wfh mds

"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".

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Tip Off ROF


Anonymous 18 August 23 08:56

Take up the ACAS offer of an intermediary and arrange for a private courier company to collect. Easy.

Je suis Monty Don l’autobus 18 August 23 09:43

Sounds completely fair enough. Who the hell sacks a trainee FGS.

Anonymous 18 August 23 09:45

Who...who calls the police on someone for something like this?

Also, I can imagine there are plenty of good reasons for ending the employment of a trainee in their probationary period.

Anonymous 18 August 23 09:53

One does see more of a certain sort of trainee these days...

Lydia 18 August 23 09:53

It is very very hard lawfully to sack a trainee. That seems the biggest issue in all this.

3-ducks 18 August 23 10:00

Firing a trainee, withholding holiday pay and sending heavies round to pick up equipment. 

They sound like a real catch. Bet she's sad to have parted company, eh? 

Anonymous 18 August 23 10:04

Read between the lines 3 dux. She called the cops when the partner came round as requested to pick up the stuff!

I think the firm had a lucky escape.

And she asked for a rug!

Kids these days don't know they're born, oo ar, oo ar.

Okay Zoomer 18 August 23 10:12

This ‘Lucy’ sounds extremely unhinged, while we often (rightfully) criticise firms when they step out of line, we also have to recognise when it’s the ex-employee that is behaving like a crazed lunatic

How do you even get fired as a trainee 18 August 23 12:00

Trainee: Please contact me to arrange pick-up.

Company: Contacts Trainee to arrange pick-up as requested.

Trainee: Ignores or does not receive message because she has gone on holiday.

Company: Tries to arrange pick-up.

Trainee: :O 

ok 18 August 23 12:12

It's incredibly hard to sack a trainee due to their common law apprenticeship status. "Lucy" must have been beyond saving.  The poor soul. 

Crime Lawyer 18 August 23 13:39

I thought once you’d agreed to train a trainee you had no choice but to see it through until they were competent? Usually that takes 2 years but could be longer if they’re particularly gormless. 

Hello, yes it's me. 18 August 23 14:07

"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."


So she wasn't a trainee when they terminated her employment. She was just a regular old employee to whom, presumably, MDS had offered a training contract.


Feel sorry for her, like, given how hard TCs are to come by.

Anonymous 18 August 23 14:39

@Scep Tick 18 August 23 11:27

And she asked for a rug.......down our way we would ask for a syrup

Nodding in appreciation 19 August 23 14:17

You have to hand it to her that at least she learned a lot do far, I mean, she called the police, the SRA, and ACAS but carefully did not call BSB. This lady will go far, especially if she gets that rug.

buzzkill 22 August 23 15:30

I understand the firm asking to have its laptop and mobile phone back.

But the desk? Really? 

Poster 24 August 23 11:52

Not knowing the difference between a criminal and civil mater. I wonder why she was sacked 🤦‍♂️

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