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Wrongful dismissal? Unpaid wages? Defamation?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Basic rights at work & Redundancy
3 replies 2.2K views
Brad_HammerBrad_Hammer Forumite
1 posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Basic rights at work & Redundancy
My wife worked 2 jobs, a cafe on a Saturday morning (been there for approx. 3 months) and worked in a chip shop in the evening.

One Saturday morning (7:45am) my wife was feeling unwell so rang the cafe to tell them that she wasn't up to coming in. After this phone call my wife rested for the morning and afternoon. by 4pm my wife was feeling a little better and was considering going to the chip shop to work at 5pm. My wife texted the chip shop to tell them that she wasn't feeling 100% and would only work if they really needed her; the chip shop replied that they would like her to come in anyway (my wife accepted this and decided to work).

In the evening approx 9pm the owner of the cafe saw my wife in the cafe and told her by text that she was sacked because she lied about being ill. A series of irate text messages went backwards and forwards between my wife and the cafe owner.

The following morning my wife went to the cafe to get her previous week's wages and tips (approx £70), the owner responded that she would not be getting these wages. Later on the cafe owner rang the police and told them that my wife was harrassing him and we were told to stay away from his business.

At some point during the text exchanges my wife said that if she saw any of the customers of the cafe in town she would tell them what the cafe owner had done and she would show them the text messages he sent her.

We have since received a letter from his solicitor saying that if we carry out the threat above we would be sued for loss of business and damage to his reputation.

One other thing......my wife went to the doctors two days after being sacked and the doctor diagnosed a severe chest infection which he stated "looking at the symptoms and severity, must of had if for about a week”.

Where do we stand with re-claiming her unpaid wages? / does the cafe have a case? / Can she tell people she was sacked and why?

One thing that does concern me is that the cafe was cash in hand so there's no proof her wages were unpaid......on that note maybe he was breaking the law by not declaring her to the inland revenue?

Replies

  • If she was being paid cash in hand, was she declaring it to the taxman? If not, it could end up costing you more than £70 if you pursue it.
    "Most of the people ... were unhappy... Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy." -- Douglas Adams
  • CAB_Malvern_Hills_representativeCAB_Malvern_Hills_representative Organisation Representatives - Private Messages may not be monitored
    153 posts
    My wife worked 2 jobs, a cafe on a Saturday morning (been there for approx. 3 months) and worked in a chip shop in the evening.

    One Saturday morning (7:45am) my wife was feeling unwell so rang the cafe to tell them that she wasn't up to coming in. After this phone call my wife rested for the morning and afternoon. by 4pm my wife was feeling a little better and was considering going to the chip shop to work at 5pm. My wife texted the chip shop to tell them that she wasn't feeling 100% and would only work if they really needed her; the chip shop replied that they would like her to come in anyway (my wife accepted this and decided to work).

    In the evening approx 9pm the owner of the cafe saw my wife in the cafe and told her by text that she was sacked because she lied about being ill. A series of irate text messages went backwards and forwards between my wife and the cafe owner.

    The following morning my wife went to the cafe to get her previous week's wages and tips (approx £70), the owner responded that she would not be getting these wages. Later on the cafe owner rang the police and told them that my wife was harrassing him and we were told to stay away from his business.

    At some point during the text exchanges my wife said that if she saw any of the customers of the cafe in town she would tell them what the cafe owner had done and she would show them the text messages he sent her.

    We have since received a letter from his solicitor saying that if we carry out the threat above we would be sued for loss of business and damage to his reputation.

    One other thing......my wife went to the doctors two days after being sacked and the doctor diagnosed a severe chest infection which he stated "looking at the symptoms and severity, must of had if for about a week”.

    Where do we stand with re-claiming her unpaid wages? / does the cafe have a case? / Can she tell people she was sacked and why?

    One thing that does concern me is that the cafe was cash in hand so there's no proof her wages were unpaid......on that note maybe he was breaking the law by not declaring her to the inland revenue?

    HI

    Your wife is entitled to be paid for the work she has done. if her employer refuses to pay it this may well constitue an illegal deduction of wages but she might have problems taking legal action to recover it if she herself has an illegal contract of employment. see the link below for more info :

    http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/england/work_e/work_rights_at_work_e/contracts_of_employment.htm

    For the tax responsabilities her employer has see :

    http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/MoneyTaxAndBenefits/Taxes/ContactOrDealWithHMRC/DG_10010579


    In terms of the letter from the solicitor - this is basically a warning not to bad mouth him and potentially cause loss of custom. Whilst it is unlikely to go further we would caution her against making such comments in the public arena as they serve no useful purpose and makes it less likely that the matter could be resolved by negotiation with him which is potentially possible if she were to seek the help of her local CAB.
    Official CAB Representative
    I am an official representative of CAB. MSE has given permission for me to post in response to questions on the CAB Board. You can see my name on the companies with permission to post list. If you believe I’ve broken any rules please report my post to [email protected] as usual"
  • DVardysShadowDVardysShadow
    18.9K posts
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Basically, making the threat by text was pretty stoopid, but overall it is not of a lot of consequence. The solicitor is making threats which are largely empty insofar as if you stick with the truth and tell all and sundry what actually happened she is pretty much immune unless there is a confidentiality clause in her contract. The normal question which people ask is 'could they sue me'. Well yes they could - and they would almost certainly lose - but you would have the stress. Console yourself with the fact that the letter probably cost £200.

    Assuming your wife is not a party to not paying tax and NI. according to the CAB rep's link the contract is not illegal, so you could take them to the small claims court. In your place, I would be writing a 'letter before action' back to the solicitor, demanding the wages and taking the matter to the small claims court. Having it forwarded to the employer will probably add to the solicitor's bill. And then take them to the small claims court. The solicitor will know about the claim, so will either advise his client to pay up or will represent them at more cost to them - in small claims court each side usually bears its own costs for the most part.
    Hi, we’ve had to remove your signature. If you’re not sure why please read the forum rules or email the forum team if you’re still unsure - MSE ForumTeam
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