Unreasonable employer - advice needed

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Newchodge

Business Member
Nov 8, 2012
16,221
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Keep a copy of the sick note and send the originl to your employer. Do not answer anyt of their ridiculous proposals. If they haven't paid everything you are owed by the date ACAS suggested, get back to ACAS and ask them to start the early comciliation process.

Your employer cannot take legal action against you.
 
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The Byre

Legacy Full Member
Aug 13, 2013
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I understand why to keep it short, sharp and factual, but why use the post? Is there something wrong with sending an email?
For the very reason that you are still wasting effort by getting upset - you need to keep these people at arm's length. Their blizzard of idiotic emails is doing a great job of intimidating you.
 
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awkwardflower

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Feb 17, 2019
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Thanks for your replies. I really appreciate them, this forum is a piece of reason and mental peace in this mad mess! :)

I also doubt that it was their HR advisor who suggested these ridiculous ideas, and I also doubt that they met someone of any expertise at all. In this last email they mentioned that they will have another meeting today. So I'm waiting to hear from them today. My secret hope is that they do meet an actual HR expert who will tell my employer like it is, and they will have to pay me what I'm owed without any further hassle.

If that doesn't happen, I tell them what ACAS told me. I'm going to post the second sick note today as well.
 
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awkwardflower

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Feb 17, 2019
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Yes, I did that, thank you. I sent them the second doctor's note yesterday and I emailed them when they should receive it, along with the info I got from ACAS.

As a response I received two angry emails in a row. I don't think they understand that trying to blackmail me into accepting to be paid out up to certain days of employment is not making their deduction of wages lawful. They think that not being paid is my fault for "not accepting their offers". They insist that because of how I let them down as an employee, they are still "pursuing legal options". That can't really mean anything real, can it?

Of course, I haven't responded to these, and I only write them with facts or new information (e.g. notifying them about continuing sick leave, or what ACAS told me to do). They are very vague with their responses. But I hope that their HR expert did explain what their limited options were. What I hope is that they will calm down and pay me without having to enter Early Conciliation. I'll wait for those days as ACAS suggested, and we'll see. Thanks for your advices!
 
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SteveHa

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Jun 16, 2016
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I've been watching this without commenting, but it's time to. JeffreyMills is bang on. They have nothing.

You, on the other hand, have a bucket load of evidence against them for harassment, and, potentially, constructive dismissal (which can be pursued even when you haven't been employed for two year - I'm sure Cyndy will be able to expand on this).

To the OP, the first thing you need to do is stop worrying. You have nothing whatsoever to worry about. At the very least, National Minimum Wage laws mean that they cannot refuse to pay you.
 
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awkwardflower

Free Member
Feb 17, 2019
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Thanks for your replies. I also think they are bluffing, but that doesn't mean they won't try to make it difficult for me, just because they can. Unfortunately there is still no sign of them paying, although the 7-14 days ACAS suggested is not over yet.

Is Early Conciliation usually over the phone, or does it involve personal meetings? I'm asking because I will have to be abroad next week for two weeks for a family matter and I wonder if I can at least start it while I'm there, or if it's best to wait another week. I'm reluctant to phone again because there isn't a lot I could ask that they haven't answered before, I just want to know informal things like how long they would take if I started the process? Last time they said that I will have to file for Early Conciliation within 3 months of the dispute, so I can easily wait until I'm back in the UK, I just don't want to give my employer too much time.

I also worry they could refuse the Early Conciliation just to make things difficult. How would an employer tribunal claim affect my chances of getting another job? What if I found one and I would have to miss days for hearings and stuff, how would I explain that somewhere where I'm new? :(
 
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JeffreyMills

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Sep 29, 2018
51
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London
ACAS can explain the Early Conciliation process to you. It usually lasts up to a month, it’s done by phone. ACAS contact the employer so you don’t do anything much apart from speak to ACAS by phone.
If it isn’t resolved (they don’t pay what they owe you) then the certificate is issued and you can make a claim to a tribunal if you want to. You may not want to.
A Tribunal claim is unlikely to affect a new job. How would a new employer find out. If the old employer makes up lies they are easily proved wrong. Your claim would be for unlawful deduction of wages, that does not spell “troublemaker” to an employer, it spells “bad employer who didn’t pay wages”
 
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awkwardflower

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Feb 17, 2019
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That's another reassuring reply, thanks again. I still haven't heard from the employer, so I will wait until the time ACAS suggested and I will start the Early Conciliation if nothing happens, even if I'm abroad, I won't be too far anyway. Thanks again, if anything happens I will post an update :) Hopefully it gets resolved soon.
 
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awkwardflower

Free Member
Feb 17, 2019
40
4
So, the latest development is that I received an online version of my P45, and ONE day's payment, as holiday payout (??) not sure how that worked out.... I worked for a full week in February before I took sick leave, but they dispute my entitlement to the sick leave and they STILL want me to invoice them for those bloody days in February!

They said they contacted the GP about "adjusted hours" since I offered some help while I was off sick, what does that even mean! They want to have a meeting to "settle it" but I'll be away next week for two weeks. They are angry that I didn't respond to their last emails but what am I even meant to reply to two angry rants?

I still think I should start Early Conciliation next week. I'm not going into any meeting with them without any legal backup.
 
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JeffreyMills

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Sep 29, 2018
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London
What does it mean? It means they contacted the GP, and what would the GP say? UnderGDPR they can’t discuss your medical details with a third party....so very little, beyond ‘yes we issued that note’’
You’re entitled to what you are owed. Get on to ACAS. Any meeting about “settling” will be a swindle. ACAS do exactly the same as a settlement, for free, with no meetings.
 
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awkwardflower

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Feb 17, 2019
40
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Thanks! I thought so about the GP, and I think the same about these "meetings". I will notify ACAS first thing next week. In the meantime I realised how the one day holiday pay worked out: they basically unilaterally decided that my employment ended on 31st January, without working my month's notice or being paid in lieu. That's why now they expect me to invoice them if I want my February money. I think that's really dodgy!
 
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antropy

OpenCart Experts
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Aug 2, 2010
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www.Antropy.co.uk
If ill, don't offer to do some work. And never accept the company trying to force work off on you when ill either.
I completely agree, it is hard not to be nice and be considerate but you need to put yourself first. You have a medical note, take time off and make sure you get yourself right before even considering going back to work (whether that be at this current place or somewhere else). Alex
 
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awkwardflower

Free Member
Feb 17, 2019
40
4
Thanks for your replies. ACAS have been in touch and unfortunately my ex-employer do not seem to be too engaged. The ACAS councillor has been told that "I was offered multiple options to sort it quicker" and that "other employees" (there is only one more) have also been complaining about my behaviour (?), and that "I rejected multiple meetings".

I think they expect me to take them to a tribunal and that they will bring the other employee as their witness. However I'm pretty sure I have quite a strong case since I had a written contract of employment, written notice given to me (in which they praise some of my work and there is zero complaints of my behaviour), and also all the communication after my sick leave took place in writing.

I'm really sad to see this escalating and I really don't know what to do. On one hand I want my money and I don't want them to get away with it, on the other hand I can't really afford a costly lawyer to represent me. What can I expect at a tribunal? If I lose, will I have to pay everything, all their costs too and everything? How long would this take? :(
 
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JeffreyMills

Free Member
Sep 29, 2018
51
21
London
ACAS can answer all of these questions.
You have a claim for unlawful deduction of wages. The matter in hand is only to establish whether you were entitled to be paid, and if so, were you paid.
You fill out the ET1 form after the EC period ends and certificate is issued. The ET writes to accept it and asks the employer to respond. The date can take over 6 months. It is a court but a very informal one, in an office essentially. The Judge is usually a barrister and usually extremely helpful if you don’t have a lawyer.
From what you have said you are unlikely to lose. It would be very unusual for the other side to pursue you for costs if you lost, if they did (it’s seen as very bad form) it would be rare that they were awarded, unless you had clearly set out just to make baseless claims you had no evidence for and were wasting everyone's time.
The claim can be “settled” via a cot3/ settlement agreement which ACAS draw up/handle, at any time, even the day of the ET (known as “they settled on the steps/on the way in”)

Your case is simple: you have a contract, your letter of notice, your payslips and the emails where this manager tries to get you to be self employed/dismissed on the spot/not pay sick. Everything else is a load of smoke and distraction. No witnesses are relevant.
 
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awkwardflower

Free Member
Feb 17, 2019
40
4
Wow that was super helpful! Thanks a lot. Yes, I will ask ACAS again for these next steps, but we agreed that they will try again once more, just in case, although they did say they cannot force them obviously. Then when it's confirmed, I will ask my questions from them too.

I also think I'd have a strong case but god knows what kind of counter claim would they be thinking of. I try not to be too worried but obviously I don't want any of this stress. Thanks again for this!
 
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JeffreyMills

Free Member
Sep 29, 2018
51
21
London
They do not have a counter-claim. They do not have a Legal means to pursue you. The best they can manage would be to counteract your evidence with some nonsensical pushback that you are a liar/bad apple/bad employee/of dubious ability. Which you may indeed be, however all the ET can rule on is whether -legally- you should have been paid, and if you were not paid, then they create an order for them to pay you.
In reality this idiot will probably fail to turn up, or will indignantly throw so much mud at you that the ET will have no sympathy for the employer and every sympathy with your (easily proven) claim for missing money.
They may just cave in soon anyway
 
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awkwardflower

Free Member
Feb 17, 2019
40
4
You were right, ACAS called again today and I was told they are ready to settle it :) They still don't accept that I was sick though and now they even brought it up to them that I travelled abroad during a period my sick note covers... (not that I shouldn't be allowed to see my family while off with stress, and not that they should care what I do with my time after our period of employment ended anyway). But they offered to pay an amount close to my original claim. So ACAS told me that they will let them know that I accepted the settlement and will prepare a document. This is going to be finished, right? Once this is settled, they will not be able to sue me back for it, or use any of their ridiculous claims, right?
 
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JeffreyMills

Free Member
Sep 29, 2018
51
21
London
Once it is settled, and they have paid the money it is done. You should ask ACAS about an agreed reference as part of the settlement. All you want these jokers to put on any reference request is the dates you were employed and your job title.
There are no grounds the company can “pursue” you legally from what you have said. Have you tried to search the internet for stories and articles about English/Welsh/NI business sueing employees for “fake sickness” and the like? You will not find anything remotely like it!
 
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