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  • FIRST POST
    • chigstoke
    • By chigstoke 16th Jul 17, 12:13 PM
    • 4Posts
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    chigstoke
    Looking for help, is employer breaking the law?
    • #1
    • 16th Jul 17, 12:13 PM
    Looking for help, is employer breaking the law? 16th Jul 17 at 12:13 PM
    I am a new poster and honestly none of the other sections of the forum seemed appropriate so I'm trying the employment section (though it is do with money)

    Basically, our pay system at work is very archaic. Pay is done through staff handing in paper timesheets, which are then checked and put onto a pay spreadsheet, rather than electronically which we have suggested numerous times to use instead.

    Unfortunately due to the way the pay is done, mistakes are sometimes made. Maybe a wrong number pressed by accident. Usually our board of trustees would write a cheque for those with wrong pay.

    However, now the board of trustees for the company I work for are saying they will no longer write cheques for anyone who has wrong pay, and instead want the money to be transferred from mine and a workmates own bank accounts. Meaning they want us to transfer our OWN WAGES to staff who don't get paid correctly by accident.

    Personally, I'd have though that is against the law, they can't make me transfer any money. Does anyone know the legal stance on this? Surely they can't force me to give people my own money from my own wages?

    Many thanks guys
Page 1
    • jobbingmusician
    • By jobbingmusician 16th Jul 17, 12:18 PM
    • 18,688 Posts
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    jobbingmusician
    • #2
    • 16th Jul 17, 12:18 PM
    • #2
    • 16th Jul 17, 12:18 PM
    I'm guessing this is a charity, right, from the reference to trustees?

    I don't know whether it's legal or not. If illegal, charities exploit their workers the whole time so are acting illegally A LOT. What I do have up my sleeve is an argument as to why you should not do this.

    Some years ago the charity for which I worked had a cashflow problem, so I lent them some money. This had to be recorded in the annual accounts, and we had quite a few questions about it over the following years. It occurs to me that if you transfer money from your bank account to someone who has been incorrectly paid, you are also making a loan to the charity. Your auditors (or the people who inspect your accounts, if you don't have a formal audit) are likely to have something to say about this!

    If you are the senior employee, who has contact with the auditors, I suggest that you mention this suggestion to them and say that you don't think it's good accounting practice..... (There is a lack of transparency here, and a potential for abuse, which turns my stomach. I can't believe that trustees can be that stupid - except that I have worked with a fair few and know that they can!)
    I'm the Board Guide on the Matched Betting; Referrers and Jobseeking & Training boards. I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge posts there. Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com (it's not part of my role to deal with this). Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.

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    • worried123
    • By worried123 16th Jul 17, 12:39 PM
    • 282 Posts
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    worried123
    • #3
    • 16th Jul 17, 12:39 PM
    • #3
    • 16th Jul 17, 12:39 PM
    Hi

    I was just browsing and i doubt that i can be of any help to you but your situation sounds outrageous........i would be beyond furious if that happened to me and it most certainly cannot be right surely - both legally and morally.....good luck and hope you get it sorted out.
    • chigstoke
    • By chigstoke 16th Jul 17, 1:05 PM
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    chigstoke
    • #4
    • 16th Jul 17, 1:05 PM
    • #4
    • 16th Jul 17, 1:05 PM
    This is in the administration department, so me and someone else do the data inputting with pay on the spreadsheet.

    Unfortunately we don't deal with the auditors, mainly it's my management and trustees. Yes it's a charity. There have been money issues in the past which only just about got resolved. I just don't see how they force me to transfer money out of my account. I can flat out refuse to do it.

    What I don't get is, writing a cheque to make up the missing pay is still the same money out the charities accounts? I don't see the issue in them doing cheques.

    The part that worries me is, I am 21, and can't afford to do stuff like that. With various bills and savings I have. For my next car, holiday, insurance etc... it's tough
    • worried123
    • By worried123 16th Jul 17, 1:10 PM
    • 282 Posts
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    worried123
    • #5
    • 16th Jul 17, 1:10 PM
    • #5
    • 16th Jul 17, 1:10 PM
    Oh bless - good luck - i hope somebody here can help you.
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 16th Jul 17, 2:07 PM
    • 3,721 Posts
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    sangie595
    • #6
    • 16th Jul 17, 2:07 PM
    • #6
    • 16th Jul 17, 2:07 PM
    I'm really struggling to understand how they can possibly think that they can force you to pay other staff from your own personal bank account, because obviously they can't - and it would be scary accounting procedure that no auditor would condone. Are you sure you have understood what they have asked correctly?
    • chigstoke
    • By chigstoke 16th Jul 17, 2:13 PM
    • 4 Posts
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    chigstoke
    • #7
    • 16th Jul 17, 2:13 PM
    • #7
    • 16th Jul 17, 2:13 PM
    Absolutely understood it correctly, sangie595

    The trustees want me and another administrator, should there be any issues with pay, to transfer money from our own bank accounts to staff who need correct pay should they be underpaid by accident. They are now going to refuse to write out cheques. Without no thought process of what auditors would say.
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 16th Jul 17, 2:31 PM
    • 945 Posts
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    NeilCr
    • #8
    • 16th Jul 17, 2:31 PM
    • #8
    • 16th Jul 17, 2:31 PM
    Good grief!

    I am totally with you, Sangie and everyone else

    Are they proposing a way of reimbursing you?. Is it because they think it is the quickest way of getting the staff the right money?
    • comeandgo
    • By comeandgo 16th Jul 17, 2:40 PM
    • 1,790 Posts
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    comeandgo
    • #9
    • 16th Jul 17, 2:40 PM
    • #9
    • 16th Jul 17, 2:40 PM
    Are there a lot of errors? They have possibly said that you have to sort it out as you made the mistake. Why are there mistakes? Can you not do some sort of checks on your calculations? I would assume there are overpayments too. Ask your auditors for advice on how to check you are not making mistakes.
    • chigstoke
    • By chigstoke 16th Jul 17, 3:05 PM
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    chigstoke
    Double reply here

    They have mentioned nothing about reimbursing us for any transfers. Almost like a 'don't f*** this up' kind of thing

    Second reply - We very rarely make mistakes because pay is a hot area. A lot of people don't hand their timesheets in on time and that causes us grief. We do the calculations, it's all done by a formula on Excel as well as manually ourselves which has been checked over numerous times. We then double check it all and will run a spot check on random timesheets to see if they match up against the spreadsheet. A lot of the mistakes were made prior to me and my colleague introducing our system of doing the spreadsheet.

    Since we took over the management of the spreadsheet, it's much better. But they're adamant now it must come out of our pockets should there be mistakes, and I personally don't think it's fair, and it's not something I can afford to do if there ever are mistakes.
    • ohreally
    • By ohreally 16th Jul 17, 3:18 PM
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    ohreally
    Put it to them that they make available their own bank accounts to cover their organisational errors.
    • leslieknope
    • By leslieknope 16th Jul 17, 4:04 PM
    • 247 Posts
    • 339 Thanks
    leslieknope
    if it's an error by the employee not handing in their timesheet on time, why would it be your problem? every work has a payroll cut off. if the employee knows this date and still misses it, they have to wait until next month. if i do overtime at work after the payroll cut off, i don't get this extra money until the month after.
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    • theoretica
    • By theoretica 16th Jul 17, 4:16 PM
    • 4,843 Posts
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    theoretica
    This comes close to a deduction from pay - there is legislation around this which might apply. Also how do they plan to manage tax, NI etc if this happens?

    Do all staff have easy access to a computer? Perhaps you could get permission to introduce an electronic form as an alternative to paper?
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    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 16th Jul 17, 4:17 PM
    • 9,612 Posts
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    lincroft1710
    I think the time has come to replace your board of trustees, they are clearly non compos mentis.
    • Murphybear
    • By Murphybear 16th Jul 17, 4:19 PM
    • 3,173 Posts
    • 6,577 Thanks
    Murphybear
    Report them to the Charity Commission

    From their website

    "We register and regulate charities in England and Wales, to ensure that the public can support charities with confidence."
    • paddyrg
    • By paddyrg 16th Jul 17, 4:57 PM
    • 13,037 Posts
    • 11,103 Thanks
    paddyrg
    Call a payroll processing company or your company accountants and ask what they can suggest for a fully automated timesheet/approval/payment solution. Cheques etc are expensive, you pay a fee for each one.

    Managing payroll workflow electronically will let people complete their sheets online, let someone approve their hours online, allow you to make any adjustments you need to make online, go to the processing company who'll make all the PAYE deductions etc automatically, and similarly account for things like student loan deductions. The payroll company will give you an amount you need to transfer to them, then they'll make the payments and post out fully compliant wageslips.

    If you're doing it weekly, you may look at going fortnightly or working towards monthly pay cycles - it reduces the administrative overhead and costs. You'll have to stage it probably and allow some "subs" until payday for a couple of months to tide people over...
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 16th Jul 17, 5:02 PM
    • 37,648 Posts
    • 33,956 Thanks
    Savvy_Sue
    Another voice for the 'no, not no way, not no how, not never' campaign.
    if it's an error by the employee not handing in their timesheet on time, why would it be your problem? every work has a payroll cut off. if the employee knows this date and still misses it, they have to wait until next month. if i do overtime at work after the payroll cut off, i don't get this extra money until the month after.
    Originally posted by leslieknope
    I agree with this, but ... I was talking to someone the other day who used to work with people who had to supply timesheets, and she was very popular because a week before she needed them, she used to send a reminder out! She said it saved her a lot of grief and meant she usually had every one in a day or two before she needed them.

    And it's good that you've started a checking system: a colleague and I are responsible for inputting the monthly changes into an external system. We've got quite good at getting it right first time: we then get another chance to check it when the preview comes back. On our first pass this time I realised that we'd not calculated the pro-rata pay for someone who had changed their hours, and I noticed because 'the system' showed their hourly rate of pay had tripled ... So yes, mistakes happen!

    How are the calculations of NI and PAYE and pensions made at the moment? And how is payment made to staff at the moment?
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    • TrickyDicky101
    • By TrickyDicky101 16th Jul 17, 5:49 PM
    • 2,688 Posts
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    TrickyDicky101
    I think the time has come to replace your board of trustees, they are clearly non compos mentis.
    Originally posted by lincroft1710
    I was wondering something similar - OP, are the trustees really old (as it's the kind of half-baked idea my elderly father might suggest)?
    • Owain Moneysaver
    • By Owain Moneysaver 16th Jul 17, 6:46 PM
    • 7,454 Posts
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    Owain Moneysaver
    Absolutely no way.

    Firstly it would be a breach of the Data Protection Act for the employer to disclose to you the employee's bank details for you to make payments to them.

    Then if you are making payments on behalf of a third party it may put you in a difficult situation with your own bank. Processing payments for a third party might lead to allegations of money laundering.

    You are not personally liable to other employees for any mistakes you make in processing wages.

    If the employer decides to stop issuing cheques for mispaid wages then the employer must sort out how they deal with claims for missing wages from other employees.

    You don't have to negotiate with your employer over this. The answer is no.
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    • jobbingmusician
    • By jobbingmusician 16th Jul 17, 6:51 PM
    • 18,688 Posts
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    jobbingmusician
    (But it is still a fact that the best way to sell the objection to your morons trustees is that the auditors and Charity Commission wouldn't like it.)
    I'm the Board Guide on the Matched Betting; Referrers and Jobseeking & Training boards. I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge posts there. Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com (it's not part of my role to deal with this). Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.

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