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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: UK Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 48190
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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My employer has made me redundant and I had a company car and

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My employer has made me redundant and I had a company car and was entitled to private use of that car contractually. I have not been paid all of my notice period yet, but my employer wants to take the car back before my notice period is due to end. As I am redundant after 19 years with this employer and have had a company car for the last 11 years, are they allowed to take the car back early?

Ben Jones :

Hello and thank you for your question, which I will be happy to assist you with. Please let me know if you are actually going to work through your full notice period?

Customer:

Thank you for asking for further information, Ben.


 


My notice period expires at the end of March 2013 - I was made redundant from 30th September.


 


Currently, I am working on an ad-hoc consultancy basis which will finish at the end of this month or very soon after that, so I am still on good terms with my former employer.

Ben Jones :

So are you still officially employed by them and performing your contractual duties?

Customer:

No, I am not officially employed. I'm here as an independent contractor and charging them for the privilege on top of my notice period. At the end of this month, the consultancy will probably cease and unless I am employed by someone else I shall be sat at home looking for a job!


 


Sorry this wasn't clear - my redundancy letter states my employment ended 30/9 and I've had a cheque for the tax-free statutory redundancy part. There's no PILON agreement, I am being paid my notice period payments on a monthly basis as I was trying to avoid paying too much tax. I appreciate this will change if I find a new employer.

Ben Jones :

Whilst the provision of the car is likely to have become a contractual term due to the amount of time it has been in practice, this benefit will terminate once your employment terminates. From what you have said it appears that your employment has already been terminated, which would also be confirmed by the payment of a redundancy payment. As such the employer does not have to provide you this benefit once this has occurred. If there has been a private arrangement where you are being paid your notice period in return for providing consultancy services to them on a self employed basis then that is an entirely different arrangement governed under a separate contract and as such it would be down to you and the employer to negotiate its terms and whether a car would form part of it.

Ben Jones :

I hope that the above answers your query. If you do not need further advice on this please leave a good rating. If you need further advice or are not satisfied with my service please DO NOT rate yet and simply get back to me with any queries or comments and I will be happy to assist further to ensure that you leave our site satisfied. Thank you

Customer:

 


 

Customer:

Thank you for your reply, Ben.


I do not understand why I am not entitled to continue to receive the benefits of my contract of employment during my notice period. I looked on the direct.gov web site where it is stated that in a notice period your employer must normally provide you with the benefits that are part of your contract of employment. Such rights do not apply where an employee is dismissed for misconduct, etc but I am puzzled that you imply there is a distinction in the notice period because I have been made redundant. Should the terms of my contract of employment be equally applicable in a notice period or not?

Ben Jones :

What you have said is true but you are not officially working your notice period. Our employment has already been terminated. At least that what appears to be the case based on what you have told me. If you were serving your notice period then you would continue to work under your old contract of employment, being paid the salary you earned and undertaking the duties you did without any change. However, you appear to be working under a consultancy agreement and being paid some fees that are equivalent to your notice period but disguised as something else. If you have done this for tax purposes then whilst I cannot advise on tax matters, it could be that an unfortunate side effect of this arrangement is that your employment no longer continues which would remove your entitlement to any benefits under your old contract.


 

Customer:

 


 

Customer:

Ben,


 

Customer:

Thank you for your reply. I remain very confused as my employer has stated my private medical insurance payments will continue. How can there be a distinction between benefits?


 

Ben Jones :

There usually won't and any contractual benefits should continue but this whole issue is clouded due to the irregular way this is done where your employment appears to have come to an end but your notice continues under a separate arrangement. This is not standard and can affect your rights as explained above

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