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WA Car Accident - Employee Liability for Excess on Car Insurance?

Discussion in 'Employment Law Forum' started by Mazdamx5, 1 April 2015.

  1. Mazdamx5

    Mazdamx5 Member

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    Hi, an apprentice driving the work vehicle during work hours and for work purposes had a car accident and admitted fault. He sent a text to his employer apologising and stating that he will pay the car insurance excess. In his text he stated "I'm so sorry about today I owe you big time if you need me to pay the excess I can pay it off every week and don't worry about paying me for today."

    A) Is the employee liable for the excess seeming the accident was definitely his fault?
    B) Is the text as per above sufficient as the employee's agreeance in writing to enable his employer to legally deduct the excess from his wage?

    The employer is a sole trader and therefore under wageline.

    Thank you much appreciated.
     
  2. Ivy

    Ivy Well-Known Member

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    Hi there,

    I apologise for the delay in response to this query. Is this issue ongoing?

    Whether the employee should pay excess on insurance can be determined by business policy. However it is reasonable and common for employers to expect their employees to pay excess when they are at fault in a car accident.

    However tread carefully before not paying the apprentice for the day of work when the accident happened and before deducting payments from his future wages.

    You should discuss with the apprentice what a reasonable payment timeline is for the excess and how the payments should be made. To my understanding, it will be difficult for you legally justify forcing him to pay by taking it out of his wages without his consent, particularly because it doesn't sound as though there is a workplace policy on this or anything written about it in his contract.

    Once the two of you agree to a timeline, payment amounts and how the payments are made (e.g. wage deductions), then you should draw up a written agreement and both sign it. I suggest that you shouldn't use his text message as evidence of an agreement in lieu of a written and signed document.
     

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