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Can DH's boss make him pay for accidental damage?

(10 Posts)
smallone Mon 09-Nov-09 14:17:26

Can anyone advise please, DH is a fitter and has gone into someones house and accidentally damaged their ceiling, his boss refuses to cover the damage and is making DH go on his day off to repair the damage himself.

His boss is a real stinge with things like this, they have to buy their own essential tools for the job, which are not insured by the company. They have to pay for any damage to their vehicles regardless of blame. Any mistakes on bills are claimed out of their wages etc.

DH is generally hacked off with working his arse off for him and is looking for another job but every week something seems to happen that makes us worse off. GRRR!

LIZS Mon 09-Nov-09 18:08:05

Should n't they have some sort of professional indemnity insurance to cover these cases.

CantSleepWontSleep Mon 09-Nov-09 18:28:19

Is he self-employed or employed by his boss?

smallone Tue 10-Nov-09 09:04:18

He's employed, unfortunately his boss takes the view that it was his fault so he has to pay.

ajandjjmum Tue 10-Nov-09 09:10:32

If your dh has the skills to repair it, wouldn't it have been easier just to do it in the first place?

We all make mistakes - the person who doesn't is the person who does nothing. But if it was me, I would want to put it right.

smallone Tue 10-Nov-09 09:24:15

Yes thats the thing, its a crack in a ceiling caused by a moving joist in the loft. He is able to fill and paint the crack but doesnt have any of the stuff to do that with so has to get his own stuff and go back. If it was something that he was unable to fix himself, the company would pay for a professional to do the job and then deduct the cost from his wages. Its not that DH doesn't think it should be fixed, he does, its that he is responsible for the costs rather than the company.

ajandjjmum Tue 10-Nov-09 09:30:12

That's always a pain, when you have to go back for something small! Having said that, if the joist has moved, isn't that just an unforeseen result of the work, rather than an accident? Seems harsh that your DH can't go back and do it in normal work time.

callmeovercautious Tue 10-Nov-09 10:03:34

His boss should have insurance, employers liability and professional indemnity. As his employer he has under law "vicarious liability" for your DHs actions while he is carrying out his job. This means the boss is liable for any genuine errors like this not your DH. Otherwise who would ever bother working if we could be sued for any little error? Think of it like this.... If a Surgen makes a mistake and a patient dies it is the Hospital the family get compensated by not the Surgen otherwise they would all be in prison for Manslaughter by now.

If they deduct anyhing from his wages this falls under "illegal deductions from wages" and therefore your dh would be able to make a claim to a tribunal.

I suggest you get down to the CAB and ask for some proper advice on this.

smallone Tue 10-Nov-09 13:25:08

Thankyou for your responses. Unfortunately his boss seems to have an answer for everything. DH says he would make him pay the excess on any claim and that unless it was going to cost £1000's its not worth it. He's just left to go and do the repair so its too late to argue this one, hopefully he'll find a new job sooner rather than later and it won't be a problem again. I'll have my heart in my mouth all afternoon tho, coz if anything happens to him while he's there I'm betting that his boss will claim that he's not covered by anything coz he's working outside of company time.

I don't understand how anyone can shaft their own employees like this and still expect to get their best performance.

HappyAccident Tue 10-Nov-09 13:56:50

Smallone - please see the CAB about this. Even if your dh gets another job, his current boss should not be allowed to continue behaving like this to his other employees.

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