Problems with late salary payment

51 posts in this topic

@Bon UK: I feel really sorry for you it must be terrible for you and your colleagues at the moment.

 

Some years ago the Job Centre and the department responsible for giving people financial help from the state (similar to social security in the UK) were merged so this is why you have to register at the Arbeitsagentur as it is now called if you need state aid.

 

If your company has not paid the salaries of its employees has it paid the monthly sums of money to the Krankenkasse, Rentenversicherung etc? Do you have any health insurance at the moment? Does your company have a Betriebsrat?

 

It might be advisable to make an appointment with the Arbeitsagentur straight away, see text below.

 

Insolvenzgeld

Ist ein Arbeitgeber zahlungsunfähig und haben Arbeitnehmer deshalb ihre Löhne beziehungsweise Gehälter nur noch teilweise beziehungsweise gar nicht mehr erhalten, zahlt die Agentur für Arbeit unter bestimmten Voraussetzungen die ausstehenden Entgeltansprüche an die betroffenen Arbeitnehmer in Form von Insolvenzgeld.Anspruch auf Insolvenzgeld besteht bei Vorliegen eines Insolvenzereignisses für die davor liegenden letzten drei Monate (Insolvenzgeld-Zeitraum) des Arbeitsverhältnisses.

 

Gesamtsozialversicherungsbeiträge

Neben dem Insolvenzgeld, das die Arbeitnehmerin oder der Arbeitnehmer erhält, zahlt die Agentur für Arbeit auf Antrag der zuständigen Einzugsstelle (Krankenkasse) auch die für den Insolvenzgeld-Zeitraum rückständigen Pflichtbeiträge zur gesetzlichen Kranken-, Renten- und sozialen Pflegeversicherung sowie die Beiträge zur Arbeitsförderung (§ 175 SGB III).

 

 

 

http://www.arbeitsagentur.de/web/content/DE/BuergerinnenUndBuerger/FinanzielleHilfen/Insolvenzgeld/index.htm

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[adminmerge][/adminmerge]

 

Hello All,

 

This is the first time I have written a post of this kind on Toytown, but I am in a pretty intense situation and need all the perspectives and tips I can get. I just finished a job at a small private school in Pankow, and they did not pay me my last month's wages. Everyone else had been paid except me so I talked to the Sekretariat on my last day of work and they claimed that everything was normal. I had to find out through a friend the following day that pay roll claims I was informed that I would not receive my wages for July. I was not informed, nor was the possibility ever discussed. I can't even say what the reason might be, but I feel this is the result of mobbing that went on for some weeks, leading up to my decision to leave the school.

 

If you want to read the entire series of events leading up to this, I have summarized it below my questions.

 

My questions:

- I will absolutely sue for my wages, but is there a way to, and should I, also sue for harrassment? Do people do that in Germany?

- How expensive is it to go through a lawsuit in Germany? I think I may not qualify for kostenlos help once my new job starts, but are there sliding scale lawyers? How long does it take?

- Is it the case in Germany that if you sue your employer you will develop a bad reputation in the community in which you work? i.e. the bilingual educational community.

- I have also considered publicizing their bad behavior, but if I do that, it seems like there would also be consequences for me, like I could be labeled as a troublesome employee in the bilingual educational community in Berlin.

- They make their employees sign a statement saying that if they loose their work keys, they may have to pay for replacing the entire security system of the school. Isn't that what their insurance is for? Why would having employees sign such a statement be necessary if the school were properly insured?

- I have heard other stories about mobbing and workers rights violations in Kitas, and I just do not understand how people get away with this when there is such a huge deficit of erzieherin in Berlin. How is this possible?

 

Any advice or tips would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!!

 

Summary of events:

1. In February I lost a key that belonged to the office. I reported it immediately. The Sekretariat said it is a problem/annoyance, but they are finding a solution.

 

2. In February I found out that I would have to go into surgery. My supervising manager told me in German that I would have to use my vacation time to get surgery. I complained to the head of school, and she claimed I did not understand her because we spoke German (but she knows that I understand German).

 

2. In mid March the same supervising manager performed a small form of corporal punishment against one of the children in my class. The child told me immediately and I wrote up the incident and discussed it with the school's kinderschutz expert. I told her people were scared to come forward about things like this because all our contracts are up for renewal. She assured me nothing bad could happen to me.

 

3. The next week (end of March) I had my meeting about my contract with the head of school and supervising manager. They gave me a very bad review, which came out of nowhere. They also said really inappropriate things - My clothes look bad, my nails look bad, I walk funny, people are complaining about the way my shoes sound, people are complaining that I am dirty, that my room is dirty, lots of people in the school do not like me. They also said "We do not like that you write so many notes all the time. And we do not like that you try to involve other people in your problems." Pretty clear message there. They said they were not offering me a new contract (the unbefristet contract) and that basically I had to put my head down and shut up if I wanted it. At this time she also requested an official write up of how I lost the key in February.

 

4. I began looking for a different job. In May, the parents from my class expressed to head of school that they want me back as their erzieher. She than pressured me to sign a contract really quickly, claiming that if I didn't my health insurance would be discontinued. I wrote her an email saying I checked this out and it isn't possible (of course I knew instantly that she was just lying) and she claimed that it was just a mistake of her bad English. There is no doubt that she knows what the word "insurance" means in English, not least of all because she told me in this same meeting that I needed to take out key insurance.

 

5. I didn't sign the contract, I went into surgery in early June, and by the time I was back at work I had found a different job.

 

6. On my last day (two days ago) I turned in the statement about the keys, returned my keys at the office. They then told me that they viewed the key I lost as the key I had signed out for (which it wasn't). This is important because when we receive our work keys, we have to sign a document saying that if we loose them we may have to pay for replacing the entire school security system. We had an argument about this and she basically told me there was nothing she could do about either keys or my pay.

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Hi all,

So after 1year I quit my job, gave a proper notice period of 1month (presented june 20 with last day being written july 31).

My question: in what period of time employer is obligated to pay for last month and unused vacation days? isn't it the last day of my presence there? usually my salaries are paid every 15th day of the month, should I be waiting for that? You see my employer has a bad reputation on this particular topic and I personally know several different instances when people haven't received any payouts after quitting. One employee sued him and got his money back. If my case is the same whom should I refer besides hiring an attorney (I don't have legal insurance so that'd be costly) are there any institutions that protect employee rights?

 

[adminmerge][/adminmerge]

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What does your contract say about the due date?

 

Usually, 15th means payment for the previous calendar month, i.e. Aug 15 would be for July.

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Hi,

 

you are not entitled to the last salary payment on your last day.

It depends on the company's payroll cycle - usually you get everything with the payroll due day of the following month.

Your remaining leave days should be also reimbursed.

This case is crystal clear, if you don't receive your money, write a letter first, then wait for a week and write another and set a deadline and threaten with lawyer. If nothing happens, you might want to consult a lawyer.

 

hope this helps.

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[adminmerge][/adminmerge]

 

Hello,

 

I was wondering if you guys could help with problem that I have with an ex-employer. I have been employed for one month (August 2014) by a Berlin based company. I was fired after one month, because one of the managing partners felt like he couldn't work with me.

The problem is not about being fired, even though it was done expeditiously, without a reason given, and without trying to at least talk about the issues that led to that decisions, but with the fact that they don’t pay me for that month. When I left, they assured me that it’s not going to be a problem, they even sent me the pay slip with the amount and all the taxes, but nothing in my bank account. I have the contract that I signed with them, even the termination letter with the 2 weeks’ notice that was sent the very next day.

They are not answering my emails, I managed to talk once with one of the people there on the phone, but now they are not answering their phones either.

 

So, I was just wondering if there is anything that I could do about that, if any of you have been in this situation, and how you handled it.

 

Thank you very much,

Parfe

 

P.S.: The company is not filling for bankruptcy, or anything like that. In fact, they are doing great.

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[adminmerge][/adminmerge]

 

In July 2014 I started a contract that didn't work out. After 2 weeks the client said they wanted to terminate me immediately as was their right. However they assured me they would pay for the 2 weeks, and asked me to stay a few more hours to hand over my work to date. They were also relieved to hear I had not yet signed a contract for an apartment. My agent then informed me as a goodwill gesture they would also pay my 2 weeks in the hotel.

 

Over the next few months I sent occasional enquires as to when the agency would pay me. There were complications due to my changing management company, people on holiday etc. Until about 1 month ago. Then instead of hearing the latest excuse from my agent I got a letter from the legal department telling me as they'd made a loss, more than they owed me they were paying me nothing, and inviting me to contact the finance manager if I had any queries. I sent him a registered letter to which I once again got a letter from the legal department.

 

I quote below my proposed response. I have a number of questions:

I'm interested in any comments especially regarding the location of the court. The UK has a “small claims court” system for amounts under UKP5000 which this is. No lawyers, plaintiff and defendant appear in court and argue their cases. Court fees of about UKP400. Legal fees up to UKP 80 which is of no interest to any lawyer which is probably why none have even bothered answeing my Emails.

 

I'm assuming the plaintiff i.e. me chooses the court. The would of course find their location of Stoke-on-Trent convenient. London is the most convenient for me as I'd have to fly in.

 

Any comments, criticism, advice welcome.

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Here is the letter I've prepared to send, again by registered post. I can post my previous letter, and their latest response, and/or the first letter if anyone wants but don't want to swamp my thread

 

 

Regarding the letter referenced above and enclosed from Ms Legal of your legal department.

 

Once again I find myself a victim of what I consider to be Ms Legal's lack of financial knowledge.

 

Ms Legal is correct that in the event that the client had not paid your good selves, the opt out clause I signed would entitle you to not pay me. This fact however is irrelevant as she also admitted that the client did indeed pay you for my services.

 

Instead Ms Legal claims that as my contract did not run to term, the agency made a loss on my contract. Ms Legal in my opinion again demonstrates her financial naivety by failing to differentiate between a lost opportunity to profit, and a concrete loss. As you are financial director I'm sure you understand what I mean, and no further explanation is needed.

 

However she also admitted that you retained a replacement for me. Thus the loss; which I believe you cannot claim if it existed; does not even exist.

 

Please pay the invoice which I again attach you for your convenience by 31 Jan 2015. Should you continue to refuse to pay this invoice, and you receive no further communication from me, then I will begin a proceeding in the circuit court of London targeted at the small claims court.

 

I'm sure your Ms Legal will again write to me. In the highly unlikely event that she manages to convince me of the validity of your position, I shall again write you a letter withdrawing my intention to sue you.

 

In the event you receive no further communication from me, then I will sue you for the monies owed. I strongly suspect that because of the long delay caused by the confusion of the situation and personnel being on holiday, a financial quarter closed. It become administratively simpler for you to refuse to pay me because the accounting crossed a quarterly boundary.

 

Let me assure you that if this is true, it will be simpler to just pay me.

 

I'm intrigued by your threat to sue me for the remainder of your seemingly fictitious loss if I don't accept the situation. You're not a philanthropic orginisation. If you could sue me and make money you would. Threatening to sue someone you owe money to is one of the oldest tricks in the book. You know I've always wanted my day in court, and never had the opportunity to sue someone or something before. Looking forward to it.

 

See you in court.

 

 

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@batchfile

 

The amount is €4488.12 without hotel and €4948.12 with hotel.

So it blows the €2000 limit. However I see they recommend I contact a specialist lawyer if the amount is over 2000.

I'm still worried lawyers couldn't be bothered because the fees are so uninteresting.

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Check your contract. As long as you are within your rights to expect payment (no clause to the effect that they don't have to pay you if only xxx amount of time passes, or other such), re-write the letter:

 

"My invoice #xxx dated xxxx for work as XX from XX.14 to XX.14 (full amount XXX€) at company X is still outstanding as of today.

 

Please pay the amount plus late payment fees of (about 2%...?); see new invoice XXX attached, by XX.XX.14 to my account XXXXX.

 

Should the amount remain unpaid by the date mentioned, I will initiate legal proceedings."

 

Cut the childish attacks, cut the snide remarks, cut the context - none of which is necessary or will make your case any easier. Don't dictate to them where the court will be; often companies have in their general T&C a statement regarding where all claims will be carried out, and it will likely be their location.

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Good advice from Ruapehu especially regarding snarky remarks, however in light of what they've written to me, the above letter probably won't cut it. The question is not whether or not they are entitled to deduct losses, but whether their loss is valid.

 

Below is the letter I'm responding to. I think they are falsely considering a prematurely ended contract as a loss, and won't pay unless I make it clear I will take them to court. Of course maybe their position is valid?

 

post-257357-14163822340295_thumb.jpgpost-257357-14163822540652_thumb.jpg

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So there are 4 parties: You, the Agency, the Company, the Replacement. The only contract relevant is the one between You and the Agency.

What does it say in your contract? Is the Agency a Germany company? I find it hard to believe that the Agency doesn't have to pay a dime because you were let go early. But then maybe you signed up to as much in your contract?

Contact a lawyer (a German Lawyer to deal with the German Agency in German law)!

You probably don't have legal expenses insurance but German lawyers fees are not exorbitant and are based on the amounts involved. At least get an initial consultation so you know where you stand. Don't bother writing the Agency. At this stage they will only heed a lawyer's letter.

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The regulations they cited as non-applicable are from the UK. Are they a UK agency. If so, why are you seeking advice on TT?

Contract clause 1 - (what exactly are the terms and conditions you agreed to?)

Clause 10 - they don't have to pay out if you are in breach of contract (are you?)

and

Clause 3(h)- they don't have to pay out if you owe them money (do you?)

Again, have a lawyer check your contract!

Disclaimer: ain't no lawyer just sayin'

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The client is a German subsidary of US company. The agency is based in Stoke-on-trent in UK. The contract specifies legal jurisdiction as England.

 

I'm posting on TT because there's loads of Brit contractors, some of whom might have filed a small claim themselves at some point in their lives.

 

There is no question that they're allowed to sue me/withold money if I cause them to incurr a loss. My contract so indemnifies them. So had I torrented, sold secrets, or stolen kit, and the client sued the agancy they would have a case.

 

So the question is not can they sue for me causing them a loss. They can. The question is did I cause them a loss? I think it's clear I didn't.

 

Note how the legal department claims they lost 9k because the contract didn't complete, then states they replaced me which incurred even more costs, but obviously nullifies the claimed loss.

 

I find their position so unreasonable that I think my theory that a financial quarter closed off and they didn'T want the adminstration is reasonable.

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So the question is not can they sue for me causing them a loss. They can. The question is did I cause them a loss? I think it's clear I didn't.

I think the more primary question is whether you were in breach of contract or not.

 

 

Note how the legal department claims they lost 9k because the contract didn't complete, then states they replaced me which incurred even more costs, but obviously nullifies the claimed loss.

What constitutes a loss or not is dependent on the terms and conditions of the contract between you and the Agency.

I hear what you are saying and do think it would make more sense if they only considered the additional costs incurred in replacing you as a "loss" caused by you.

However, I still think it all boils down to the terms and conditions of your contract. Did you somehow guarantee that you would/could fulfill the contract. If it then turned out that the client Company considered you not qualified/competent to do so, might you be considered in breach of your contract? Again, I ain't no UK lawyer - talk to one!

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Paragraph 3(h) and 10 are the basis for them passing the loss on to me. That is a legal definition. They are claiming breach of contract because I proved to be incompetent, or at least unsatisfactory to the client. I guaranteed no milestones or deliverables, just defined my expertise in my CV.

 

Interestingly on the day of the interview the client said: Ah 12 years experience in xyz. I said no: 2 years. The client showed me the summary the agency had sent and it said 12. I said: sorry it's really only 2. They took me anyway. I had reminded them of this in my first letter.

 

What is a loss is not a legal definition, it's a financial definition. They did not get 9k profit because the contract finished early. They are translating a missed profit into a loss. Furthermore they did get the 9k because they replaced me. I don't think they can claim the extra administration because that's part of their job. Some contracts need more, some need less.

 

It would be hard to get an English lawyer to advise me, because they know it's a small claim and there's only UKP80 available for legal fees.

 

So the track is to write a final letter making it clear you will take legal action, and using your unambiguous final letter as the basis for filing a small claim.

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I'm an accountant and have done most of my accounting work in the UK. I can't think of an instance where a closed financial quarter would stop a valid invoice being processed.

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@batchfile

As an accountant with UK experience, can you comment on whether their loss is bone fide and defendable, or hot air?

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