Anyone good with employee rights? Lots of advice needed.. *DRAMATIC UPDATE* *EVEN MORE DRAMATIC UPDATE - lol * - HotUKDeals
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Anyone good with employee rights? Lots of advice needed.. *DRAMATIC UPDATE* *EVEN MORE DRAMATIC UPDATE - lol *

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Hi guys and gals. Hoping your input can help me with this one, seem to have landed myself in a bit of a sticky situation. I work for a small business (employs 3 people) which requires me and the tw… Read More
baconsandwich Avatar
8y, 2m agoPosted 8 years, 2 months ago
Hi guys and gals. Hoping your input can help me with this one, seem to have landed myself in a bit of a sticky situation.

I work for a small business (employs 3 people) which requires me and the two others to drive a company van.

On friday I took the van to the job I was designated to. To get to this particular place I usually take the motorway. On this occassion my boss told me to set my sat nav not to take the motorway as it would be quicker to take scenic route.

So, travelling down the country roads, I come across a ford (water in the road for people who don't know). I took note of the level indicator at the side of the road which clearly showed the water was below the minimum marked height on the indicator.

So I decided to drive the van through it.. Got right to the end of the water and the van stalled. Then it wouldnt start again, it was turning over but just not starting. I used the starter motor to edge myself out of the way of the other traffic and the van started briefly again at one point..

Anyway, after getting my boss to drop off my car so I could continue my job that day, he stayed and got the AA to tow the van back.

Upon returning to the office, my boss then tells me that it looks like it needs a new engine and I would have to pay the excess which is nearly 400 quid because I'm under 25!!!!! I knew there was company policy in place that said if I had an accident or carlessly wrecked the van I would have to pay the excess, however this was not reckless or careless, and he told me to take that route!

Absolutely outraged I had nothing to say. Well, I had a lot to say but I knew I needed to calm down first.

Went home and wrote him an email clearly stating the points why I thought it was unreasonable.
- He told me to take that route.
- I took note of the level indicator (I have a picture of this and attached it).
- I had no reason to think the van couldnt negotiate the ford and have had no specific training regarding this, infact no training regarding a company vehicle at all.
- The policy about excess refers to carlessness or recklessness, I was not driving recklessly in any way but rather trying to fulfil the specific instructions he had given me. This was just an unfortunate occurrence for which I can take no responsibility.

So, I sent that friday evening. It's now Monday morning and I have had no reply. I'm not at work today because I booked the day off last week.

Im not sure I wan't to go back there if this is their "policy". I know how badly the business is doing at the moment and he just won't absorb any more costs, so he wants to take it out of my wages (which are almost minimum wage anyway!!).

Ideally I'd like to find a new job but this is not a good time :-(

What are my rights on using all of my 4 weeks holiday at once and relentlessly searching for a new job? Ideally I'd like this to start tomorrow..
baconsandwich Avatar
8y, 2m agoPosted 8 years, 2 months ago
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#1
I really think you would be best offf talking to Citizens advice on this one!! VERY INVOLVED!
Good luck
#2
If I were you I would ring your local Citizens Advice office, they should hopefully point you in the right direction.
#3
snowtiger
I really think you would be best offf talking to Citizens advice on this one!! VERY INVOLVED!
Good luck


Agree, but CAB cutbacks mean they rarely assist unless you are on benefits these days. If he is in a union maybe the union legal team could advise.
#4
What are my rights on using all of my 4 weeks holiday at once and relentlessly searching for a new job? Ideally I'd like this to start tomorrow..


When is your Holiday Year? It's doubtful you have built up 4 weeks holiday in your work year. They may give you them at the start of the year, but you need to work through to the following year to "earn" them all.
#5
highguyuk
When is your Holiday Year? It's doubtful you have built up 4 weeks holiday in your work year. They may give you them at the start of the year, but you need to work through to the following year to "earn" them all.


Well I'm contracted 20 days holiday each year (work a 5 day week). Been there since august and I've only taken a couple days off.. I assumed that I get 20 days to take off between jan 1st and dec 31st..:thinking:
[mod]#6
This is a pretty tricky case.
Under employment contracts and associated duties and rights there are 3 implied duties and one of these implied duties is a duty to exercise reasonable care which extends to your employers property. It would be up to an ET as to whether you would be liable for the damage caused but I personally would think no as you were in the "ordinary course of your business" whilst driving the van. You had not decided to drive through someones field and act negligently. This would though be up to the ET.
With regards to your holiday, this is entirely up to the discretion of your employer. You have a right to holiday but not a right to take it all at once.
If you are dismissed and you wish to contest this it can be done under S111(2)(a)Employment Rights Act 1996 and must be presented to the ET within 3 months of the effective date of your termination of employment.
Hope this helps!
#7
most employers dont let you take your full holiday entitlement at once even if you have accrued it.
#8
didnt you have an almost similar thread before? how did that one turn out?
#9
baconsandwich;4528272
Well I'm contracted 20 days holiday each year (work a 5 day week). Been there since august and I've only taken a couple days off.. I assumed that I get 20 days to take off between jan 1st and dec 31st..:thinking:


You'd need to find out when your Holiday Leave Year is.
But, if it's Jan 1st - Dec 31st and you have 20 days, you'd be allowed to take 5 off between Jan 1st and March 31st. (If you left at March 31st for example).
#10
baconsandwich
Well I'm contracted 20 days holiday each year (work a 5 day week). Been there since august and I've only taken a couple days off.. I assumed that I get 20 days to take off between jan 1st and dec 31st..:thinking:


If your holiday runs Jan-Dec, and you get 20 days p.a., that works out at 1.66 days per month. If, for example, you have to give a months notice (taking you up to the end of March), and you haven't taken any holiday since the beginning of the year, you'd be entitled to 5 days paid holiday.

If you take any more than that, it will be unpaid.
#11
Try ACAS, they have proven to be really good with issues I have had to raise in the past. You can phone them and they give really good advice.

http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=1461
#12
the only thing that springs to mind about the van situation is that if it needs a new engine, water has entered the engine block somehow. Even if the level of the ford was below the warning marker, driving through it at anything over a crawl would cause a sort of bow-wave which could raise the water level by another few inches - possibly enough to allow water in to the engine. I'm not saying its your fault or that your boss is right in what hes doing, just thinking out the possibilities.
#13
Have you tried asking for advise on MSE? they're very good on things like this.:)
#14
Tough one, Couple of quick questions:

How long have you been with the company?
The company def does not have a Van driving policy guide?
Your not in a union are you?

I don't think they can force you to play the excess, they may have to do disiplinary hearing with you though.

You could ask your boss for clarification on what he would do in the situation as you have never had training on this or have a van policy guide for this type of situation.

Good luck.
#15
Most employers would still require you to request the time off and have a veto on whether or not you can take it at anytime. Staying away will not help the issue anyway.
As for the van issue, dont send emails, when you go back tomorrow ask him for a meeting to talk it through without being at all agressive.

Most employers will talk and ideally would be to have a witness but not essential.
Dont admit to anything just talk it over you may find that face to face the whole situation may calm down... You have to see his side, a small employer can ill afford any extra expense at this time and if he thinks for one minute that maybe you ploughed into the ford and therefore contributing to the damage then you can imagine why he would get upset. You just need to tell him what happened and if sincere I am sure it will help.....
#16
ifyoudontask?
Tough one, Couple of quick questions:

How long have you been with the company?
The company def does not have a Van driving policy guide?
Your not in a union are you?

I don't think they can force you to play the excess, they may have to do disiplinary hearing with you though.

You could ask your boss for clarification on what he would do in the situation as you have never had training on this or have a van policy guide for this type of situation.

Good luck.


Since August.
No guide that I am aware of?
Nope we're not in a union.

I wouldnt be suprised If I see a massive hole in my wages this month (which were supposed to be in my bank account today which is still empty).

I don't think even he knows what to do in this sitation.. Sounds like he paniced.

Anyway.. still no reply to my email to him. Very unlike him not to have a response.
#17
baconsandwich
Since August. - You prob have very little rights then!

No guide that I am aware of? - Might be good for you!

Nope we're not in a union. - Ok

I wouldnt be suprised If I see a massive hole in my wages this month (which were supposed to be in my bank account today which is still empty). Not too sure he can do that! check with ACAS on 08457 474747

I don't think even he knows what to do in this sitation.. Sounds like he paniced. - He prob has no idea what to do!

Anyway.. still no reply to my email to him. Very unlike him not to have a response.
- he will be getting advice, the same as you!

Good luck!
#18
I did exactly the same thing a few years ago in my Maestro van, went too fast through a Ford and water got sucked in through the air intake.

Had to have a new engine.
#19
Been on hold to ACAS for nearly half an hour now..
#20
i hate to hear about individuals beng treated badly by their employers.

hope you are able to get some help.

perhaps find a solicitor and seek some legal advice if you dont get any joy from CAB
#21
tinkerbell28
They get busy as they are a free service and I expect in this climate they will be very busy, they are very good though.


Well after being on hold for an hour.. they didn't really help.

Just basically said if the policy says I'm responsible for any accidents then I am liable.

Also that I should challenge the policy by sending my employer a formal greievience.

This is what it says in my contract about the company vehicles..

"You are repsonsible for the ensuring that any company vehicle used by yourself is kept in a clean condition. If you are involved in an accident and it is your fault, you will be responsible for the insurance excess cost incurred. If damage is caused outside an insurance claim then you will be responble to cover the cost of the repair".

Suppose it's about how you interpretate that. Personally I don't see this an an "accident" or entirely my fault.

:cry:
[mod]#22
baconsandwich
Well after being on hold for an hour.. they didn't really help.

Just basically said if the policy says I'm responsible for any accidents then I am liable.

Also that I should challenge the policy by sending my employer a formal greievience.

This is what it says in my contract about the company vehicles..

"You are repsonsible for the ensuring that any company vehicle used by yourself is kept in a clean condition. If you are involved in an accident and it is your fault, you will be responsible for the insurance excess cost incurred. If damage is caused outside an insurance claim then you will be responble to cover the cost of the repair".

Suppose it's about how you interpretate that. Personally I don't see this an an "accident" or entirely my fault.

:cry:


....which ACAS told you the same as what I did earlier.

The way to deal with this is to compromise with your employer or take it to a ET for them to give you a ruling.
#23
So today I walk into work and he's sat there with a newly appointed HR consultant.

You can guess what happened next. Yes, he fired me.

He said verbally its because of how I handled the situation, not taking responsibility.

However the letter he's given me says its because my decision to drive through the ford amounts to negligence.

I dunno what to do.. I'm just so upset :-(
#24
baconsandwich
So today I walk into work and he's sat there with a newly appointed HR consultant.

You can guess what happened next. Yes, he fired me.

He said verbally its because of how I handled the situation, not taking responsibility.

However the letter he's given me says its because my decision to drive through the ford amounts to negligence.

I dunno what to do.. I'm just so upset :-(


Sounds like a strong case for unfair dismissal to me. You a member of a union? They'll probably be more use than ACAS.
#25
megalomaniac
Sounds like a strong case for unfair dismissal to me. You a member of a union? They'll probably be more use than ACAS.


No union.
#26
I don't know whether to plead with him to let me go on my own accord (obviously its going to be impossible to find a new job after being fired).

Or to take this to a tribunal..

I really need some professional help :-(
#27
As others have said try your local Citizens Advice Bureaux http://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/.
#28
I'd seriously get some professional advice to be honest. There are a few people on here who no doubt can point you in the right direction. It sounds like you are best of out of that place - but at the same time getting fired through no real fault of your own must be hard. Good luck.

On my summer break from Uni a few years back I worked for a local sandwich company doing a round in a van - I found out shortly after quitting that they hadn't bothered to insure me on any of the vehicles despite saying they had :roll:
#29
Complete unfair dismissal. Strong case. Take further advice and persue.
#30
baconsandwich
I don't know whether to plead with him to let me go on my own accord (obviously its going to be impossible to find a new job after being fired).

Or to take this to a tribunal..

I really need some professional help :-(

Don't let him get away with it take him to the cleaners the pig.
#31
Been on the phone to ACAS again.

Basically told me that because I was there less than a year it would be difficult for me get to a tribunal for unfair dismissal.

But... since he's taking the excess out of my wages, he's breaking the law. Therefore a solicitor may be able to take the case to a tribunal where I can get my case heard.

This is such a mess, what a devestating day..

edit: can anyone give me any advice on how a solictor works? what fees are involved? i've never had to go anywhere near one in my life and know very little about that world.
#32
Do you have legal cover on your house insurance ?
#33
deanos
Do you have legal cover on your house insurance ?


no. maybe my parents do? i dunno if that's any help, i live in a rented flat. i'm 23.
#34
Sorry to worry you more but could also have probs with ESA if been sacked. Can be viewed as making yourself intentionally unemployed.
However the CAB may now assist you. Give them a try.
[mod]#35
I have tried giving you professional advice twice which has been ignored and not even acknowledged. Not too courteous in my opinion.

Still, good luck.
#36
magicjay1986
....which ACAS told you the same as what I did earlier.

The way to deal with this is to compromise with your employer or take it to a ET for them to give you a ruling.


Thankyou for the advice. It was not ignored I can assure you.

I was actually wiling to discuss a compromise with my employer today if it came to it.. Unfortunately he took the descision to dismiss me with no discussion.

I have been talking to ACAS about an ET, however I have been told I am not eligable due to having worked there less than 12 months.

Honestly, I really do appreciate everyone's input on this thread and no comments have gone ignored. This has been a very stressful and trying time for me and it's been difficult to keep composure.
#37
difficult situation, sorry to hear that, only option may be to write to him explaining that it is not legal to take the damages out of your wages and you will be contacting your solicitor if this is not amended within 5 working days.

Dont think you have any chance of a tribunal to be honest, anything under a year is very difficult.
banned#38
Wow looks like he was just looking for a reason to make cut backs, don't forget also your future car insurance will now cost a lot more, so he has really porked you one. Feel for you mate, I'm guessing he knew about the ford and the possible out come especially this time of year
#39
I dunno. I just sent him an email pleading to revoke the dismissal and to let me take a voulentary redundancy.

Figured it was my best bet.
#40
So I sent him my heartfelt email.

He just rang me asking if I'd like to go to a restuarant with him tonight at 6.30 and "we'll see what we can do".

WTF?

lol

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