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#533258 - 15th Jun 2011 12:34am Is this legal ? unlawful deductions
lau2908 Offline
Forum Addict

Registered: 5th Jun 2010
Posts: 1406
Loc: wallasey
Bit of a strange one but i friend of mine works at a garage and when hes on duty if any car drives off without paying for petrol it comes out of his wages, tonight it happened and he is now 100 pound short within 2 hours! is this legal? I wont mention any names but its a big company name however leased by a 3rd party. The cameras DO NOT read reg plates as the cameras are so bad so surely its up to the owners to install proper cctv.

anyone know where he stands legally?
thanks in advance btw xx


Edited by Mark (15th Jun 2011 7:33am)
Edit Reason: title updated

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#533263 - 15th Jun 2011 12:45am Re: Is this legal ? unlawful deductions [Re: lau2908]
chev_chelios Offline
Wiki Guide

Registered: 30th Jul 2009
Posts: 5948
Loc: the village of wallasey
think that ain't legal. Sue them

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#533269 - 15th Jun 2011 1:32am Re: Is this legal ? unlawful deductions [Re: lau2908]
TheDr Offline
Forum Master

Registered: 23rd Feb 2010
Posts: 2631
Loc: Wirral
I haven't read any contract (or employment) law for a few years, so this is from memory and I'll read up when I get home:

First of all it is the companies responsibility to have "adequate" protection for their staff, goods and premises. If cctv is a requirement by their insurance, and it doesn't work, then their insurance will need to be reassessed by the insurer as their risk increases.

If the member of staff has been given instruction concerning authorising the pumps (for example, payment must be made after 7pm, you must take down Reg details before dispensing fuel etc etc) and he has failed to do this, then he can be liable, however, an employer may not deduct (aside from tax and NI) more than 10% from a wage in any week, and unless he is an extremely well paid attendant, I'm guessing £100 is more that 10%. If they attempt to hold back this amount it is considered theft, as the wages do belong to the employee .

They do it to try and stop attendants allowing friends to fill up and then make off (bilking) as the amounts involved can be quite high, especially will fuel prices today, but if they were to do this, and it was law, what would be to stop the owners having THEIR friends pull up and fill up, their friends get the fuel, and they get staff for free as they would be docking the wages so much.

Tell them to go do one, then give the Globe a ring tomorrow (they love stories on crime increases if they have someone to blame, governments and rising fuel prices etc) and make sure they get the "My Employer is making me pay for It", I'll give it half hour before he has three solicitors on the phone telling him how much they will get for him when they sue the company for unlawful deductions.

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#533310 - 15th Jun 2011 10:01am Re: Is this legal ? unlawful deductions [Re: TheDr]
willo
Unregistered


i thought this was normal for this to happen, they have always done this

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#533356 - 15th Jun 2011 11:20am Re: Is this legal ? unlawful deductions [Re: lau2908]
Fatfairy Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 4th Mar 2010
Posts: 103
Loc: wirral
I used to manage a garage, they cant do this, unless its written into their contract, or there are signs up saying something like please pay up front after 7pm for example, and the cashier allowed them to fill up before paying, the companies rely on the fact people wont kick up a stink cos they need the job, I managed a shell garage, although they are franchaises run by private business men, or at least they used to be,

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#533378 - 15th Jun 2011 11:56am Re: Is this legal ? unlawful deductions [Re: lau2908]
TheDr Offline
Forum Master

Registered: 23rd Feb 2010
Posts: 2631
Loc: Wirral
I did get a chance to look this up, but out again now.
Check the Employment Act 1996, it was revised in 2009 but the part relating to Unlawful Deductions remains the same.
I wasn't far out, although I did forget that they can withhold wages on court issued attachment of earnings orders as well as Tax and NI.
Your wages are protected, in retail if your till has a shortfall, and you are the only person who could have used it, then it can be written into your contract that you must make up that shortfall (strangely they don't allow you to keep the excess if it is over). However, and it doesn't matter what your contract says, they can't deduct more than 10% of your wages per payment run, although they can deduct up to 10% each time until it is cleared. This does not apply to your final wage as they can then clear outstanding amounts.
There are a few hoops they have to jump through, notifying you etc, however I would point out that in this case the till is not out, it is a simple theft of stock, and if the owners did not make reasonable precautions, or it is not written into your contract that you are responsible for "leakage" then they can't take anything at all from you.

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#533387 - 15th Jun 2011 12:06pm Re: Is this legal ? unlawful deductions [Re: lau2908]
diggingdeeper Offline

Wiki Master

Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 10793
Loc: Birkenhead
Generally most garages used to charge you if you didn't get the reg number. Of course, a few employees used to make up reg numbers if they didn't get them - which spoilt it for everybody because others weren't believed.

It may pay your mate to get his own little cheapo camcorder (£30 things + a large sd card) and locate it where it will catch the number plates - if someone drives off, phone the police immediately - they used to come quick quick on drive-offs and not unheard of that they would find those responsible within half an hour as the f-wits would go on a raz around with the free petrol.
_________________________
In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell

When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates

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#533587 - 15th Jun 2011 5:22pm Re: Is this legal ? unlawful deductions [Re: lau2908]
Necronuss Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 24th Oct 2009
Posts: 140
Loc: Wirral
afraid that this sounds like a standard practice..wife had did done to her when she worked in a garage in 95 so goes back a bit does not seem fair tho, especially as the scum who drove off were most probably not legal anyway

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#533661 - 15th Jun 2011 7:52pm Re: Is this legal ? unlawful deductions [Re: lau2908]
zippy49 Offline
Member

Registered: 15th Oct 2010
Posts: 82
Loc: wallasey
Iworked in garages a few years ago the minute they started to take money out of staffs wages a few of us left,one garage i worked at told us to get reg and phone police so they didn t take any money out of wages.I wouldget legal advise about it though just to see were you stand.

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#537439 - 23rd Jun 2011 1:25am Re: Is this legal ? unlawful deductions [Re: lau2908]
PaulWirral
Unregistered


It is simply immoral. That would be like taking wages off shelf stackers in ASDA if somone pinches a packet of biscuits.

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#537514 - 23rd Jun 2011 10:03am Re: Is this legal ? unlawful deductions [Re: ]
Nobody
Unregistered


Originally Posted By: PaulWirral
It is simply immoral. That would be like taking wages off shelf stackers in ASDA if somone pinches a packet of biscuits.


yeah, defo that paul

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#537739 - 23rd Jun 2011 5:46pm Re: Is this legal ? unlawful deductions [Re: lau2908]
lau2908 Offline
Forum Addict

Registered: 5th Jun 2010
Posts: 1406
Loc: wallasey
if someone steals from the shop while he is working , he has to pay for whatever is stolen and told he has to try and stop them too, bad company

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#537960 - 24th Jun 2011 9:44am Re: Is this legal ? unlawful deductions [Re: lau2908]
Davey_Martin Offline
Forum Master

Registered: 17th Jul 2007
Posts: 2888
Loc: New Ferry
That's a joke lau, as already said, if the company is unwilling to install adequate security measures, it's their problem and should not be putting it onto their employees. I assume the employees wouldn't have been told at their job interview that they are to be responsible for payments of "drive-offs".

They need to get some sort of regulator involved and get them to investigate it. It can't be legal/fair, surely?!

I found this with a quick google (although it's aus, a comment in there which i've "bolded" seems to give the only justification for them trying to do this...) although, again, it comes back to the quality of their security cameras!

Quote:
Service station employer charging employees for “drive offs”

Allegations were received that a service station company was charging employees for “drive offs” (where drivers leave without paying for the fuel). The employer confirmed that their practice was for employees to be asked to pay for “drive offs”. Their reason was that if the registration number was not recorded, the company had no way of knowing whether a console operator may have given free fuel to a friend or partner.

After intervention by the Queensland Workplace Rights Ombudsman the employer gave an undertaking that the practice would cease and would rectify, with payment, if an employee sought to be reimbursed for “drive off” costs that had been previously charged.

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#538617 - 26th Jun 2011 12:29pm Re: Is this legal ? unlawful deductions [Re: lau2908]
Frog_Eyes
Unregistered


I went for a job in a station last year sometime, and they did say that if anyone drives of and you don't get reg, it will get taken out of my money.. I see there point why it's done, and good on them or all the rats would be having them of...

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#538732 - 26th Jun 2011 4:37pm Re: Is this legal ? unlawful deductions [Re: lau2908]
MattLFC Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 14th Aug 2004
Posts: 22315
Loc: Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
I went and filled up before at the A41 Esso, and haha, I forgot my wallet! I had to go in and give my details to the woman, who was quite willing to wait for me to nip home in the car etc...

When I paid, she was saying about those who drive off without paying, and said so long as they have the reg of the vehicle, their usually covered. She said it wouldnt be the first time, someone has been in the same situation as me, and actually driven off without telling her, she has contacted the plod and reported, only for them to come through the door 10 minutes later to pay!!

smile

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