Handover Notes after termination

A manager gave an employee notice terminating his employment on a tuesday morning and asked him to prepare handover notes. The manger has not received them and would like to know whether there is any way he can force the now ex-employee to prepare and send in handover notes. He was paid in liue of notice til the end of that month. How can we get him to do handover notes, or should the manager drop the issue.

The employee was 2 weeks away from being with the company for a year. He was on a disciplinary warning to increase his productivity or actively prove that he has trying to do so.
vanessa pritchard

Answers

Hopefully your terms and conditions have a clause about property which should read something:

On request and in any event on termination of your employment for any reason you are required to return to the Employer all company property including any company car, credit or charge cards, your security pass, all keys, computer hard and software including discs and all documents in whatever form (including notes and minutes of meetings, databases or database entries, diaries and address books, computer printouts, plans, projections) together with all copies (irrespective of by whom and in what circumstances such copies were made) which are in your possession or under your control.

Under such a clause they must return everything including notes.

Vanessa

I take it you want the employee to produce something new - along the lines of a summary of all his work, who he has contacted, where he is up to with cases etc?

If so then I don't think you have any chance of getting it and I would drop it. Leaving aside the question of if you are legally entitled to it (how would you enforce your legal right) I would question how accurate or useful such notes would be? The employee wasn't in your view very good so why should his notes be?

When you took the decision to terminate instantly (to avoid 12 months service no doubt) you should have considered the risk of not getting these sorts of notes and how you would cope.

So put it down to experience.

keith

ewn1's picture

Generally speaking, the law requires employees to carry out and follow their employer’s orders, providing they are reasonable and legal. Failure to do so can be breach of contract. Only a solicitor who is knowledgeable in employment law can advise whether this employee is in breach of their contact and whether legal action is feasible and realistic in the circumstances. It may partly depend on whether there have been previous court judgements in this matter, and therefore case law. Bearing in mind that legal action would be very costly with solicitors charging upwards of £100 per hour plus VAT and barristers charging upwards of £1,000 per hour plus VAT, how does the likely cost of your company pursuing legal action compare with the financial loss of not being provided with handover notes? A cheaper alternative would be to try to claim your costs in the Small Claims Court. However, my understanding is that a court has no power to compel your employee to obey your order to provide handover notes, only to award costs for your financial loss. This is my understanding of the situation and does not constitute legal advice!

Paul Strickland's picture

Notes aside what I would be concerned about is that its all well saying he was two weeks away from being employed for ayear then you say hes been paid off till the end of month so is this added time to the two weeks which would take him over the year? Hopefully you won't get a constructive dismissal claim but you never know!

ewn1's picture

It sounds that the request was made verbally, in which case I suggest it should be confirmed in writing, together with your expected time-frame, and such a letter should state that failure to comply with the request will be regarded as breach of contract. That may prompt the employee to comply, but if not at least you have evidence of the request and non-compliance should you find yourself faced with an industrial tribunal.

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