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Help needed! made redundant (though not officially)

Hi there, I'm here on behalf of a friend of mine. She has been working for a security company as a security guard/Steward since July 2017 and was under the impression that she was contracted and on the payroll.

After a while of working for the company her common law partner and the owner of the security firm started another business as a joint venture and she then became head of promotions for this new business (this was even indicated in a profile of her on their website), and fulfilled this role without pay in order to help the company find its feet and start growing.

At the same time she was still performing the security/stewarding roles for the other business.

She has also gathered and recruited a large number of employees for both companies and has represented both of these companies for acquiring contracts, clients etc.

July this year she had to undergo a spinal operation and had enquired about sick pay, the original business owner informed her that she had no right to sick pay, whilst recuperating from her operation her common law partner ended their relationship and now with his business partner has been slandering her and creating a hostile environment at her place of work to ensure that she cannot go back to her roles after recovery.

She has since found out that the owner had never put her on the payroll and had never arranged a contract of employment despite the fact that he had told her not to worry and that it was "all sorted" after she filled in two application forms (due to the owner apparently losing one of them) and possibly the most important fact is that she has been receiving pay directly from the companies bank account into her bank account monthly .

After an inspection from the CQC in August of this year, the owner of the original company is now requesting that she provide him with her National Insurance number.

She then asked the original business owner what she is expected to do for money as he is refusing to pay her sick pay and his response was "go to the Jobcentre", when she asked her ex partner the same question he also replied that she should "go to the Jobcentre and claim that you have been a housewife for the past year".

Naturally she is very confused and doesn't fully understand her rights in these circumstances, she now finds herself without a job or source of income, is temporarily unfit for work and she has 2 children living with her and naturally has bills to pay, she is also concerned that she has done something wrong since finding out that the owner didn't put her on the payroll and is not sure how to proceed with the situation.
Thank you for your responses in advance :)
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Replies

  • Comms69Comms69 Forumite
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    she has no real employment rights; having only been employed for around 13 months.
  • nicechapnicechap Forumite
    2.9K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Lou_Rocha wrote: »
    Hi there, I'm here on behalf of a friend of mine. She has been working for a security company as a security guard/Steward since July 2017 and was under the impression that she was contracted and on the payroll.

    After a while of working for the company her common law partner and the owner of the security firm started another business as a joint venture and she then became head of promotions for this new business (this was even indicated in a profile of her on their website), and fulfilled this role without pay in order to help the company find its feet and start growing.

    At the same time she was still performing the security/stewarding roles for the other business.

    She has also gathered and recruited a large number of employees for both companies and has represented both of these companies for acquiring contracts, clients etc.

    July this year she had to undergo a spinal operation and had enquired about sick pay, the original business owner informed her that she had no right to sick pay, whilst recuperating from her operation her common law partner ended their relationship and now with his business partner has been slandering her and creating a hostile environment at her place of work to ensure that she cannot go back to her roles after recovery.

    She has since found out that the owner had never put her on the payroll and had never arranged a contract of employment despite the fact that he had told her not to worry and that it was "all sorted" after she filled in two application forms (due to the owner apparently losing one of them) and possibly the most important fact is that she has been receiving pay directly from the companies bank account into her bank account monthly .

    After an inspection from the CQC in August of this year, the owner of the original company is now requesting that she provide him with her National Insurance number.

    She then asked the original business owner what she is expected to do for money as he is refusing to pay her sick pay and his response was "go to the Jobcentre", when she asked her ex partner the same question he also replied that she should "go to the Jobcentre and claim that you have been a housewife for the past year".

    Naturally she is very confused and doesn't fully understand her rights in these circumstances, she now finds herself without a job or source of income, is temporarily unfit for work and she has 2 children living with her and naturally has bills to pay, she is also concerned that she has done something wrong since finding out that the owner didn't put her on the payroll and is not sure how to proceed with the situation.
    Thank you for your responses in advance :)


    What did her wageslips say? i.e. who paid her, was tax deducted, NI, pension contributions, etc etc. Who gave her the P60 for last year's earning etc?

    I would have thought she would be entitled to SSP assuming she was employed through a company and not self employed/ joint owner of a company or working cash in hand and claiming out of work benefits.
    Originally Posted by shortcrust
    "Contact the Ministry of Fairness....If sufficient evidence of unfairness is discovered you’ll get an apology, a permanent contract with backdated benefits, a ‘Let’s Make it Fair!’ tshirt and mug, and those guilty of unfairness will be sent on a Fairness Awareness course."
  • She didn't have any wage slips nor P60, and she didn't claim any benefits as she was working and thought everything was by the books. She wasn't self employed, nor she was a business partner. She must have some sort of rights, surely. What the employer done all along surely is illegal. Isn't the bank statements proof of it? And witnesses of her working? Photos of her working for that company? Text messages between her and the employer? After all if he didn't put her in the payroll that means he didn't pay taxes for her employment. Can she take him to a work tribunal, not only for the unfairness of it all but for slander as well?
  • Lou_Rocha wrote: »
    She didn't have any wage slips nor P60, and she didn't claim any benefits as she was working and thought everything was by the books. She wasn't self employed, nor she was a business partner. She must have some sort of rights, surely. What the employer done all along surely is illegal. Isn't the bank statements proof of it? And witnesses of her working? Photos of her working for that company? Text messages between her and the employer? After all if he didn't put her in the payroll that means he didn't pay taxes for her employment. Can she take him to a work tribunal, not only for the unfairness of it all but for slander as well?
    No. Without two years employment there are very limited rights to go to a tribunal, and I can't see any of those apply. And slander isn't dealt with by tribunals, and she can't afford it- even if it were slander, which it probably, legally, isn't.

    At best, she can report them to HMRC. It won't get her any money though.

    Why is the care quality commission scrutinizing a security company?

    Immediately, she needs to seek benefits advice from an advice centre.

    Longer term, both she and you need to join a union, get better informed about what employment is, or, preferably, both. Whilst the employers here appear to be on thin ice, you are both woefully naive about your rights as employees, and that simply isn't a good position to be in.
  • RED_KENRED_KEN Forumite
    15 Posts
    Looks a lot like what has become known as ' modern day slavery'. Often found among family business setups among certain communities. Your friend needs professional advice and fast.
    Start with Citizens Advice. Your friend will not be the only one in this so called business with a problem.
  • jonnygee2jonnygee2 Forumite
    2.1K Posts
    1,000 Posts Second Anniversary Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    July this year she had to undergo a spinal operation and had enquired about sick pay, the original business owner informed her that she had no right to sick pay, whilst recuperating from her operation her common law partner ended their relationship and now with his business partner has been slandering her and creating a hostile environment at her place of work to ensure that she cannot go back to her roles after recovery.

    These sound like very nasty people, and it also sounds like the relationship between them and your friend has become abusive. And something looks very wrong here. A security company, paying into her bank account, and being investigated by the quality care commission?!

    I think your best course of action is to encourage your friend to completely cut ties with them. Taking this further is unlikely to come to good conclusions for her, and I would bet that they will become more difficult and potentially more abusive if she tries.
  • RED_KEN wrote: »
    Looks a lot like what has become known as ' modern day slavery'. Often found among family business setups among certain communities. Your friend needs professional advice and fast.
    Start with Citizens Advice. Your friend will not be the only one in this so called business with a problem.
    They may not be the best of employers, but no, this is not what is being referred to as modern day slavery. Modern day slavery is just like "old day slavery" and consists of being forced into unpaid labour, often involving human trafficking and violence and abuse. What is being described here is a very long way from that.
  • RED_KENRED_KEN Forumite
    15 Posts
    Well this friend has been forced into unpaid labour and subjected to abuse.

    Abuse does not have to be physical.

    As I said others in this business may well have no employment rights, and that is also abuse.
  • lincroft1710lincroft1710 Forumite
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    Forumite
    RED_KEN wrote: »
    Well this friend has been forced into unpaid labour and subjected to abuse.

    Abuse does not have to be physical.

    As I said others in this business may well have no employment rights, and that is also abuse.

    The friend wasn't forced into unpaid labour, she chose to work for the new company, unpaid, whilst still being in paid employment with the original company. The slander was abuse, but not the type of abuse given to someone who wants to leave employment which the friend doesn't.

    She has no employment rights because she didn't work there for the qualifying 2 year period. Her employment was in no way modern day slavery.
    If you are querying your Council Tax band would you please state whether you are in England, Scotland or Wales
  • The friend wasn't forced into unpaid labour, she chose to work for the new company, unpaid, whilst still being in paid employment with the original company. The slander was abuse, but not the type of abuse given to someone who wants to leave employment which the friend doesn't.

    She has no employment rights because she didn't work there for the qualifying 2 year period. Her employment was in no way modern day slavery.
    Quite. She's an adult, and made het own choices. It is insulting to compare it to what slaves go through. They are bad employers, yes, but they're are a fair few of them around. She obviously thought, mistakenly, that her partners business interests were in her own interests as well. It's perhaps understandable why she made bad choices, but that is a far cry from slavery.

    This is slavery:
    https://www.antislavery.org/slavery-today/slavery-uk/
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-40885353
    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/modern-slavery-uk-british-children-sexual-labour-exploitation-5000-record-nca-a8271331.html
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