A sole practitioner has been ordered to pay damages to three former employees for unpaid wages, in a decision by the employment tribunal.
Toslim Ahmed, a sole practitioner and owner of an East London practice trading as Universal Solicitors, made unlawful deductions from the wages of two former caseworkers and a former consultant who were employed between September and November 2019, the tribunal found. It also found Ahmed had breached the contract of their employment.
According to the judgment, the claimants - MT Chowdhury, MO Faruq and ME Hossain - were not given contracts of employment despite repeated requests and resigned from their roles because of Ahmed's ‘unprofessional conduct’.
Employment Judge A Ross found that the claimants were all entitled to payments for the periods worked during November 2019, as well as to statutory notice pay and accrued holiday pay. He also found that the three men were entitled to awards under Section 38 of the Employment Act 2002.
The judge ruled: 'the failure of this respondent to provide these claimants with a statement of terms and conditions (or contracts of employment having that effect) was an egregious breach of the statutory requirements because (a) the respondent is a firm of solicitors and should either have known the law or have been able to ascertain the relevant law; (b) the claimants requested contracts of employment several times; (c) the respondent fobbed the claimants off saying that they would deal with it but failed to do so.’
Ahmed was ordered to pay £9,675 in total.
However, the tribunal found the claimants did not have a claim for unfair dismissal and rejected their applications for preparation time orders and costs orders.