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Ex-Employer UK Request?

Ex-Employer UK Request?

Old Mar 18th 2008, 9:07 am
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Default Ex-Employer UK Request?

My lovely ex-employer's in the UK have sent me an email.

I worked for a residential lettings agent for 2 years.

They have been taken to the small claims court by an ex-Landlord who is looking for renumeration for repairs to their property which we let to tenants when I worked there. The basis of their claim is that the tenants were not reference checked extensively enough.

The tenants were non-English speaking ( ?!) Portuguese.

My ex-employers have written out a statement of truth for me to print off, sign and send back to them for the next court hearing. I have a recollection of doing some references, but not of subsequent phone calls in the statement? Therefore, I have asked my ex-employers to verify what evidence they have on file to support what they have written in this statement of truth they want me to sign.

IF, they were to say "it's all in the file" and I sign it and post it back and it goes before the judge, what if it's not true? What's the comeback on me? This was over 2 years ago now and I can't remember what I did and didn't do? I'd like to be able to help them, but only if it's true and they are not putting statements into my statement of truth that just can't be backed up?

As it's only small claims court, I'm assuming nobody can order me back or query anything with me?
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Old Mar 18th 2008, 9:54 am
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Default Re: Ex-Employer UK Request?

Sorry can't help you with this one hun.

Is there anyone 'legal' back in blighty that can advise you on your position? If not try searching on here

http://www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/

Good Luck xxx
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Old Mar 18th 2008, 10:03 am
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Default Re: Ex-Employer UK Request?

Originally Posted by kev&sarah View Post
Sorry can't help you with this one hun.

Is there anyone 'legal' back in blighty that can advise you on your position? If not try searching on here

http://www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/

Good Luck xxx
Thanks sweetie,

Just feel tis better to err on the side of caution, no matter the distance?!
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Old Mar 18th 2008, 10:43 am
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Default Re: Ex-Employer UK Request?

This is a small claims court. You don't have to do anything for this ex-employer & you should not.

Much as you may feel some loyalty & possible friendship to them, you should not compromise yourself to help them.
You have not worked for this employer for some time. It was for them to check the state of the tenancy as the letting agency. Not you. They were the company making money from the business. You were the employee. Much as you like them ,this is their bag of rotten apples & their fight.
I'm sure these are good people but a long distance ex-employee can be used as the fall-guy - a scape goat - to get them off the hook.

They should be negotiating a compromise or fighting the case through their own papertrail and recorss , not contacting you about this old news.

Do not sign anything that they put before you. By your own admission you cannot remember all that happened.

Write your own statement of what you remember and only what you remember. Take it to a lawyer and swear an affidavit and send it back to your ex-employer. Tell them that this is the very best and most honest thing you feel you can do and then wish them well.

That is all you should do to help them .
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Old Mar 18th 2008, 10:57 am
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Default Re: Ex-Employer UK Request?

I agree wholeheartedly with Bevs except I don't see why you should have to do anything really. Just refuse to sign it on the grounds that you can't remember and leave it at that, why should you incur costs?

Last edited by luvwelly; Mar 18th 2008 at 11:00 am.
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Old Mar 18th 2008, 11:17 am
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Default Re: Ex-Employer UK Request?

Besides which you should never sign a statement that someone else has written for you!

Suppose you had to stand up in court and we questioned on your statement but couldn't remember enough about the facts of the case? you'd have to stand there an justify everything you'd "said" and under oath too.

Leave well alone I'd say. Tell the old employers you can't remember anything about the facts of the case and on that basis won't be supplying them or anyone else with a statement.
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Old Mar 18th 2008, 11:20 am
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Default Re: Ex-Employer UK Request?

Originally Posted by Nerine View Post
Besides which you should never sign a statement that someone else has written for you!

Suppose you had to stand up in court and we questioned on your statement but couldn't remember enough about the facts of the case? you'd have to stand there an justify everything you'd "said" and under oath too.

Leave well alone I'd say. Tell the old employers you can't remember anything about the facts of the case and on that basis won't be supplying them or anyone else with a statement.
Just had another email from them, saying they have the paper evidence on file to support what i did in the way of referencing and what is in the statement, but I don't know ... I don't have the file?

Bugger ... each case was different, especially with the Eastern Europeans coming in before I left ... I'm a little miffed about it, but they did become good friends.
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Old Mar 18th 2008, 11:30 am
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Default Re: Ex-Employer UK Request?

If they have the paper evidence on file then that is THEIR evidence and not yours and as such they have to present it, it is not up to you to do it.

As far as I can remember it is actually illegal to write a statement for someone else and then ask them to sign it.

Any good lawyer worth their salt is going to question the validity of a 'detailed' statement made by someone who left the employment of a company over two years ago. They'll know it was written for you.
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Old Mar 18th 2008, 11:35 am
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Default Re: Ex-Employer UK Request?

If it really comes to it, and you feel obliged on a personal level to help them out (which you probably shouldn't) your statement should be along the lines of

I worked for XXX company between the dates of xxxxx and followed the company's established procedures for letting properties. I do not recall any of the facts surrounding the case in question and all records of my actions will have been retained in the company's records. ....... or something equally vague.
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Old Mar 18th 2008, 11:42 am
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Default Re: Ex-Employer UK Request?

Originally Posted by Nerine View Post
If it really comes to it, and you feel obliged on a personal level to help them out (which you probably shouldn't) your statement should be along the lines of

I worked for XXX company between the dates of xxxxx and followed the company's established procedures for letting properties. I do not recall any of the facts surrounding the case in question and all records of my actions will have been retained in the company's records. ....... or something equally vague.
Thanks kids,

I've emailed them back and relayed most of the above - but said if I write a statement saying what I remember it'll have to be by sworn affidavit here and I'm not paying?!

I stopped working for them in March 2007. Be buggered if I can remember each specific case.

End of another friendship I guess ...
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Old Mar 18th 2008, 12:58 pm
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Default Re: Ex-Employer UK Request?

In a nutshell, under English law, if you sign a witness statement you must do so with an honest belief in its truth. Proceedings for contempt of court can be brought if you make or cause to be made, a false statement in a document verified by a statement of truth without honest belief in its truth. My advice (as a [non practising] barrister), is do not sign the witness statement if you do not honestly believe, or can verify its contents. I hope that helps.
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Old Mar 18th 2008, 5:28 pm
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Default Re: Ex-Employer UK Request?

As a serving Police Officer, i say DO NOT SIGN IT. As said above, if you feel a loyalty to the firm, then write a statement stating that you do not remember any individual case and any cases you dealt with are kept on file by the company. Start you statement with the following" This statement is true to the best of my knowledge and i make it knowing that if any part of it is untrue, i could be liable to prosecution"
Then just put that "In 200? i was employed by ?????? as a ?????. Due to the passage of time and the amout of files i had access to, i am unable to recall any individual case. I have been approached by (ex employer) with reference to a person by the name of?????
I do not recall this person and if i had any dealings with that person, the details should be contained within the files held by(ex employer)" END
Thats if you feel the need to assist them
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Old Mar 20th 2008, 12:02 am
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Default Re: Ex-Employer UK Request?

Originally Posted by Am Loolah View Post
My lovely ex-employer's in the UK have sent me an email.

I worked for a residential lettings agent for 2 years.

They have been taken to the small claims court by an ex-Landlord who is looking for renumeration for repairs to their property which we let to tenants when I worked there. The basis of their claim is that the tenants were not reference checked extensively enough.

The tenants were non-English speaking ( ?!) Portuguese.

My ex-employers have written out a statement of truth for me to print off, sign and send back to them for the next court hearing. I have a recollection of doing some references, but not of subsequent phone calls in the statement? Therefore, I have asked my ex-employers to verify what evidence they have on file to support what they have written in this statement of truth they want me to sign.

IF, they were to say "it's all in the file" and I sign it and post it back and it goes before the judge, what if it's not true? What's the comeback on me? This was over 2 years ago now and I can't remember what I did and didn't do? I'd like to be able to help them, but only if it's true and they are not putting statements into my statement of truth that just can't be backed up?

As it's only small claims court, I'm assuming nobody can order me back or query anything with me?
Wisdom consists of the anticipation of consequences. ~Norman Cousins
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Old Mar 20th 2008, 12:24 am
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Default Re: Ex-Employer UK Request?

Hey Caroline!

I've just had a sworn affidavit given to me for my case in Disputes Tribunal next week. You can just type up a letter stating what the others have said, and have a JP sign it - no charge I'm the claimant, not respondent before tongues start wagging lol

Under no circumstances should you sign anything they have written for you - you'll be liable, not them

Good Luck

Michelle x
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Old Mar 20th 2008, 3:13 am
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Default Re: Ex-Employer UK Request?

Originally Posted by Nerine View Post
If they have the paper evidence on file then that is THEIR evidence and not yours and as such they have to present it, it is not up to you to do it.

As far as I can remember it is actually illegal to write a statement for someone else and then ask them to sign it.

Any good lawyer worth their salt is going to question the validity of a 'detailed' statement made by someone who left the employment of a company over two years ago. They'll know it was written for you.
nope, its totally legal to do it and solicitors do it all the time so do investigation companies (I used to do it and I was not even a solicitor or a licensed PI in the UK).
Caroline, personally I would not sign, and certainly not without your telephone notes (I assume they are yours). If they offer to send the notes to you (next step in my experience), get a good colour copy and see if they refresh your memory - I have given evidence based on that type of thing. If in doubt don't make/agree any statments of fact.
the Court has little or no hold over you unless you do sign a statement or proof or there was a clause in your contract of employment to indicate that you had to give continuing cooperation (even I didn't have one of those and I was doing work for Lawyers all the time in the UK).
As Mal said you could draft your own statement and I can send you a form of words along that line that will fit the UK system if you like - I still have draft statement forms from my days in the UK. PM me if you want a draft statement in word format.
bear in mind that neither party is likely to pay for you to attend the hearing so you are unlikely to have to give evidence in person, most likely your statement will be read or agreed (and it may all be part of the horse-trading between the two sides).
At the end of the day, you are the witness, employer has no hold on you but there are ways and means of being true to yourself and fair to them.
Good luck and don't worry about it! Ian
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