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Employer refusing to reissue an expired expenses cheque (after Finance told me they 'don't really expire')

(14 Posts)
MonkeyLover Thu 07-Aug-08 13:39:55

OK the cheque for a few flights is quite old (end 2006) and I am a bit disorganised. But I found it a few months ago and asked Finance dept if they expired, and they said no. So I decided to keep it safe (i.e. not in my bank account) until I was on maternity allowance, by which time I would need the money.

When I tried to lodge it and the bank said it had expired the Finance guy at work said to post it in and he'd reissue. Now after chasing him for 6 weeks (during which time he said it was on my boss' desk), I get a letter saying it had been written off and I'd been warned that it would be (I absolutely hadn't).

So what do I do? I'm v. v. angry. I'm thinking of resigning anyway for unrelated reasons. Am thinking this is the last in a long line of constructive dismissal nonsense from work ref. pregnancy, maternity etc so think they'd be pleased.

Thinking about an open resignation letter to whole company address book citing this as the final straw.

But do I jeopardize chance of a reference for a few pounds?

squiffy Thu 07-Aug-08 13:55:48

It would be very very foolish to send out an email - everyone will laugh at you for one thing. And yes, it would hurt your reference.

But I would be very angry in your position about this. And it does sound as if they are messing you around for the sake of it. Bet they'd reissue it if it was the MD's expenses....

What else has been going on though to make this the final straw? Depending on what they have done you might have a case...

thefunkypea Thu 07-Aug-08 13:59:56

Is it your boss who is blocking the reissue of your cheque? If that happened in my finance dept you'd probably get a 'telling off' for being useless but we'd still give you your money back (obviously that's assuming there are no other issues). If you left the cheque without paying it in (for flights, so I'm guessing it's quite a large cheque) for the best part of two years, and didn't notice, you can't be that hard up hmm

flowerybeanbag Thu 07-Aug-08 14:17:10

Definitely don't send an email, all it will achieve is everyone rolling their eyes at you and thinking you are bitter and twisted.

Is there an expenses policy? What does it say about this type of thing? Who's the letter from, have you spoken to that person? Conversation better than letter correspondence for getting some action and/or understanding I think.

flowerybeanbag Thu 07-Aug-08 14:17:11

Definitely don't send an email, all it will achieve is everyone rolling their eyes at you and thinking you are bitter and twisted.

Is there an expenses policy? What does it say about this type of thing? Who's the letter from, have you spoken to that person? Conversation better than letter correspondence for getting some action and/or understanding I think.

flowerybeanbag Thu 07-Aug-08 14:17:33

ooh sorry, don't know how that happened!

MonkeyLover Thu 07-Aug-08 14:19:15

Mmm don't want to lose a good reference or be a laughing stock. I do want to either resolve this or get some sort of satisfaction, though (aka revenge grin)

I've had 2 children in quick succession since I started 2 1/2 years ago. This was after being specifically asked by the MD at the interview whether I intended to have any children. I evaded the question, but the MD's a bit old school and he's been pretty frosty since I announced 2nd pg.

I also didn't get my annual bonus because I was on maternity leave for part of last year. After a big hoo-ha I got a bonus a few months later for a particular achievement.

Seems like the company have been a bit tight and are not keen to keep me. This is the worst bit.

Yes Funkypea, you're right I'm not going to starve because of this but let's say finances are a lot more strained 18 months and 2 dcs down the road from when the cheque was issued.

MonkeyLover Thu 07-Aug-08 14:24:12

xposted flowerybeanbag.

I made the mistake of doing all this verbally at the time and got duff advice from finance, which the finance guy's now denying (he's the one who signed the letter saying it can't be reissued). So I'd prefer to do it in writing.

FWIW I think I am bitter & twisted but shouldn't really advertise the fact. So taking deep breaths & asking for sane advice before I do anything.

flowerybeanbag Thu 07-Aug-08 14:28:11

Oh I agree with your point about doing stuff in writing, you're absolutely right. Just if you want to challenge something, push it a bit, easier to do that in person ideally or over the phone.

Is there a higher-up Finance person you could speak to and/or write to explaining the duff advice you were given and that obviously otherwise you would have banked the cheque immediately?

What about your boss? What does he/she say about it and is he/she willing to sort it for you?

Try to untangle some of the twistedness if you can to look at the big picture, think about what's the best outcome of all of this for you, not what's the outcome they deserve, and take it from there.

thefunkypea Thu 07-Aug-08 14:49:27

On the finance side, I agree with Flowery, if you went to see the appropriate head of dept and explained, it's unlikely that there would be an issue. Most firms anyway moved to BACS payment systems long ago to avoid the problem of cheques being mislaid, so you won't have been the first person they have had to reissue a cheque to (unless there is some strange but hard and fast policy in place that they don;t reissue cheques). If an external supplier were to approach finance and explain that a cheque hadn't been banked and needed reissuing, finance wouldn't say no to that (simply cancel the original cheque and reissue). If they are saying that they wrote off your cheque, then that was naive on their part, as employees ALWAYS want to be reimbursed and there would ALWAYS be a good reason why it hadn't been. They should take more responsibility for not following up. And, despite my earlier catty remark, although the cheque is probably a lot for you, it will be peanuts for your firm, and this just seems to be a lot of bureaucratic nonsense.

Freckle Thu 07-Aug-08 15:25:51

At the end of the day, this is money that the company owes you. They may say they have paid you by giving you a cheque, but until that cheque is presented and the money transferred into your account, they haven't paid you.

If you were still employed by them, why on earth didn't they contact you to query the non-presentation of the cheque before writing it off? Send them a letter, setting out exactly what they owe you and asking them to transfer the money directly into your account. If they don't pay you, it could be classed as unauthorised deduction of wages.

MonkeyLover Thu 07-Aug-08 15:32:24

Sage advice, Flowery and Funkypea. I'll call my boss to ask him to be reasonable. I know he made the decision in the first place, though.

Like the bit about them being naive for writing it off. I'll use that.

I think it's more than bureaucracy. There have been some redundancies and it seems to be a money-saving exercise, however small the saving.

So I'll cool down and make the call (once I've stopped swearing like a soldier).

MonkeyLover Thu 07-Aug-08 15:34:40

xpost freckle - juggling mn and 2 wrigglers.

Sounds good Freckle. I'll put that in the stiff letter if the friendly chat doesn't work.

If teh stiff letter doesn't work I'll post them rotten fish.

armarda Thu 07-Aug-08 22:25:23

I do sympathise but just to see things from the other side, FWIW if an employee of mine withheld a largish expenses cheque for 2 years I wouldn't be that impressed - that would have been a business expense from 2006 and yet I would now end up paying it out of the 2008 budget for my team which could well put me in a difficult position. I'm not sure if you could really say this is "constructive dismissal style" issue?

May also be worth pushing the bank as to whether they really can't accept it. Perhaps just try paying it in at another branch and see what happens?

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