Potentially been sued a months wages over quitting my job

(26 Posts)
whatisforteamum Wed 26-Jul-17 21:14:46

I recently wrote on in how much I loved my job.Then my boss quit with no notice.so we did 50/60 hr week on shifts.then we were given contracts this month with four weeks notice either side.
I was assured a temp would help cover the other guys hols.Last week I was told this wouldn't happen.meaning me doing 90 plus hrs.far too much on 40 hr contract..
So I quit to spend time with my very I'll terminal father.I didn't work notice as others have and have all had money kept.also my dad could well be gone within a month.
Today I receive a letter asking for a months pay back. perhaps going to court.ACAS think it needs to be in the contract that money is owed if anyone were to quit.please advise I'm worried sick with Dad so very ill

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yummumto3girls Wed 26-Jul-17 23:23:19

Technically you have breached the contract by not giving notice, therefore everything else in that contract is void. I would say it is very unlikely that they will pursue this money in court as the judge would probably laugh it out (hope you've kept records of the hours you worked and how unreasonable they were?!) Personally I would counter-claim, write to them saying you would like to raise a grievance over your unfair treatment and how you considered their action breached the contract forcing you to resign (constructive dismissal). Therefore you'd appreciate all monies owed and outstanding holiday. If they don't respond enter conciliation with ACAS and put in a tribunal claim - you don't have to pay now! smile

TittyGolightly Wed 26-Jul-17 23:25:22

How long did you work there?

TittyGolightly Wed 26-Jul-17 23:28:00

Highly unlikely that the contract doesn't have a clause about recovering over payments. I suspect there's a "any other duties as and when required" clause too. If you resigned without notice they are entitled to sue you for breach of contract, you are not entitled to the money, they do not have to hear a grievance and with less than 2 years service you've no grounds for constructive dismissal.

daisychain01 Thu 27-Jul-17 04:34:32

90 plus hrs


That almost double the hours within the recommended Working Time Directive of 48 hours per week!

A good company would be protecting its workers from burnout

My company includes a policy (visible on the intranet) clearly displaying the employee's rights and giving the mechanism for opting out of the WTD.

It's a thorny subject because arguably it's in the employer's interests for the employee to opt out, because they then waive their rights. I doubt whether it is ever enacted, the amount of hours most people work!.

daisychain01 Thu 27-Jul-17 04:43:00

You're on shaky ground by not serving your notice OP.

The only thing I can suggest at this stage is to write to them explaining you reached breaking point.regarding your terminally ill father (did they know about the situation?), the fact you were working 90 hpw when you were unaware of your rights under the Working Time Directive and try to appeal to their better nature.

If they take you to court over it, after explaining everything, then you can show the Court that you had written to them and tried to act reasonably in very difficult circumstances. I doubt they will, for 1 month's wages tbh.

Fatguy Thu 27-Jul-17 05:15:13

Where you paid in advance or arrears? If you where paid in advance I would imagine they can claim the money back but if your where paid in arrears they may owe you money.

Besides claiming pay for time you have not worked there is not much they can do. If it is for time you have not worked like other suggest just say you have worked the time when you where doing the 20 odd hours overtime.

To sue you they would have to prove a loss which would be hard to prove IMO.

Fatguy Thu 27-Jul-17 05:19:00

Forgot to say I have left jobs before without giving the contracted notice. Still left on good terms IMO, just said I my new job starts in a week so I am only giving a weeks notice. Pretty much take it to leave it, a company cant force you to work for them against your will.

TittyGolightly Thu 27-Jul-17 06:43:32

No. But they can reclaim their financial losses.

PaintingByNumbers Thu 27-Jul-17 06:58:40

Anyone can write a letter, its free. How likely are they to take action and whats the worst that could happen? They havent paid you in advance, have they, this is a type of compensation they want. Just ignore.

TheWitchwithNoName Thu 27-Jul-17 07:05:39

But have they really suffered a loss by the OP not serving her notice?

youarenotkiddingme Thu 27-Jul-17 07:53:56

You need to look at the law. Contracts cannot and do not succeed this.

For example - my contract is x amount of hours per week, x amount of holiday and then it says "any other hours required by the demands of the job".
Turns out (as work were being cunts) that it can state this but they cannot force me to work extra hours without pay or disabling me for refusing.

Most jobs nowadays don't employ people for the number of hours required to do the job - many try and get around this through clauses in contracts. ACAS or your union can advise

whatisforteamum Thu 27-Jul-17 08:08:33

I'm not a quitter in my 32 hrs on off working.I was paid week for week and just signed two weeks ago for more money and new position.The company is v small so terms were beyond basic.it said four weeks notice for leaving 4 weeks notice for them to terminate.I've been their two hrs but left with notice at Christmas and rejoined mid Jan this year.
They know my Dad almost died in may and my shifts don't allow me to visit...I'm exhausted on my days off.no one ever got holidays and like I say we were short as a 50 week person had quit last month.
I should be gone sick as I suffer anxiety and struggle with the ten min bus ride since I had to stop driving.
The deal breaker was the up coming long stretch I was expected to do.My dad could well be gone by thensad.
Thank you all for the replies..I like the one stating I've been doing over my hrs already.The contract says 40 hrs with more as agreed.I have worked in places when senior staff had to opt out and do 70 hr weeks.
No such clause in our contracts.

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whatisforteamum Thu 27-Jul-17 08:13:21

It is a small business and like I say our boss walked out its so dreadful .I know they have a Student doing some helping out and they are saving well over 30 k by not replacing the boss who walked plus my wage.they can afford a temp its basic work now just v long days.

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Mulledwine1 Thu 27-Jul-17 09:27:35

OP do you or do you not owe them money? If not, don't worry. They won't sue you for lack of notice, however aggrieved they feel.

If you do owe them money (ignore the working hours, have they paid you in advance?) then repay it. I would not get into a tit for tat grievance etc however unreasonable they have been, just pay them whatever is owing (eg if you've worked one week but they've paid you for two, repay one week) and move on.

whatisforteamum Thu 27-Jul-17 12:14:29

I don't owe a penny they owe me tbh I'm glad to leave it for them and have stated this in my reply.I hope this is the end of the matter

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daisychain01 Thu 27-Jul-17 13:40:51

All the very best whatis. Sounds like you've had a horrendous time.

Walk away, head held high and hope you get a new job where you are treated like a human being. I hope things go as well as can be expected for your poor dad sad

MrsNuckyThompson Thu 27-Jul-17 13:46:43

You have breached the contract and owe them the money.

However in reality they are highly highly unlikely to sue you for it.

whatisforteamum Thu 27-Jul-17 18:31:39

Just found out my colleague rang hmrc to get her emergency tax back...she didn't exist so she reported them and told the company what she had done.Such unease about those people I'm well rid.I do however have all my payslips even though the tax looks low.
Thanks for all the advice .

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Allthebestnamesareused Thu 27-Jul-17 18:35:27

If you have left without giving your month's notice they would be able to claim a month's pay from you as you have breached the contract. Most employment contracts are like this

MrsPorth Thu 27-Jul-17 21:01:39

Did they pay National Minimum Wage? Might be worth checking your hours against your pay - they might owe you money! If you report them to HMRC's NMW helpline they'll obtain the additional money for you, and penalise the company.

whatisforteamum Fri 28-Jul-17 13:33:00

Yes the whole thing is a mess about 14 of us are worried although I have several payslips and a p60.I'm not sure the HMRC are aware the company exists!!.I've got a feeling he won't pursue it due to. all the errors he has made.Legally employees have to be given contracts with 3 months of being taken on I just got mine 8 months later.

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flowery Fri 28-Jul-17 14:56:19

"If you have left without giving your month's notice they would be able to claim a month's pay from you as you have breached the contract"

The OP states clearly that she does not owe them money. The only thing they could seek in legal action as a result of her breach of contract is financial loss they have incurred. Unless they've paid her in advance or incurred other additional expenses as a result of her not being there (unusual), this is unlikely to be the case.

TittyGolightly Fri 28-Jul-17 15:29:10

I'm not sure the HMRC are aware the company exists!!.

You can sign up online for a personal tax account with HMRC and see what info they have about your employment.

I've got a feeling he won't pursue it due to. all the errors he has made.Legally employees have to be given contracts with 3 months of being taken on I just got mine 8 months later.

That's not quite true.

whatisforteamum Sat 29-Jul-17 08:04:46

Oh OK thanks that is what he told me.Meanwhile Dads as arms arm black and bleed at the slightest knock his swollen legs leak fluid and he has a frame to walk.Obviously I'm not getting paid.
I feel like I'm living in a nightmare.I'm seeing my gp Monday as I've been suffering panic attack on and off all year even though I was relatively happy before all this
Thank you for taking the time to advise me.
You are all amazing..

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