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Computers & Equipment Damage

Employment and Discrimination Law

Computers & Equipment Damage

Postby diy » Thu Jan 25, 2018 1:34 pm

If an employer provides an employee with a laptop and mobile phone necessary to do the job, but the employee accidentally and not through negligence or lack of care, damages, loses or has stolen such an item, can the employer demand the employee pays for the replacement/repair?

I've always found such a policy at odds with Unfair deduction of wages rules. Particularly since I doubt the Employee could get insurance for something he had not purchased. Why would this be any different to a shop assistant having to pay for retail items stolen or an employee not being required to cover the cost of say tripping over and breaking a projector or desktop computer.

Is there something special about items specifically assigned to an employee?
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Re: Computers & Equipment Damage

Postby shootist » Thu Jan 25, 2018 2:28 pm

diy wrote:If an employer provides an employee with a laptop and mobile phone necessary to do the job, but the employee accidentally and not through negligence or lack of care, damages, loses or has stolen such an item, can the employer demand the employee pays for the replacement/repair?


I believe that, while it can happen, 'accidents' are far more often due to negligence on somebody's part. Replacement or repair may well depend upon the precise circumstances. E.G. employee leaves the laptop on the passenger seat of their car in a busy city centre public car park they may well be considered to have been negligent to some degree. So, perhaps the answer is 'It depends.'
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Re: Computers & Equipment Damage

Postby atticus » Thu Jan 25, 2018 2:30 pm

diy wrote:...but the employee accidentally and not through negligence or lack of care...
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Re: Computers & Equipment Damage

Postby shootist » Thu Jan 25, 2018 2:50 pm

atticus wrote:
diy wrote:...but the employee accidentally and not through negligence or lack of care...


Many people ascribe, with genuine belief, that an accident they were involved in was nothing to do with negligence or lack of care. Take vehicle collisions as an example. In the early years of my police service every road traffic collision was the subject of a prosecution file, mostly careless driving. At least 50% of the drivers I interviewed under caution, and that was a lot, were utterly convinced they were not negligent in spite of the fact that their negligence was easily demonstrated. The first thing to do when a person says that some unfortunate event was not due to their negligence or lack of care is to establish whether that statement is correct. This is not to say that they might be lying, but personal responsibility is open to errors of perception. Many people are simply incapable of accepting they may be at fault.
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Re: Computers & Equipment Damage

Postby Hairyloon » Thu Jan 25, 2018 3:00 pm

shootist wrote:So, perhaps the answer is 'It depends.'

It depends also on how the employer handles it and whether or not the judge at the tribunal is competent.
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Re: Computers & Equipment Damage

Postby Millbrook2 » Thu Jan 25, 2018 6:09 pm

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Re: Computers & Equipment Damage

Postby dls » Thu Jan 25, 2018 9:49 pm

They do not actually answer the question. They assume that any payment must be made by deduction from wages, but say nothing (that I could see) as to whether the employee could be sued for it
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Re: Computers & Equipment Damage

Postby diy » Sat Jan 27, 2018 7:20 am

So if its company policy, then its effectively part of the employment contract. I know of an example where this has back fired. Employees provide their own devices, claim tax back and when the company terminates their employment they refuse to hand over the devices. Devices with a lot of useful stuff on.
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Re: Computers & Equipment Damage

Postby atticus » Sat Jan 27, 2018 8:34 am

Contract provisions can be put in place to cover that.
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Re: Computers & Equipment Damage

Postby 3.14 » Sat Jan 27, 2018 12:54 pm

shootist wrote:E.G. employee leaves the laptop on the passenger seat of their car in a busy city centre public car park they may well be considered to have been negligent to some degree. So, perhaps the answer is 'It depends.'
This is specifically what you are told not to do by every employer that I've ever worked for.
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