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nredwood
14th October 2004, 00:17
I am a contractor using an umbrella company and since I've been using this company (was with P4 before), I have had problems with pay.

Initially my agency were continuing to pay the old umbrella, so had to arrange a credit note to my agency for 2 weeks work for end of August. The new umbrella seemed to suggest that delays were due to my agency being self-billing ( I take this to be pretty much the norm ). I received a payment for 2 weeks work at the end of Sept., then another payment for 1 week the 1st week in October. I discovered yesterday that they hadn't paid me for the 2 weeks in August or the last week of September.

I contacted the umbrella company last night and there response this morning was that I'd paid for 4 weeks work and the 2 weeks outstanding was my agency's fault. My agency then forwarded an e-mail sent on 29/9 confirming all payment had been sent to the umbrella company. The matter has now been referred to the accounts department of the umbrella company and I've yet to hear anything else.

I have so far incurred bank charges of £115 and I have been unable to pay my mortgage (and pretty soon other bills too). The umbrella company are definitely at fault here and they appear not know what money in their account is for. My money is sitting there gaining interest. I am sure they will cover the bank charges ( if they don't I'm off ), but where do I stand legally? I do want to take some form of legal action even if it just a stern letter and I have the ability to get this done without cost.

I have suffered a considerable amount of stress and distress over this. I'm finding it very hard to concentrate at work and I've spent a lot of time at work sorting this out which has made me to look somewhat unprofessional.

I loved the job I lost (was sacked as I had 7 days sick in 7 months - I'd been there 8 months) and never wanted to go contracting, but circumstances meant I had to. This whole pay problem is making me really depressed.

Help!!!

BTW the umbrella company are Freelance Solutions - I thought it couldn't get any worse than P4.

Nicola

Underscore
14th October 2004, 09:07
As soon as you get the cash from them, jump ship and go to Parasol.

Never had a single issue with them. There appears to be more and more of these umbrella compaines running into problems. Go with the big players.

blondiebeeb
19th October 2004, 15:58
Definitely wait until you get the money before you make any noise about leaving. Not too sure about Parasol though as have heard conflicting reports.

fiddleabout
19th October 2004, 16:35
> Not too sure about Parasol though as have heard conflicting reports

Where?

partimer
20th October 2004, 13:46
Thread smells a bit fishy so will avoid the brolly bit.

>was sacked as I had 7 days sick in 7 months - I'd been there 8 months

This sounds to me like you were in a permie job.
Having brushed up heavily on employment rules (due to making the secretary redundent - say no more!) I think you may want to check this avenue out.
Did you get Dr's notes ?
Were you given official written warnings about being sick or your conduct ?

The only reason I ask is that being genuine sick (Dr's note) they can't sack you since you gone pass the probationary period. You have certain rights as an employee. Getting ill and being sacked for it is not going to go down well with an employment tribunal. (Obviously check your previous employee contract in case they had that clause in it and you signed it.)

Get a quick "no win, no fee" estimate on the chances but take their advice with a pince of salt. You could end up with a few thousand pounds if you win (and you don't use the cowboy lawyers that run off with the cash). Worth checking out at least IMO.

Good luck.

rooney
21st October 2004, 11:13
I believe you have to be with an employer 12 months before you can go to an employment tribunal which would rule this avenue out in this case.

partimer
21st October 2004, 17:13
Not an employment lawyer so don't take what I say as gospel.

>believe you have to be with an employer 12 months

I don't believe this to be true (but will happily concede the point if somebody gets official proof). There was a famous case where a woman was hired. She later found out she was pregnant and her employer subsequently sacked her (her job involved heavy lifting).

She won unfair dismissal from an employment tribunal and she wasn't employed for 12 months. The small employer complained bitterly (which the CBI made public and how I know about it) that you can't ask a woman if she's pregnant at the interview (for fear of discrimination) but if she becomes unsuitable for the job afterwards, you can't get rid of her.

Back to the original point I made, after your probationary period you have statutory rights. I would claim "unfair dismissal after exercising or claiming a statutory right using ERA 1996 section 104". Being genuinely ill is one of your statutory rights (so I believe). Check your terms and conditions for incapacity for work due to sickness or injury.

Get legal advice if you want to pursue it.

Also, the infringment had to have happened within the last three months i.e. you go to the tribunal within three months of being sacked.

nredwood
21st October 2004, 19:52
I used to be a union rep ( not at the workplace I got sacked from ) and as a manager went on loads of training on employment law etc..

The 12 month rule doesn't apply if you were unfairly dismissed as a result of racial, sexual or disability discrimination. Hence the case of the pregnant woman was sexual discrimination as only women can be pregnant. There is also a longer (if not none at all) time limit by which you have to bring the case to a tribunal as far as I can remember. I always find www.tiger.gov.uk (http://www.tiger.gov.uk) a useful resource on employment law.

At the place I was sacked from, I was in Unison but my rep was pretty useless. It all happened very quickly and there was no opportunity to prepare whereas it seems management had done plenty of preparation. The probation policy is pretty bad - no right to disciplinary or grievance procedures under probation and no grounds to appeal against dismissal. I was advised by the Unison branch secretary that the only thing I could do was put in a "Fairness at Work" (anti-bullying / harassment ) complaint. It would have been a lot of effort for little gain. At the end of the day, I wouldn't go back there under the current circumstances anyway. I was unfairly treated (advised by another more senior union rep), but the way the law stands there was little I could do to redress it.

I made up my mind to just push on, register with agencies and get working again ASAP. I couldn't afford to be out of work. Luckily I was given 1 month in lieu of notice, so although I was dismissed at the end of Feb., I was paid in March. I was working again by the beginning of April.

I received my missing pay this Monday, just in time for my missed mortgage payment to go out. Next week, when I'm sure I'm not going to get any more bank charges I'm going to pursue getting back the £145 this mess has cost me. I still have outstanding problems with them though as they haven't been taking my expenses into account when paying me. Once this is addressed, I'm off to pastures new in terms of umbrella companies.