is there a signed holiday form showing that the holiday request is granted ?


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No it is a very small pub and hotel that my husband works for and when you request holiday they look at Calendar and if it's ok they write your name on Calendar for the days requested. They don't use holiday forms or any thing like that

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If the holiday has been granted they cannot make him come back to work, what would happen if you was in Greece for the week? If he is on holiday ringing at home and coming around could be seen as harrasment so I would keep all such incidents recorded in a diary. If he is being overworked he could get a sick note for stress or exhaustion and if they still kept on at him whilst on a weeks sick leave they would be in deep trouble.

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He should have a contract and in it it should state about when he can take holidays and notice required. They cannot rescind any previously agreed dates except by mutual agreement.

If he has no contract which states these procedures, then he should ask for one ( legal requirement ).

No they cannot dismiss him if he does not come back from an agreed holiday,without being liable for unfair dismissal.

How long has he worked for them and how many employees do they have.

If more than 5 then they must have a health and safety policy and procedures for dealing with disputes.

Suggest he speaks to ACAS, very good at advice over the phone.

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You have some legal advice there; what are the practical realities?

 

In a small business he is more likely to be let go for "making a fuss." Is that likely? How easy would it be to get a different job?

 

The action you take depends on the severity of the posotion.


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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Thanks every one for your replies so far. Emmzzi as I said in origonal post my husband has been looking for another job but there is nothing around. It is not easy to find a job where we live. My husband has looked further a field for jobs, but his line of work does not have great pay and by the time he paid petrol commuting there would be very little money left to pay bill. He could live and work away and just come home on days off but we have 4 children 2 with special needs and it would not be fair on the children or me. moving house is not a option, as are children are registered with and have many appointments and therapies at our local hospital. it would be a nightmare transferring it all to another hospital in another area.

 

Are you saying it is better to just keep quiet for now and keep giving in to their demands as they can sack him and can't get in to trouble for it. It seems very unfair to me. What about my husbands holiday that he has left to take. He still has at least 3 weeks to take but can't take it as employer wont let him. Is there nothing he can do about this. Has he really got to just loose it. It's the employer stopping my husband from taking his holiday. My husband is not refusing to take his holiday. My husband has even asked his employer when can he take his holiday to try and fit things around his employer but his employer just says there is no time when he can take his holiday. My husband is not fussy and does not mind when he has his holiday we never go away. He just uses his holiday to spend quality time with me and his children.

 

Is the law really all on the employers side. It's a joke.

Edited by Teddybear154

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It is indeed unfair. The law is not on the employer's side but in the real world we know employers can and do find ways to dismiss people they perceive as "awkward" or not fitting their needs 100%. Now you will get posters on here that will advise you to contact this and that government agency to to get a lawyer. You can do that if you want to. It is entirely possible in your situation with the little uns needing support, than actually *not* working may be the best choice for both of you; I don't know. You might want to investigate the benefits position just in case.

 

I'm saying you need to balance risks. Shouting the odds about your rights and the law seldom works in the long run; sitting down and saying "how can we fix this" sometimes does.


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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Have you spoken to ACAS about this ?


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we never go away. He just uses his holiday to spend quality time with me and his children.

 

Is the law really all on the employers side. It's a joke.

 

Tell them you are going away and turn your phone off! The law is on your side but is getting £1000 compensation for unfair dismissal going to be much help if he is out of work for 6 months looking for a new job? You have to way up the pros and cons of each line of action.

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It's a bit late now, but your husbands employer is required to give twice as much notice of cancellation as the period on annual leave. So to lawfully stop your husband going to New York, they would have needed to give 4 weeks' notice. I wonder if there's scope to sue the employer for the money lost in that respect.

 

Your husband can legitimately refuse to go into work unless correct notice is given.

 

Ballpark figures, but if he was dismissed he could relatively easily claim around 6 months of lost earnings.

 

I would suggest a formal written grievance as he is being treated appallingly.

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Becky, in your experience how long would it take for that six months of earnings to be physically in the hand? This would be assuming a clear unfair dismissal as opposed to performance issues.


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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It depends which area of the country and how complex the claim is. Minimum six months, on average more like 9 months. The worst I've seen was 3 years!!

 

Just to add, the ET I deal with oop North is currently listing for September. So add about three months to that if a separate remedies hearing is needed, it's around a year. But I suspect less busy tribunals can do it quicker.

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