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  • FIRST POST
    sleekmeek
    Employer Not Paying Wages
    • #1
    • 17th Aug 08, 2:29 PM
    Employer Not Paying Wages 17th Aug 08 at 2:29 PM
    Hi,
    I am in a predicament at work, the company I work for is in a spot of bother as they have lots of invoices outstanding but no money in the bank. Due to this they have said that they cant pay the staff this month, when I found out about this I said that if I dont get paid my wages (which are salaried) I will not come into work until I am, which I feel I am within my rights to do so, as I am in a contract with my employer to pay me monthly for 148 hours work per month.
    They have told me however that if I do not turn up for work they will start disciplinary proceedings regarding me not attending.
    However my employer not paying me a months wages, and hence braking the contract between ourselves will mean I wont be able to pay my rent and any bills I get meaning I will have to get over drafts etc. which I shouldnt need to do!
    I am not a member of any union but was wondering what my rights are and if they can begin disciplinary action against me?
    Any help would be much appreciated
    Thanks!
Page 1
  • nzmegs
    • #2
    • 17th Aug 08, 2:46 PM
    • #2
    • 17th Aug 08, 2:46 PM
    I would be looking for another job ASAP. If they cannot pay wages then they are in serious trouble. Are you paid in arrears or in advance. meaning have you already done work which you will not be paid for or is for work you are due to complete.
    Have they given any inication of when you are likely to be paid? If it is just a matter of a week or two and then things will go back to normal then perhaps you could give them the benefit of the doubt.
    But i have to say that if any company is unable to pay wages then they are in deep trouble. wages should ALWAYS be the priority.
  • mrtg0525
    • #3
    • 17th Aug 08, 2:58 PM
    • #3
    • 17th Aug 08, 2:58 PM
    Agree with nzmegs - make looking for another job a priority. The "invoices outstanding" doesn't really wash as there would be ways around it (like invoice factoring) which would at least alleviate the cashflow problems.

    IMHO (not a lawyer, not even a barroom lawyer) they are in breach of contract if they're not paying you as you exchange your labour for their money and they're not upholding their end of the bargain so them starting disciplinary proceedings is more than a tad rich in my opinion. Are they expecting you to work for free? This month, next month, until money comes in or the cows come home?

    Actually, a word with the CAB may be in order to get some advice for your situation. It would also be good to know what the actual situation is - are they promising to pay a couple of days late (which is one thing) or are they saying that they won't pay you at all, or "whenever"?

    Of course there's also the slight question of the company potentially being insolvent if it can't meet its payroll and that's not a good thing.

    BTW, is it a limited company?
  • LittleVoice
    • #4
    • 17th Aug 08, 3:04 PM
    • #4
    • 17th Aug 08, 3:04 PM
    Hi,
    . . . Due to this they have said that they cant pay the staff this month,
    Originally posted by sleekmeek
    So they have paid you for July but doubt being in a position to pay you in August.

    When would you normally be paid for August - right at the end of the month (31st or thereabouts) or mid-month (so that you are paid partly in arrears and partly in advance in relation to when you do the work for them)?

    If you haven't yet gone past the contracted time for paying you, they haven't yet broken the contract so refusing to go into work is probably not a good idea - particularly if you don't have the statement as a definite thing in writing. However, I think that it appears you could claim that the mutuality of trust has broken down - and that is part of the employment contract.
  • Niks
    • #5
    • 19th Aug 08, 7:27 PM
    • #5
    • 19th Aug 08, 7:27 PM
    My husband is in the same situation as you. For example, he was owed a bonus (contractually) on 31 March - he's still yet to receive it. Also, since January this year they've been late in paying salary on several occasions - and blaming a well known and highly regarded bank for the "oversights"! When my husband said he was going to write a letter of complaint to this particular bank the employers said that they would not be happy if he did this and that the bank didn't owe him and explanation. They also stated his bonus would be held in a separate account (one we have since found out does not exist).

    We only got married recently and they KNEW our situation but instead of letting my husband know of problems they would promise (more often than not in writing) payment "by close of tomorrow" on about 8 occasions now.

    It is not just my husband that has not been paid, other staff too - the directors have now stated that if the staff don't stop whinging then they'll close the company down!

    They also blame this on unpaid invoices their end from clients/customers but we think this also isn't true....

    Where do we stand? I think it's constructive dismissal obviously because we're not sure if he will get paid at the end of this month either - we're already overdrawn through no fault of our own and incurring further costs.

    Does anyone know if a tribunal awarded a constructive dismissal/loss of earnings against them that they would still be liable to pay if they then did fold the company?

    Any advice much appreciated......
  • timbellina
    • #6
    • 22nd Aug 08, 5:08 PM
    • #6
    • 22nd Aug 08, 5:08 PM
    Niks - don't think it would be constructive dismissal. The company are in breach of contract from what you say. How about small claims court? Just the threat will probably get him his dosh; but really, he should be out there looking really hard for another job. Threatening to close the company if they have to fulfill their statutory obligations? They ought to be forced to do it.

    Sleekmeek; if you haven't got another job to go to, then I'd carry on at work; and hassle them every day until you get paid. And look hard. And the instant you get a job; go for it; and half an instant later; start chasing your outstanding wages. You won't get them; you'll be last on the list; so ideally you want to get paid up to date and walk.

    Good luck, both of you - and bear in mind that from the sound of it, you're shortly going to be competing with everyone else from your work for new jobs; so get out there first and see what you can get before the worst happens.

    Just my manically depressive two penn'orth on a Friday evening!
  • marcus45
    • #7
    • 22nd Aug 08, 5:30 PM
    • #7
    • 22nd Aug 08, 5:30 PM
    Find another job they are going under, and threatening you is just that... You do not say what the other workers are doing about the situation. You do not have to be in a union visit www.dnamedicalinsurance they cover other none medical professions good luck.
  • ceridwen
    • #8
    • 22nd Aug 08, 5:47 PM
    • #8
    • 22nd Aug 08, 5:47 PM
    Just my two pennorth - some employers are liable for any overdraft charges their employees incur because their salaries are late:

    - ie if the salary is one week late for instance and there would not have been an overdraft on the employees' bank account if it hadnt been for that - then the employer would be liable for that one week's worth of bank charges.
  • Marg
    • #9
    • 22nd Aug 08, 5:57 PM
    • #9
    • 22nd Aug 08, 5:57 PM
    I am appalled that employers can get away with this sort of treatment - no matter how bad things are they should pay their staff.
    Whatever you do, don't just up & leave UNLESS you have another job to go to because you would miss out on any statutory redundancy available when the firm does go under. Easier said than done, I know......
    Niks - if he knows which bank then contact them anyway - the bank may not know how bad things are and may 'speed up' the closure if the bank stand to loose money.
    I fear there will be many more such horror stories to come given the sorry state of British Industry.......
    And that's my manically depressive two penn'orth on a Friday evening!
  • Marg
    I am appalled that employers can get away with this sort of treatment - no matter how bad things are they should pay their staff.
    Whatever you do, don't just up & leave UNLESS you have another job to go to because you would miss out on any statutory redundancy available when the firm does go under. Easier said than done, I know......
    Niks - if he knows which bank then contact them anyway - the bank may not know how bad things are and may 'speed up' the closure if the bank stand to loose money.
    I fear there will be many more such horror stories to come given the sorry state of British Industry.......
    And that's my manically depressive two penn'orth on a Friday evening!
  • snoopy100
    Hi Im new to all this and getting a bit fed up with trawling the internet trying to look for some advice. So anything anyone can offer will be gratefully received. My husbands company for the 5th time this year are not paying him on time, so far it been roughly 2-3 weeks late. As a result we are incurring a large amount of bank charges.(We've talked to the bank, their not particularly interested in reasons why). Their excuse month after month is that they are owed a large amount of money which is stopping them from paying the wages. When he approached them to try to find out what date he will get paid (in order to re-arrange DD's & mortgage payments) they never pin down a date, his constant reply "You'll get it as soon as we do". When he talks about bank charges being inurred they tell him "We didnt tell you to get such a large mortgage - not our problem". Excuse the rant but I feel frustrated for him. Naturally he is looking for another job, but they are hard to come by and (when he is paid on time) is paid well for his job-taking a cut in wages is a bitter pill to swallow. His colleagues dont stand by his side in his argument with the bosses. Bosses attitutte stinks and he's also been told "If you dont like it your under no obligation to stay". Meanwhile like many bosses they drive their flash cars, never do a full days work, nice houses and private school for the kids - they dont seem to go without during their "cash flow crisis". Phew sorry - frustrated would be an understatment. Would be grateful of advice
  • mountainofdebt
    As far as I can remember, if you don't get paid as per your contract, and continue to work then you are effectively agreeing to the changes to the terms of your contract.

    Have they clarified how long the delay will be until they can pay you - or is that a 'how long is a piece of string' question?'

    I agree that you should be looking to get out of there asap - the moment they can't pay the staff you KNOW they are in serious trouble. I know one girl who was owed a small fortune in not paid wages but wouldn't leave because she was convinced that they find some excuse not to pay her.......but my opinion was that if she did leave then at least she could take them to an Employment Tribunal for unlawful withholding of wages without the fear of reprisals.
  • KimYeovil
    Just my two pennorth - some employers are liable for any overdraft charges their employees incur because their salaries are late
    Originally posted by ceridwen
    What law makes them liable?:confused:
  • snoopy100
    Thanks for info. Anyone any idea's on how to find out if they are liable for any bank charges. As for they delay in pay - its how long is a piece of string. There is never any notice, he finds out on pay day that its not going into the bank. Never any notice of when it does go into the bank either. Total lack of communication by management. If he refuses to work until he is paid they will deduct days he did not work from next pay. He does manage to get paid just never know when, which when you have committements isnt good.
  • UnoriginalGuy
    Start getting everything in writing.

    You give them notice that you haven't been paid, in writing, you threaten to stop working, in writing, etc. Just protect yourself if they want to attempt to terminate your contract for some bs reason and for the lawsuit...
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