Help needed

katsutlieffkatsutlieff Trusted RegularRegistered Posts: 459
I'm just about to process the wages for this month, but have been told by my employer to withhold the wages of one of the farm workers. I am really not very happy about this and don't know where my employer stands legally

The reason why he is withholding is because the worker told him last week that this week was his last, he is leaving on Friday. Employer feels as the worker didn't give notice he 'owes him'. The thing is none of us have a contract of employment so are we legally required to give notice? I know it would have been nice but this poor lad has been given such a rough time by the employer so I don't blame him for upping sticks and going back home

I am trying to talk the employer around as I don't think legally he can withhold the money let alone morally

Any advice? Pay the poor lad and walk too :-)

Comments

  • totleybladetotleyblade Feels At Home Registered Posts: 48
    Moral Dilemma

    Personally I would advise your employer that he may be actually breaking the law by withholding payment, (in writing), but I would not go as far as ignoring his explicit instructions, don't forget there may be issues that you are not aware of.

    I know from personal experiance that 'sticking your kneck out' for other people can seriously backfire. Whilst the ex-employee might not paid on time, the implications for you could be far more serious. I would consider how a possible dismisal for gross misconduct would look on your CV, awkward reference requests and, the possibility that your employer could turn things around and claim against you for the value of the wages you paid out!

    If you walk what would be the chances of you receiving any unpaid wages?
    Rather than go out on a moral crusade I would bide my time.
  • katsutlieffkatsutlieff Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 459
    Thanks Totley

    I will advise him he maybe breaking the law. I'm sure he will pay eventually but very reluctantly and only once he is satisfied he has caused the most amount of aggro for everyone.
  • MonsoonMonsoon Font Of All Knowledge FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 4,069
    I would send a memo to your boss making him aware that withholding wages may not be lawful and suggesting that he seek guidance in order to protect himself. This way, you have covered your obligations. It's up to him if he acts on it.

    And then leave it at that. As totley says, there's not much more you can do, and ultimately he is the boss, and makes all decisions, rightly or wrongly.

    If the employee asks, you may want to say you aren't sure but he could contact ACAS to find out if it is allowed - then he has some infromation to try and fight is corner if he wants to. I wouldn't seek out the employee and tell him "the boss isn't allowed to treat you like this" as you could end up in trouble yourself.

    good luck
  • blobbyhblobbyh Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 2,415
    You do know - or more importantly, does your boss know (and almost certainly he does but doesn't care) - that it's illegal to work without a contract of employment?

    http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/index/your_money/employment/contracts_of_employment.htm

    Having said that, we all know that smaller employers frequently flout employment laws only to then try and use those very same laws to protect themselves as and when it suits.
  • katsutlieffkatsutlieff Trusted Regular Registered Posts: 459
    blobbyh wrote: »
    You do know - or more importantly, does your boss know (and almost certainly he does but doesn't care) - that it's illegal to work without a contract of employment?

    http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/index/your_money/employment/contracts_of_employment.htm

    Having said that, we all know that smaller employers frequently flout employment laws only to then try and use those very same laws to protect themselves as and when it suits.

    I didn't know that! I will definately sort that out on Friday Robert thank you
    I have spoken with the employee as he did think this would happen and came into the office this morning. It is a terrible way to behave and I think the boss knows that, he has spent all morning trying to justify his behaviour
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