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Employee breaks a window strimming-who pays?

I've recently come across this dilemma and wondered what people do. An employee broke a window strimming, whilst following instructions to work in an anti-clockwise direction and keep revs low (ie. it was an accident). The employer has said that the employee must pay, rather than claim on his PL  insurance, and it is going to cost around £400. Any comments on what is 'usual practice' greatfully received. This is not me- I am self employed but worked for a contractor for 10 years- but just trying to help someone out.

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  • PRO

    Employer should recompense householder, not the employee. either directly or via their PL policy.

    We’ve been in this situation and for normal windows etc it is more cost effective to pay directly than to claim.

    Unless employer can prove negligence of employee, the business should foot the bill, not the employee. If it’s a regular occurrence for this employee it should have been noted under a disciplinary procedure and an improvement notice issued and reviewed.

    If a Subbie, then they can claim on their policy depending your contract with them.

    Unless you have a legal deduction clause in the employees contract of employment, an employer can not make any deductions without employee’s permission. If employer proceeds, would suggest employee has grounds for ‘constructive’ dismissal claim ? Further legal advice should be sought if going down that route.....

  • PRO

    Im surprised £400 is worth it on insurance. The employer should pay imo.

  • PRO

    I have been in this situation as a subbie and the contracor and myself went halves but if it is an employee the employer is responsible for his actions and if he was working to the employers instruction and its an accident should bear the cost.

  • There's also the fact that there should not be stones on the grass and that is the client's responsibility. 

    I wouldn't dream of trying to force a near minimum wage employee to pay that amount for an accident, especially where they apear to have been doing things correctly.

    • Big time second that Dan. To me that would be outrageous!

  • Employer pays as it was accident whilst working for him so his liability unless you were negligent.


  • PRO

    Employer pays - their choice whether to claim or not.... I would have thought just pay up.

    Now if the employee has a history of such accidents, thats when the employer may move in on the HR or re-training angle.

    • Exactly right, if an employee has a history of accidents then they need further training or diciplinary process. But is never his/her responsibility to pay for damage if they are working as trained and directed.

  • Employer should pay accidents happen unless it was a deliberate act which would be difficult to prove

    good honest hard work employees should not be penalised 

    • PRO

      Having also been in a similar situation, company swallowed the bill, sore one too as tinted safety glass at one of our sites, which we still do. 


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