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Non-payment of wages

leamspaceman

Distinguished Member
I know a young Romanian couple who work all the hours God sends.

The young girl has been working at a restaurant for the last few weeks. She's been badgering the boss for a written contract but he's kept her waiting. She was only ever paid in cash and she always had to ask for her wages.

She found another job so handed her notice in. She did about another 30 hours work before leaving so she's owed for that.

The boss has kept promising to pay her but hasn't. She's texted him on numerous occasions but he doesn't reply.

Because she had no contract and was paid cash she's not got much proof she actually worked there but she always took pictures of the work rota with her name on it signed by the manager.

From what I can gather the restaurant in question only ever takes on foreign staff and only ever pays them cash and doesn't deduct anything for tax or NI.

I've offered to call the boss and be a little more 'assertive' with him but he can still refuse to pay.

So I'm just wondering what options she has?

They had one guy working there who was here illegally and they didn't pay him. He went to CAB and they contacted the restaurant. So the boss of the restaurant reported the guy to immigration and he was deported! So he sounds like a bit of a scumbag.

I know it's easy these days to do something like get a FB post circulated to negatively affect the restaurants business but would rather not go down this route.

Anyone got any thoughts on what a good course of action might be to put this right?

Cheers....
 

alphaomega16

Distinguished Member
I thought cash in hand workers were illegal, if this is the case she can threaten to report his dealings assuming the couple are here legit.

Pictures of the work rota should be more than sufficient, if you did contact him and say this issue will not be left alone and you will constantly be on him he might pay up.

He cannot try and report harassment for not paying an employee if he was doing it illegally, if he says he is being harassed because he is not paying an employee what is owed he will just be dropping himself in it.
 

Greg Hook

Moderator & Reviewer
Report them to the authorities. That sounds like a typical place exploiting foreign workers. I doubt they were even paid minimum wage.
 

hippo99

Distinguished Member
If they're Romanian don't they have the same free movement rights as any other EU national, so at least he shouldn't be able to threaten deportation or anything like that.
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
Well on the bright side think of all the money they saved not paying income tax and national insurance - I assume they aren't complaining about that element.

So following on from that - report the business by saying that they have been working cash in hand? Sure the owner will get into trouble but HMRC might turn round to them and say "right let's work out what you owe us and will be going after all your colleagues too".

That's the trouble with working illegally, your boss has you over a barrel.

Cheers,

Nigel
 

leamspaceman

Distinguished Member
Cheers for the replies so far.

Yes... reporting to the authorities is an option but who would you contact in this situation?

As Romanians they do have a right to work here legally.

@nheather... I don't think they're working illegally because Romanians have right of free movement to work in the EU.

They're not happy about not paying tax and NI. This is why my friend was constantly asking for a contract and for it to be official and compliant. They want to build a life here, and actively want a record of paying tax and NI to solidify their status here. It's one of the reasons she left because she wasn't comfortable with the cash in hand aspect.
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
@nheather... I don't think they're working illegally because Romanians have right of free movement to work in the EU.

Never said they were - that is what you inferred - and you got it wrong.

They ARE working illegally and it is nothing to do with their nationality. They are working illegally because they are not declaring their earnings and paying the taxes and national insurance due.

They might even be claiming incorrect benefits as a result but that would be pure speculation.

Again, sod all with them being Romanian.

Cheers,

Nigel
 

clc.sheff

Distinguished Member
She needs to submit an invoice for the hours, wait 28 days, submit reminder, wait 28 days, then start procedings for small claims court.
 

clc.sheff

Distinguished Member
Never said they were - that is what you inferred - and you got it wrong.

They ARE working illegally and it is nothing to do with their nationality. They are working illegally because they are not declaring their earnings and paying the taxes and national insurance due.

They might even be claiming incorrect benefits as a result but that would be pure speculation.

Again, sod all with them being Romanian.

Cheers,

Nigel
Strictly speaking the tax and NI will not be due immediately if declared as self employed earnings.
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
Strictly speaking the tax and NI will not be due immediately if declared as self employed earnings.

True, they could do a self-assessment.

Again speculation but hands up here all those that think cash in hand workers (regardless of nationality) complete self assessments.

And hands up all those that think cash in hand workers declare their employment status and earnings to DWP and local authorities.

Cheers,
Nigel
 
Last edited:

clc.sheff

Distinguished Member
True, they could do a self-assessment.

Again speculation but hands up here all those that think cash in hand workers (regardless of nationality) complete self assessments,

Cheers,
Nigel
I wouldnt put my hand up either tbh. I was just making the point having been paid gross under the promise of being on the books she wasnt a tax avoider until the deadline for declaring the income has passed.

Back in the day I saw the same scenario happen all the time in the construction industry. Way below market rate cash payments made a week in hand to workers who worked all hours to make a decent wage. If they left often the final payment dissapeared up in smoke or a token amount was paid under the understanding the employer had to pay moneys to inland revenue on their behalf ( which never happened ). The worker was then told they were seen as self employed and had to sort their own affairs out. Obviously this never happened but it is still exploitation in my view.
 
D

Deleted member 51156

Guest
I wouldnt put my hand up either tbh. I was just making the point having been paid gross under the promise of being on the books she wasnt a tax avoider until the deadline for declaring the income has passed.

Back in the day I saw the same scenario happen all the time in the construction industry. Way below market rate cash payments made a week in hand to workers who worked all hours to make a decent wage. If they left often the final payment dissapeared up in smoke or a token amount was paid under the understanding the employer had to pay moneys to inland revenue on their behalf ( which never happened ). The worker was then told they were seen as self employed and had to sort their own affairs out. Obviously this never happened but it is still exploitation in my view.
This used to happen even if you were PAYE, or price, there'd always be some jackanory story why money was missing, one company didn't pay me and my work partner for two months. I always got my money by hook or by crook, but it wasn't pretty. The legal route takes too long if it's the only money you have to live off.
 

leamspaceman

Distinguished Member
Never said they were - that is what you inferred - and you got it wrong.

If that makes you feel better then yes, I got it wrong.

I thought I'd made it clear that they weren't working illegally from a geographic perspective.

You assumed they were happy about not paying tax and NI... but you got that wrong, but I didn't feel the need to point it out to you... jeez.

Anyway, thanks for all your responses... really helpful information.

If anything further happens I'll update.

Cheers all.
 

leamspaceman

Distinguished Member
I wouldnt put my hand up either tbh. I was just making the point having been paid gross under the promise of being on the books she wasnt a tax avoider until the deadline for declaring the income has passed.

This is a helpful post and is exactly the situation. She was working under the assumption that eventually her boss would make the relationship official with a contract and correct deductions etc. It just never happened.

Thanks for summing it up succinctly...
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
If that makes you feel better then yes, I got it wrong.

I thought I'd made it clear that they weren't working illegally from a geographic perspective.

You assumed they were happy about not paying tax and NI... but you got that wrong, but I didn't feel the need to point it out to you... jeez.

Anyway, thanks for all your responses... really helpful information.

If anything further happens I'll update.

Cheers all.


Apologies for snapping - I am beginning to get a little sensitive about people of this forum stating or suggesting that I am a racist.

Just to reiterate that nothing that I said was in any way related to them being Romanian. In fact you introduced the fact that they were Romanian in the OP which was totally unnecessary because the situation applies equally to anyone of any nationality with a legal right to work in the UK.

BTW - I agree that I assumed that they were happy not to pay Income Tax and National Insurance and apologies if I was incorrect. If they are not happy about not paying it then I'm sure a quick call to HMRC (NI: 0300 200 3500 and Income Tax: 0300 200 3300) will sort them out.

Cheers,

Nigel
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
Great idea... didn't think of going down this route.

Excellent advice.


A few points to consider

1) Does the small claims court deal with employment issues - I don't know, just asking.
2) Check that they happy declaring to the state that they have been working cash in hand.
3) Before starting would check that they can collate some evidence that they worked the hours.
4) Assuming you are allowed to raise employment disputes and they don't mind revealing their situation then I think it would be very effective because I doubt very much that the owner would like to reveal the way he operates in court so is most likely to settle outside court.

Cheers,

Nigel
 

InvisibleDuncan

Distinguished Member
I would worry that the authorities would automatically assume she was intending to not declare her cash-in-hand income and would immediately treat her as an offender rather than a victim.

On safer ground, though, I think the Citizens Advice Bureau are pretty good for this kind of thing.
 

leamspaceman

Distinguished Member
@nheather

Thanks for the apology about snapping. It's very rare you get an apology on here so kudos to you for that.

I'm a little fed up with some of the rudeness and aggression that goes on here sometimes with people seeming to need to prove they are right or that someone else is wrong when, frankly, it doesn't matter that much in the grand scheme of things.

So I apologize for being a bit irritable.

It never crossed my mind that you might have been being racist so no worries about that from my side.

Thanks for the useful information in yours and everybody else's posts. I've already got a few avenues to recommend to them so cheers all.
 

leamspaceman

Distinguished Member
Just an update on this... been rather busy.

A few assertive text messages to the manager of the restaurant in question and the wages that were owed were paid.

I wrote the texts but my friend sent them from her phone. I think the manager guessed somebody else was writing them and it was odd how he immediately replied to them.

Thanks for your input everyone.
 

blue max

Distinguished Member
Just an update on this... been rather busy.

A few assertive text messages to the manager of the restaurant in question and the wages that were owed were paid.

I wrote the texts but my friend sent them from her phone. I think the manager guessed somebody else was writing them and it was odd how he immediately replied to them.

Thanks for your input everyone.

Great outcome and well done for stepping in to help her. I'm sure it made all the difference :smashin:
 

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