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Not being paid...

(8 Posts)
McTemp Fri 30-Sep-11 17:15:41

DH gets paid weekly. Works for a large construction company with about 40 staff. The owner claims his wage bill is over £36,000 a week, and that he doesn't currently have the money to pay his staff. He was waiting to be paid from some other contractor, and now is three weeks behind on paying his staff.

We are 8 days late with rent (landlord gone overseas and left no contact details, so can't tell him. he hasn't contacted us yet so we can explain) and we did one of those 'payday loans' two weeks ago which is due to come out monday, which obviously we can't pay. I'm sure we can extend it (at some cost), but thats largely irrelevant. I can ask my parents to borrow enough petty cash to tide us over for food etc, but will be bloody mortified in having to do so.

What steps (if any) can DH take? Surely its totally unnacceptable to do this?

McTemp Fri 30-Sep-11 17:17:09

Oh, meant to say (incase its relevant), he gets paid into his account, tax deducted etc so all is through the books and legal, although none of the staff have a 'written' contract with this company and are technically 'self employed individuals' (although the company pays tax on their behalf?).

hairylights Fri 30-Sep-11 19:25:18

If it was me I'd be looking for another job as a matter of urgency. There is no excuse for not paying your employees.

crazycarol Fri 30-Sep-11 23:26:18

Agree with hairylights on this one, not paying employees, or paying late is usually one of the first visible signs of TROUBLE

McTemp Thu 06-Oct-11 11:31:47

Sorry to come back to thread late - suffice to say the company made promises that all monies would be paid this week etc etc, and have now just been told that they won't get paid AGAIN, for the fourth week in a row.

DH is owed approx £3,000 now - we can't manage any longer. He won't be going back, he's looking for other work, but can anyone help us with what are the next steps to take to try and ensure we get (any!) money asap?

KatieMiddleton Thu 06-Oct-11 12:44:25

He needs to write to the company stating that he has not been paid for 4 weeks and is owed £xxxx and he expects full payment within 7 days or he will be making a claim via an employment tribunal for non payment of wages. I would also add that as his employer has failed to comply with the terms of his employment contact due to the failure to pay wages his employer has breached the mutual trust and confidence that underpins that contract and he considers himself to be dismissed without notice. Send it recorded delivery.

If the money does not materialise within the time stated your dh needs to go to this website and complete an ET1 form to make a claim. In addition to unpaid wages your dh can also claim constructive dismissal through the employment tribunal which would give him his notice pay plus most likely a small amount of compensation if he's been employed there for over a year.

However, the company is going bust isn't it? In which case I think the most sensible thing to do is to cut your losses and make a claim just for the lost wages via the small claims court because it's quicker. By the time the tribunal case is heard they'll most likely be bust.

Do send the first letter any how (just in case the company recovers and your dh wants to claim constructive dismissal) but if no joy after 7 days I'd start a small claims court action.

Your dh could make the small claims court action for non-payment of wages and a seperate claim for constructive dismissal via a tribunal. Tribunal cases can take anything from roughly 8-18 months to be called but if putting in a claim your dh has 3 months less one day from the date of incident to lodge the claim.

Your dh should also notify HMRC he has not been paid.

Hope he finds a new job soon.

McTemp Thu 06-Oct-11 21:19:13

Thanks so much KatieM, that's just the sort of help I needed. I did try googling but it was all so overwhelming- so thank you.

DH has found some temporary work for the next few weeks that is not as well paid, so I think he is feeling a bit emasculated and sorry for himself, but I'm just so pleased he found something so soon.

Another issue that only occurred to me is that DH has been given a work van. Since he hasn't been paid in so long, we couldn't afford the insurance on our shared car and he has been driving me in the work van. We needed to get it taxed too, and couldn't afford road tax, so declared the car off road and aren't using it. The company haven't asked for the van back yet, but it's only a matter of time I'm sure. Does DH have any right to keep it until he is paid (because we really will be left with no transport otherwise!) or is that Very Wrong?

KatieMiddleton Thu 06-Oct-11 21:46:55

You're welcome smile I'm sorry I don't know about the van from a holding an asset point of view. Usually when employment ends all company property should be returned but I'm not an expert on anything other than HR and employment.

Perhaps post in legal regarding that? I'm assuming as the company is in dire straits at some point the van could be repossessed at any time? Particularly if it's financed. If the company is wound up it would be considered an asset and your dh would have to surrender it and then wait with the rest of the creditors for his share.

But I don't really know the answer to that one. I suspect it's give it back and thinking about it he'd definitely need to if he's going to claim constructive dismissal.

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