The family of a Sudbury chef, who took his former employer to a tribunal to secure unpaid wages, says they are relieved the situation has been resolved, but upset at how it was handled.
Sous chef Jack Siggers, 22, received hundreds of pounds in backdated pay earlier this month, following what his family describes as a nine-month ordeal and legal battle to secure the money from his former place of work, The Boathouse restaurant in Cross Street.
An employment tribunal ruled on August 29 that the restaurant had made “an unauthorised deduction’” from Mr Siggers’ wages, ordering the business to pay a gross sum of £805.32.
It was also told to hand over an additional £179.58, which the judge said was the result of the restaurant’s failure to pay Mr Siggers’ holiday entitlement.
A report from the Court Enforcement Services, seen by the Free Press, states that a bailiff visited the restaurant on Thursday, January 4, due to the delay in any payment being made.
According to the officer’s report, they had started to list inventory on the premises for removal to cover the debt, before the full amount – a total of £2,697.62, including court fees and interest – was finally paid.
Jack’s mother, Tina Siggers, said her son had worked for The Boathouse for a year, between April 2016 and April 2017, and, during this time, had built up about £984 in unpaid salary, which she says included docked pay when he took a week of holiday in February.
She claimed that, after leaving the restaurant to work at The Angel Inn in Sudbury, her son had repeatedly got in touch with the management to ask for the wages owed, but, following multiple failed attempts, decided to take the case to a tribunal.
“It’s a huge relief,” she told the Free Press.
“The hours that Jack put in for them, he did it because it was a family-run business and he loved his job.
“Staff would come and go to the point where Jack was basically running the kitchen for them. He helped them out so much.
“He did it for the love of his job and he respected the family he was working for.
“For them to make him go through nine months of this, I just think is disgusting.
“It’s not right to treat your employees like that. You just don’t do that.
“He was very upset. He is only 22. To him, it was a big deal. It put him behind and he had to take an overdraft with his bank to keep up with the bills. It has affected him.
“We are all happy we don’t have to deal with them any more. There was no apology. They are totally denying this happened.”
When contacted by the Free Press for a response, The Boathouse replied that it did not wish to comment on the matter, but, on social media, it disputed Mrs Siggers’ statements.
The Boathouse wrote on its Facebook page, in response to a post by Mrs Siggers about the matter: “This isn’t actually true. I have passed it on to my solicitor.
“There are two sides to every story and the hate campaign against this business is vindictive and nasty.”
It is understood that the restaurant is currently seeking legal advice regarding the outcome of the case.