My wife was asked to go to a meeting on the day of our departure for our much needed holiday. She was working from home that day, finishing some reports which had been demanded (literally a couple of days earlier) before her holiday. Her MD is an ill tempered man who swears at her and expects much more than a reasonable work output from her. When first called to the meeting, my wife had told him that, if he was going to terminate her employment, he should do it without causing her the additional problem of a long journey to see him, followed by a long journey home, in a distressed state and without her company car. He assured her that he would not be that thoughtless.
She was dreadfully stressed, to the point of tears, so I made her go to the doctor for advice, since she did not want to disappoint her MD but could not take another verbal battering from him at that time. The doctor certified her sick with stress and instructed that she should stop work immediately, that she should cease all contact with her employer, that she should use our holiday to recover and that she should report back to him on our return, before returning to work.
I e-mailed her MD, explaining the situation and promising that the certificate would be with him in the first available post. My mother sent it by recorded delivery the next day.
Upon our return from holiday, by which time she was still not completely better, despite a cruise in the Caribbean, there was a letter waiting for her, terminating her employment without notice and giving no reason. The letter required her to return all of her company property, to their office, in exchange for her salary and a week’s notice. I should point out that she was a deputy director and her contract required her to give three month’s notice.
I need to understand the legality of this. So far, I have refused to return the car, computer and Blackberry, until such time as they provide adequate explanation of the termination, details of what monies they are going to pay to her, which should include around two thousand pounds worth of expenses, and some guarantee that the funds will actually materialise. (I have been caught by a company cheque which didn’t clear in the past).
I have now asked the MD to stop contacting her, as I don’t like to see her in tears. He has accused me of trying to drag things out and indicated that he has the right to come here to collect the coompany’s property and that he intends to do just that. I am not interested in dragging things out, I don’t like having to pay interest on my mortgage any more than the next person, so I would like what they owe her in our account as soon as possible.
My wife has no recourse through an employment tribunal, as she has only been with them about eleven months.
Can anyone advise me, please?

Alan Clayton

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