Posts Tagged ‘Employment’

The Story Continues. Unfortunately.

May 3, 2012 1 comment

This blog was never meant to be about my personal life. It was intended to give my views on technology and security issues, and how businesses within those sectors operate. However, events have conspired against me and it appears that what is foremost in my mind is not the Lumia 800 in my pocket, nor the iPad 3 I’m writing this on, but the much more complex subject of employment law.

At the end of my last post, I was just starting a week away from the office, on garden leave, before starting my new job. All was good, I was able to get some work done around the house (while making sure I kept myself available for work if called), and the sun even decided to shine. One week later, my final pay packet came through.

£600 short.

Taking advice from ACAS, I wrote to the directors reminding them that I was entitled to be paid up until the end of the month, and giving them a fortnight to react. With no response, I contacted ACAS again and took up their offer of their conciliation service, which attempts to resolve disputes through amicable means. Three weeks in, there has been no success (that I’m aware of at the time of writing), no payslips, no P45 and most importantly no payment.

In the past month, I’ve learnt a number of things about my former employer. Rather than admit to his own mistakes, my former colleagues were told that I was dismissed. And earlier today I had a phone call from a recruiter friend who’d come across my CV as it was a few months ago, and was calling me to ask if I’d gone out of my mind; I am far from the only former employee to have had a negative experience there, with tales including constantly late pay and all leave being cancelled at the last minute (including holidays booked and paid for months in advance).

I’ve also spent quite a bit of time reading up on employment law:

  • I left with 2.5 days leave outstanding, but due to the distribution
    of bank holidays in the UK I am entitled to the pay for 3.5; I was 3 months into a calendar year containing 8 holidays and, with only one having passed I was entitled to be paid for one other.
  • A company must give notice if they require holidays to be taken as part of garden leave. Needless to say, this notice has not been given.
  • The concept of “unfair dismissal” does not exist until an employee has been working in a company for at least 2 years. In my case this does not apply as I had resigned, but even then notice periods still apply.
  • Even when an employee is dismissed for gross misconduct, they are still entitled to be paid for the outstanding leave. There are literally no circumstances where is it legal to withhold pay in this manner.

In summary: my former employer has no right, whatever they may have decided to believe about the circumstances of my departure, to withhold around £1,000 of owed pay. It’s not a route I ever wanted to take, but unless there is a significant development tomorrow I will be forced to take them to an employment tribunal.

Update: Despite having tried to get hold of the directors of my former employer multiple times over the past few weeks, ACAS have been unable to talk to anyone capable of resolving this situation amicably. Their own rules do not permit them to identify themselves (except to the people they are wanting to talk to) as being from ACAS, but if you are ever left a message by someone “needing to talk about an urgent HR matter” and “not a sales call”, it’s a fair bet there’s trouble ahead.

So, notice to restore full pay has been given and ignored. ACAS conciliation service has, through no fault of ACAS’s, failed. Its now time to fill in ET1, and start the process officially. Wish me luck!

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