FATIMA CARVALHO VS MANY HANDS LIMITED
- Constructive unfair dismissal
- Not receiving holiday pay
- Wrongful dismissal
- Failure to provide payslips
- Failure to pay minimum wage
- Unpaid wages
- Failure to provide contract of employment that complies with Article 3.
- Ms Carvalho (Claimant) was employed by Many Hands (Respondent) from 16 October 2002 until 13 May 2022.
- The claimant raised a claim at the tribunal on 05 April 2022
- A claim form was sent to the respondent however the respondent did not file a response by the due date, the parties were then informed the case was listed for hearing on 9 June 2022
- 13 days after the due date a Response form was received by the Tribunal. The form was signed by Janette Roberton and states that the claim is defended, but almost no information is provided. In box 5.1 is written “Maria had a contract when she started”. In box 10 is written “At the moment I am quite ill, Maria knows that her time sheets are sitting on dining room table she knows that she has to pick the (sic) up”
- The claimant resigned on 13 May 2022
- The respondent was ill on the date of the hearing and was told to attend via video call or phone
- The registrar rang the respondent to connect her to the hearing and she did not answer the phone, later calling to say that her doctor advised her to attend hospital, this was not backed by any medical evidence
- It was considered that the respondent has no reasonable prospects of success in relation to the payslips claim and the claim for a breach of Article 3 (there was no start or continuous employment date, and hours of work are not properly set out, it merely says “full time” without explaining what that means) as no evidence was given on the Response form.
- The respondent was given a chance to make representations in writing or a hearing as to why the defence should not be struck out
- No representations were given by the respondent
- There was a further tribunal on 29 June 2022 to address the additional claims.
- Miss Roberton, representing the Respondent, attended the hearing by telephone. At the start of the hearing the events to date were summarised. Miss Roberton used offensive language and the call disconnected. The Registrar reconnected her to the hearing at which point Miss Roberton suggested that the Tribunal should visit her at home. She said she did not wish to continue to attend the CMH by telephone as the situation was causing her stress. She also said that she would pay any unpaid wages owing but is waiting for information from Ms Carvalho about the hours worked. It was indicated that if Miss Roberton did not want to participate in the hearing by telephone the CMH would continue in her absence at which point she ended the call.
- The respondent again did not complete a Response form before the hearing for the additional claims.
The claims were successful, and the claimant received a total of £9,990.52:
- £1,147.32 for failing to provide pay slips;
- £573.66 for failure to provide contract of employment that complies with Article 3;
- £183.34 for unpaid wages from week ended 14 May 2021 to 26 November 2021 based on an hourly rate of £8.50 per hour;
- £48.03 for social security deductions on wages paid to 26 November 2021 but not paid to the social security department;
- £569.32 for unpaid wages from 26 November 2021 to 13 May 2022 based on £8.50 per hour for 2021 and £9.22 per hour for 2022;
- £1.73 for unpaid social security contributions from 26 November 2021 to 31 December 2021;
- £322.71 for unpaid social security contributions on minimum wage of £9.22 from 1 January 2022.
There are many lessons to be learned here. If only Many Hands had followed the advice set by the tribunal to complete the claim form fully, ensured they were paying their employees basic wages as per government guidelines and had a payroll system in place to ensure correct payment of wages and statutory payments it would have saved them the actual costs of almost £10,000 and the indirect costs of reputational risk, management time and so on.
What you should do next:
To not end up in this situation do the following:
If you’re unsure if your employment contracts, handbooks, payslip sending procedures, pay systems and other procedures are in line with legislation get help to update these
If you are too ill to attend a hearing in person, provide medical evidence, consider an application to adjourn, attending by telephone/video call or sending an alternative representative.
Ensure completion of relevant tribunal paperwork, ask HR Now to help with this, we can be appointed by you to complete all relevant paperwork and attend tribunals on your behalf
If you are unsure about what to do, or don’t have the time and resources, you can get in touch with HR Now’s experienced team and we can advise and support you through all these steps.
Or call: 01534 747559