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QLD Employment Law - Paying Employer's Insurance Excess for Damage to Work Vehicle?

Discussion in 'Employment Law Forum' started by Sharon Laycock, 12 November 2015.

  1. Sharon Laycock

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    My daughter was reversing a pizza delivery vehicle out of a parking space at her place of employment when she hit another vehicle driving through the parking lot. She was shaken up and felt terrible and offered to pay for some of the damage.

    A few months later her employer informs her that she needs to pay them $1500 for their insurance excess. As her parents we were concerned about the amount and whether a business could ask that of an employee ( isn't it a business expense which can be claimed?). Our daughter asked for documentation that such an excess was payable i.e..a contract signed by herself or, at least, an insurance policy stating the amount and, if she was liable to pay, she wanted to pay it into their business account so requested those details as well.

    The business owners cut the amount back to $750, sent through an excerpt from an insurance policy stating that the excess for an inexperienced driver was $1500 but were not forthcoming with any further information. There were further questions from the employer about when she was going to pay but no bank account details were ever sent through.

    Our daughter continued working for this company for about another year but over time her hours were cut right back to a few hours a week. She was recently successful in obtaining a new job so gave in notice at her pizza delivery job whereupon they asked her to pay the excess again. Now she has very little money to pay due to limited hours offered and has told them as much but they want her to meet with them to discuss the matter.

    We are worried they will use bullying tactics to force payment. They still haven't fixed the minor damage which occurred to the work vehicle. What is her position Employment Law? Surely she should not just hand over the cash?
     
  2. JS79

    JS79 Well-Known Member

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    Ask them to provide an original copy of your daughter's employment contract. Unless they expressly state that she would be up for an excess when driving their vehicle and she signed a contract with that express term then it is highly unlikely she would be liable to pay it.
     
  3. Sharon Laycock

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    Thank you for your response. This is what we were thinking and our daughter initially suggested to her employer that they should make employees aware of such a possible liability upon employment if such a liability exists . As far as we are aware no contract of employment was offered or signed.
     
  4. Kim Husman

    Kim Husman Member

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    Hello, Sharon. I have just read your post and last Saturday our 19-year-old son did the same thing and has also been asked to pay the excess. To mine and my husband's knowledge, we don't ever recall our son signing any such agreement in regards to driver excess. We too have asked for the original employment contract and we are also seeking legal advice from our solicitor.

    I obtained the incident report today via email and likewise wish to see the insurance policy. I think it's very disheartening for our children to be paid at such a low wage and then be expected to pay such a high excess because they are under 25. Maybe these employers should look at hiring drivers/ scooter riders of the right age and not provisional drivers with only a few years of driving experience when placing them under pressure to deliver their pizzas in the designated time frame that the company expects. We too were under the impression that this is what business insurance was for.
     

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