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NSW Annual Leave Payout Withheld after Deciding to Quit?

Discussion in 'Employment Law Forum' started by JAC89, 8 July 2015.

  1. JAC89

    JAC89 Member

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    I work in sales and have a company car provided to me by my company. Due to my work schedule driving around NSW, I failed to get the car serviced for over a year and when I finally got a chance to put it in the mechanic's, the engine was ruined and they had to replace it costing a reported $8,000. I was told that I wouldn't have to pay any of it and given a warning in relation to the situation. However, I recently decided to quit and move jobs and now the company is withholding my annual leave payout of $3,500 to pay for the damage to the car.

    In your opinion, do you think I am liable under employment law for the damage? They didn't have the processes in place to ensure that I got the car serviced and they set the busy work schedule. They wouldn't be charging me if I wasn't leaving the company. Are they allowed to withhold my annual leave payout for this?
     
  2. Ivy

    Ivy Well-Known Member

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    Your employer cannot withhold owed pay to cover a charge that they have decided you are liable for without your acknowledgment of liability consent to the pay deduction.

    If your employer wanted you to pay for the damage to the car, then they needed to have a policy or agreement in place before you took the car. They may be able to ask you to pay after the damage is done but it gets into a legal grey area.

    If your employer specifically told you that you wouldn't have to pay for the damage the first time, then they absolutely cannot change their mind afterwards, particularly without your consent.

    So, give the Fair Work Ombudsman a call, and see if you can sort this out through mediation. After that, if your employer doesn't agree to pay you out, you may need to make an application to the Fair Work Commissioner to resolve the dispute. Contact us - Fair Work Ombudsman
     
  3. JAC89

    JAC89 Member

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    Thanks for this information. Unfortunately, I don't have any evidence to say they wouldn't charge me. It was a verbal conversation. When I told them they couldn't withhold my pay and that they should send me a bill they replied with that if I didn't give them my consent they would give it straight to a debt collector and charge me the full cost of the damage to the engine (they're only charging me half) and for all scratches and dings to the vehicle. I feel like I have no choice in this situation, I think I am liable for the damage to the engine (I'll need to find my employment contract). I think it's in my best interest to just allow this and move on.

    Thanks for your help. I really appreciate it.
     
  4. Ivy

    Ivy Well-Known Member

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    Give the Fair Work Ombudsman a call before you make a final decision.
     
  5. JAC89

    JAC89 Member

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    Will do. Thank you again
     

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