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Week in Hand

An employee has walked out without giving the required 1 weeks notice. The pay system was a week in hand basis. Do we have to pay them for their last week of work or is this retained in lieu of Notice. we understand that they have lost the right to pyt for any holidays owed but are unsure with the wages question.
Margaret Platt

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I thought the law was...
...that you have to pay someone for the time they have actually worked. The last week's pay (payable at the end of the NEXT week, in this case) would therefore be due to the employee. Mind you, I expect the EU have already knocked that one on the head. Beware, if you have ever uttered a word of anything less than praise to this ex-employee: (s)he can probably take you to the European Court of Human Rights on some grounds or other.....
"It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen..."

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Week in Hand.
Asumed that the employee therefore worked the first week for no pay and has continued to work week in hand basis. Therefore you are perfectly entitled to withhold the last week's payment if required notice was not given as per contract of employment. However, employees can NOT lose the right to holiday pay and this should be paid to him/her. It is now a contractual obligation whether full/part-time or seasonal employment, following the usual Brussells interference!

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As always - depends
I assume you have checked the employees Contract of Employment.
It would appear that the employee is in breach of contract in not giving you a weeks notice. Therefore it would probably be reasonable for you to withhold/deduct a weeks pay. However, if you do this you should also check the position with regard to his/her accrued holiday. If you deduct a weeks pay in lieu of the notice period to "rectify" the breach you may find yourself liable to pay for the accrued holiday.
At the end of the day you should consider your time and costs plus the goodwill (of remaining staff) before coming to a decision.
Personally I'd set the accrued holiday against the notice period (which the employee should have done anyway) and then only deduct the balance from the week in hand.
Sometimes its better to swallow some pride and avoid a nasty employment claim.

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