Non-payment of bounty - can I get interest?

Discussion in 'Army Reserve' started by msr, Sep 11, 2006.

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  1. msr

    msr LE

    For those who still not had their bounty, grrr

    Can one go after the MOD for interest since it is now 5 months late?

    And yes, it is having a retention negative effect...

    msr
     
  2. That's an interesting question, the answer to which is a resounding dunno.

    Is there a lawyer here anywhere?
     
  3. Give it a serious punt every other tw@ bangs interest on just about anything they can, why hould you be any different an why should the MOD slink out of it

    May the force be with you
     
  4. Chances are the bounty whilst late doesn't officially have to be paid until 31st March next year. Same as pay isn't required to be in the bank until the last banking day of the next month.
     
  5. what about bounties that were not paid as they went over the 31st March and you should have said something!
     
  6. Hmmm. Interesting. Although expressed as being a gratuity (ie, a present), arguably the bounty forms part of our pay under our contract of employment.

    So if you have met the criteria for bounty then as soon as it falls payable it becomes a debt owed to you by your employer, the MoD.

    In theory, you could have a go at suing the MoD in the small claims court or the Employment Tribunal for the money you are owed, including in either case interest at the statutory rate (8% per annum) from the date at which it became payable until the date on which judgment is awarded by the court or tribunal.

    The MoD may argue -

    (i) that the debt is a discretionary gratuity (a gift) rather than part of your wages: you can counter this by saying that there are published criteria for getting it, which you have met, so it is not discretionary;

    (ii) that you do not have a contract of employment giving rise to a right to sue for the debt: you can counter by citing that pensions case, which found that the TA are part-time employees in so far as we are undertaking our minimum training commitment (which happens to be one of the criteria for bounty) but only casual employees for anything beyond that;

    (iii) that the debt although due as of April or whenever has some other deadline for payment: you can counter that by observing that because nearly everyone else gets paid by (say) May, it is an implied term that you be paid by then.

    You need to set out your claim in a letter first. Address it to the Ministry of Defence, care of The Treasury Solicitor's Department, One Kemble Street,
    London WC2B 4TS. Explain that you became entitled as of whatever date for whatever amount and that if you are not paid by whatever date you will commence proceedings. Explain what other steps you have already taken to resolve the matter.

    You can download the form for kicking off the small claims court process here. Info on the process is here.

    The employment tribunal route is all online. You fill in the form here; your claim would be expressed as one for unpaid wages.

    There is no fee for the employment tribunal route and a small one for the small claims court. The main benefit of the ET route is that if you lose, you do not have to pay the other side's costs except in cases of exceptional cheekiness. With the small claims court, if you lose you may have to pay the Treasury Solicitor's costs, which might be significant if they have instructed a barrister.

    Be advised that doing the above will cause a DEFCON 1 response by your chain of command. I do not advise doing any of the above until you have really, really exhausted all of the means available to you within the chain of command and also by contacting Glasgow directly. I give the above info mainly because I am also still owed my bounty and am cross, and because I reckon it is a bit of an abuse to tolerate delays of this sort. Think of it as a shot across the bows, Glasgow.
     
  7. chrisg46

    chrisg46 LE Book Reviewer

    One of our blokes wrote to his MP when his was stupidly late. Kicked up quite a stink!
     
  8. msr

    msr LE

    Am firing this up the chain of command - will keep you posted.


    msr
     
  9. I predict a response along the lines of "It's a free bonus for casual labour, we're not obliged to pay interest on a gift"

    Is there a TA contract of employment, terms and conditions?

    I know it seems a bone question , but........
     
  10. Hah! Excellent. That is exactly what the response will be. Luckily, though, each bit of that ("free bonus", "casual labour", "gift", "no obligation to pay interest") can be picked apart.

    Yeah, dude. Whether any of the many documents I signed as a youngster amounted to a written contract of employment or not, there is definitely an employer/employee relationship between the MoD and TA soldiers, as the Court of Appeal held in Manson v MoD (see here). The terms and conditions, and staff manual type stuff, are sprinkled throughout TA Regs and all the other bits and pieces concerning our employment which we STABs never get to see.
     
  11. I hear ya (well, I heard a post, now deleted).

    Even if late payment of bounty is due to administrative error or a failure in the process, rather than deliberate slackery, if it really mattered to those in charge of the system then problems like this (especially bounty issues for those who have spent part of the year on ops) would have been fixed by now.

    I think the way it works is this. Bounty is due in April. We all allow an extra month simply because we are used to late payment, being TA. That takes us to May. In June, we complain. In July, the complaint/request for clarification gets fired up the chain. Everyone fcks off for August. In September, we raise the issue again. Maybe things are looking up for October, eh? Berlin by Christmas!

    Imagine, for one moment, that MoD civil servants were entitled to receive a payment amounting to one third of their annual salary as a tax-free lump sum in April every year. Do you think the Public and Commercial Services Union would allow its members to go for half a year without payment? I doubt it.

    I think TA goodwill covers for admin deficiencies. The system should flag up doubtful cases in Feb each year. These should be sorted in Mar and paid in Apr with everyone else.

    The MoD and its lawyers are complacent. I know from personal experience that they rely on dusty old books and can be wrong-footed by the clever application of modern law. In short, if the MoD is taken on in the employment law domain by means of methods its dozy lawyers are unaware of, it can be beaten. I would get all manoeuvrist on this but you get the picture already.
     
  12. I believe that with small claims court, upon losing, you pay the cost of the session - which I think is in the region of £100. The idea of the SCC is that you don't need an attourney and such either side cannot claim for such costs. Additionally you can also claim for 'associated damages', such as mental stress, embuggerance factor etc (can factor in around a £1000 or so I have been advised). Of course the oposing party can counter claim for damages against you.. but you've not hurt the MOD so that's ok.

    My friendly local JP also told me that a judgement at the SCC doesn't mean that the losing party has to pay, as they have no powers of enforcement, you need a seperate hearing for that one with solicitors, paperwork, money etc.

    Would be amusing to see someone try it on.
     
  13. Can you get interest? If you're really feckin' sad and have feck all better to pursue I'm sure you'll be able to get your few pennies interest. Alternatively do what I would do, nick the equivalent interest shortfall in office stationary x a value of a 1000.
     
  14. msr

    msr LE

    office stationary?

    Clearly you haven't nicked the dictionary yet...

    msr
     
  15. msr

    msr LE

    It's finally arrived.

    5 1/2 months late.

    Factors, Deductions and Tasks to be continued by PM...

    msr
     
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