You and the Law – 1st June 2010

In the garage

We bought a new car a fortnight ago at a cost of £17,000 and it has now spent its fifth day at the dealers being repaired.  Do we have to put up with this?  AH

No.  You are probably entitled to ask for your money back.  It depends how serious the repairs are.  If they are minor problems then, certainly from a practical point of view, you may be better off asking for compensation for each day the car is off the road.

However if the problems are major, say requiring a replacement gearbox, you can reject the car as of  ‘unsatisfactory quality’.  If you still want the vehicle I suggest you tell the dealers, in writing, that if it has to go back again you will sue for the return of your money, plus compensation for your inconvenience, in the County Court if necessary.

Kitchen stink

I have worked at a hotel for 25 years and am now catering manageress.  The catering company was taken over, and it has now lost the contract.  But it refuses to offer me redundancy, saying there is still a job for me.  I feel if they do offer me employment it will be miles away.  DN

If your employment contract contains a job mobility clause then the firm you’re currently working for could probably insist that you accept a job in another part of the country. 

If there’s  no such clause then it would have to find you a comparable job within daily travelling distance of your home.  If it was unable to do this it would have to offer you a redundancy payment, which may be considerable after 25 years’ service.

This will obviously influence your choice, so check your contract.  There’s a possibility that the new contractor may be required to honour your contract of employment at the hotel if the Transfer of Undertakings Regulations apply.  You need advice from a solicitor specialising in employment law.

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