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AIBU To Quit... Where do I stand?

(15 Posts)
NameChanger027 Sat 27-Jun-20 16:04:49

This probably sounds complicated so I appreciate any and all advice. I'm going to keep details vague as I don't want to be identified.

I started my new job at the beginning of January 2020 working for AB. I am AB's first and only employee.

COVID 19 hit and I was no longer needed but because AB didn't set me up as PAYE until the end of March, I didn't get furloughed. Instead AB has been paying me a retainer of 10% of my monthly wage to ensure I come back to work when I'm needed. I'm £100s out of pocket now and have struggled financially.

I have been looking for another job and I want to know what will happen financially if I quit my current job. Would I have to pay back the retainer?

What if I returned to my job for 1 or 2 weeks and quit? Would I need to pay the retainer back then as I have technically returned to work?

Stupidly, I don't have a contract of employment (despite my efforts) so only need to provide a weeks notice I believe?

The only thing in writing is 10% retainer on my payslip each month.

OP’s posts: |
Longdaysandnights Sat 27-Jun-20 16:11:50

Just quit. If you weren’t told of any conditions prior to it they can’t hold you to anything.

HermioneWeasley Sat 27-Jun-20 16:14:03

If they haven’t put something in writing about clawback of the retainer then there’s nothing they can do

Ragtime69 Sat 27-Jun-20 16:15:22

If u started beg of Jan...why were you not on PAYE until march?

NameChanger027 Sat 27-Jun-20 16:24:51

She didn't know what she was doing and was acting on advice of someone apparently.

OP’s posts: |
NameChanger027 Sat 27-Jun-20 17:13:46

Anybody else?

OP’s posts: |
devildeepbluesea Sat 27-Jun-20 17:15:19

If there is nothing in writing stating you will repay the retainer then she can't get it off you.

Whataroyalannoyance Sat 27-Jun-20 17:15:20

Did you sign anything?

Espoleta Sat 27-Jun-20 17:15:43

What have you actually signed? Or agreed to in writing?

hardyloveit Sat 27-Jun-20 17:16:10

So how were you paid from January to March? Did you pay tax?
I'd just quit if there is nothing in writing.

Espoleta Sat 27-Jun-20 17:17:49

The reality is that the onus will fall onto the employer to show their was an agreement you would pay the retainer back, if they don’t have it fighting it will be costly.
Are you now registered paye? Off the top of my head if you’re not it could affect your state pension

Backbackandforth Sat 27-Jun-20 17:19:06

I’m really confused. Did you agree to the 90% cut in your wages? Because if you didn’t then it’s them that owe you, not you owing them? Your employment contract I assume has a monthly salary both parties agreed too, if they couldn’t afford that then they let you go with notice pay.

Retainers are used for SE contractors generally.

NameChanger027 Sat 27-Jun-20 17:28:06

Nothing has been signed and we have no contract.

I pay no tax as I don't earn enough. I didn't pay NI initially but once I was on PAYE they took if from that wage.

I was offered 10% retainer verbally and I agreed as it was better than getting zero and it was unlikely I'd find other employment.

OP’s posts: |
Backbackandforth Sat 27-Jun-20 20:28:55

A verbal contract that set out your salary would suffice. You would have you monthly wage paid into your account as evidence of what this figure is.

Both parties agreed to a set wage and while there’s no entitlement that she provides you with work, if she wants to vary your pay in such a way you would have to agree to this after being fully informed of what this entails. Calling it a retainer isn’t on when it’s a temporary variation of employment terms.

If you do secure other employment, set out your case to your employer in an email - it sounds like a small business so they may just not be clued up. Explain that while you agreed to take a 90% reduction on your salary (which is what you’ve done as an employee) awaiting the business to reopen, this simply isn’t financially viable for you any longer and you’ve secured employment elsewhere.

If they mention return of the retainer explain that as an employee it is simply not a retainer as above. She’s unlikely to pursue you for such a small sum and even less likely to be successful if she did.

If you’re unable to secure employment elsewhere and do return for a short period, would you be content enough just to remain there? Hopefully (v hopefully!) covid won’t close businesses down like this again and you can continue as was. It’s a poor start but again they may just not be clued up in such matters.

If you do return ask for your employment terms written down, signed by both parties, and ensuring that they confirm the date your employment commenced and not just the date of signing.

I’m not clued up enough on the furlough scheme to comment much there, but it does seem terribly unfair you lost out due to their lateness in getting you on payroll. I would be referring to that too if required.

As PP have said have a chat with ACAS if it comes to it, they’re usually quite helpful.

HardHatOptional Sat 27-Jun-20 21:13:45

I think I'll give ACAS a ring! Thanks. I'm such a fool!

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