"I'm coming...for the laptop, chair and the hole puncher."
A trainee furious at being sacked called the police on a partner when he turned up at her house to collect the firm's WFH equipment.
MDS Advisory terminated the employment of the lawyer in July after four and a half months, during her probation period and prior to the commencement of her training contract.
After being let go, ‘Lucy’ chased the boutique firm for her outstanding holiday pay of £1,111, claiming that withholding it was not legal.
In email correspondence seen by ROF, the firm’s founder replied that Lucy needed to return the gear that she had been using to work from home. That included a mobile phone, a laptop, a printer, a chair, her desk (“if too big to fit through doors please dismantle and ensure we have all necessary parts”), and a hole puncher.
“Once we have the equipment from you, we shall pay the holiday pay”, wrote Michael Spencer.
Lucy told him it was ready to go and requested the company contact her directly to arrange collection. Spencer responded that he would pick it up personally the next day before he headed off on holiday.
She didn't reply because she was also on holiday, she told ROF, and so the first she learned of the personal pick-up was a missed call from Spencer while she was abroad.
When Lucy found out her ex-boss had turned up on her doorstep, she was sufficiently aggrieved that she called the police, the SRA, and ACAS on him.
The Met told her it was a civil matter which they were unable to investigate, although ACAS advised her it could provide an intermediary.
Although MDS Advisory paid her in full a week later, it still has not managed to recover its equipment. A source told ROF that MDS had been trying to collect the items, including confidential material, but that Lucy either ignored requests “or takes a disproportionate action, such as going to the police”.
The partners’ Plan B involved persuading a receptionist to make the calls to Lucy to arrange the retrieval of their belongings, since "this receptionist deals with more than one business and has a degree of neutrality", but "to no avail". He has now been stood down because the firm fears its ex-trainee “may call the police again”, said the source.
At least MDS hasn't lost as much as it could have done: a source told ROF that, when Lucy presented the firm with a list of what she required to work from home, it "drew the line at the rug and phone cover".