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SACKED BY MY OWN HUSBAND!(29 Posts)
I am looking for some advice please! My husband left me in October last year with no warning whatsoever, subsequently discovered he had been having an affair. I worked for his building company receiving a monthly salary. A few days after leaving, he "sacked" me, with no warning, nothing and had his accountants send me my P45. He just said that my salary had "ceased". He then sacked the accountants as he didn't want me to be able to access any information about his company as he had been working for the OW and was trying to cover it up. I would like to know where I stand legally. Do I have good grounds to take him to a tribunal and would I receive compensation if I won? I can get legal aid of this as he has left me on Income Support. Any advice would be gratefully received! Thanks all :-)
Did you actually do any work, or was your job a sham?
Collaborate...I did his admin, typing, emails, raising invoices, that sort of thing. Plus other chores, all working from home and around children. All the normal admin/secretarial stuff. When you mean sham, do you mean did he just pay me to reduce tax? In which case, no.
Did you have a contract? If so then yes I would imagine you could take this to court if you had not broken anything in the contract.
I didn't have a contract, no, but was on the payroll, paid tax and NI etc. I didn't do anything! He just wanted me unable to access anything about the company. Even the accountants said "take legal advice". I am dealing with a really messy and nasty divorce so have left this to one side for now, but feel that I can't just let it go. There is a protocol for sacking somebody, written warning etc. I wasn't made redundant! It's outrageous and as he has left me so financially disabled, cutting off everything, I am not going to let him get away with this. He wouldn't have been able to do it without me, such a scumbag!
Go to citizens advice - not having a written contract is I think against employment law in itself. Lack of one Wouldn't stop you bringing a claim for unfair dismissal - but you need someone to have a look at the circumstances and tell you have a basis for a claim, which is against the company not your husband (although I appreciate that they may seem inseparable!)
I think there's a three month limit to make any sort of claim - when were you "sacked"?
You only have 3 months to lodge a claim in the employment tribunal so you need to move quickly. If you were sacked in October, I strongly suspect you are too late to do anything about it now, whatever the merits. So sorry, this sounds like a horrible situation
Is it a limited company, partnership, sole trader?
Does it have assets - in the event of a court awarding you the money, does the company have assets which could be seized by bailiffs? Is the company actually likely to pay you... or simply close, leaving you as a creditor?
MissMalonex2 Yes I thought that too actually. I will definitely see CAB first. Thank you.
nannynick I was employed for 5 years and have all my payslips. I was also company secretary for a period until that was no longer required by Companies House. I might use it as a lever in mediation actually as he is trying to screw me over financially. Not content with ruining mine and the kids lives, he keeps coming back for more! Torture :-(
Sorry, messages coming in fast. Right, Limited company, I had no idea it was only 3 months. Bloody hell! Mind you, he won't know that, so I might just see what happens in mediation. He does have assets although currently trying to move them by creating new companies he thinks I don't know about. He is a total arse, he really is.
It looks like it's too late for formal action, however, I am going to mention it in mediation and see what he says.
EX301 - Dispute - read this for guidance on if the situation is a dispute that the MoneyClaim process can handle. It has details of where to find information about resolving dispute without involving court, and where to find details of court fees.
MCOL QuickStart - then read this guide to the MoneyClaim process. Pre-Action protocols need to be followed, so trying to negotiate a settlement figure for example. The claim needs to be for a fixed amount of money, less than £10,000 and both parties must be in England or Wales.
I presume Scotland, Northern Ireland and other places have their own procedures for small money claims.
Mediation sounds the thing to do first... set out exactly what you feel you are owed and aim to settle out of court. If the amount is under £10k and you are in England/Wales, then look at taking via small claims as that will have lower court fees.
nannynick, are you telling me to do small claims as a way to get round the 3 month limit on tribunal applications? If I thought I could do it, I would, I am familiar with MCOL as I have used it before. I think in my case it would be 1.5 weeks salary per each year of employment so not a huge amount but enough for me to have an emergency fund of sorts.
Yes, I can't see anything about there being a timescale limit in making a claim. You will need to read all the info about MoneyClaim but skim reading it, I can't see why that method could not be used, assuming the amount involved is within the 10k limit.
You feel you are owed x amount, the company feels you are not owed x amount... so it's a dispute between you and the company with regard to the fixed amount.
Your evidence will be the payslips, any communication you have with regard to the job duties and working terms. You would be looking at claiming for the Statutory Notice Period. Your P45 will detail what has been paid, your P60 when it comes (if it comes) will detail pay for 2013/14 financial year. Your previous P60s will detail pay for the previous years.
Thus you will be able to calculate what is a weeks pay, prove how many years you have worked for the company, prove that you have not been paid statutory notice.
What may be questionable is if you were dismissed for gross misconduct or not. Not sure how they would deal with that but I feel it would up to the company to prove that was the case.
I am not legally trained, so seek advice. ACAS may be worth a chat to, in terms of confirming what happens when someone is dismissed without notice having worked 5 years for a company. They should be able to confirm statutory notice period applies.
Did you have a job title? I ask this as my ExH was employed by my business in a specific role as 'spouse'. I took employment law advice and as he resigned his position as my spouse by leaving me for OW I could just let him go, though I did pay one months notice. Mine was a very specific set of circumstances, but it can be complicated.
You would probably be better off posting in Employment Issues, but to answer a few points:
An employment contact can be verbal, it does not have to be written down.
All employers are required to provide employees a written statement of employment particulars that set out things like holiday, pay, notice period etc. More details in the link.
You have 3 months less one day to make a claim to an employment tribunal for unfair dismissal cases. However, you can make some employment related claims via the civil court (county or high in England and Wales). This would include breach of contract which may apply in your case and you have up to 6 years.
There is no legal aid for employment related cases in England and Wales, there was in Scotland but I'm not sure if that is still the case.
In your case you should consider the following when making a claim for breach of contract: outstanding holiday pay, notice pay and any other losses or damages incurred. Do mention the circumstances, eg married to business owner and that when your marriage broke down he terminated your employment. You should also try to resolve the issue before taking legal action if you can - often a short letter will do it.
Do please try to have a consultation with a lawyer, because even if you make the claim yourself it is important to have all your legal arguments and evidence prepared.
K8Middleton..thanks so much for such an informative post. I will look into this in more detail over the weekend, that's brilliant, thank you. I think I will try to get a settlement via mediation first...but I think there is a definite case for breach of contract. Thanks all, you've been really helpful!
This is a very common situation on divorce. You are out if time for a claim for unfair dismissal but I agree that you could still make a claim for notice period etc
Having said that you need proper divorce advice as how this all sits in the divorce itself. - if you do not have a family lawyer have a look at the resolution website - the divorce lawyer will advise you re employment matter as well. Good luck
babybarrister...thank you for your additional advice!
you really need to speak to your family lawyer before issuing any type of further claim as they may impact on eachother
in any event your ex has rather shot himself in the foot as he will now have to pay some extra maintenance as you do not have a job ....!
I will do. I am in a complete mess, he withdrew all financial support immediately, cutting off the utilities, Sky, daughter's & my mobile phones, oh it goes on. Left me to claim income support, tax credits and mortgage interest relief. Pays me minimal maintenance and is hinting at applying for custody of our son. Hiding money, pretending mistress is broke (widow of 6 months when they got together, husband killed, firefighter)...oh it goes on. So, if I can get even a small out for breach of contact I will.
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