Court tells Camden estate agent to pay £3000 after not paying employee fees

Oliver McHugh, founder of Oliver's Town. Picture: Rena Pearl

Oliver McHugh, founder of Oliver's Town. Picture: Rena Pearl - Credit: Archant

A Camden estate agent has been ordered to cough up thousands of pounds after failing to pay employee fees after she took time off to visit her sick father in hospital.

Olivers Town estate agent - established since 1988 - was ordered to pay back £3,600 worth of recruitment fees to JR Recruitment at Edmonton County Court.

In his defence statement, managing director Oliver McHugh argued he was not prepared to pay the fees because he was dissatisfied with the employee for taking time off and being “preoccupied” about her father’s ill health.

He wrote: “She took several days off from the June 5 as holiday and then June 16, 17, 18, 19 as her father was taken ill. She mentioned she did not know when she would return to work until she knew the situation regarding her father.

“She attended the office on June 29, however, throughout the week it was obvious to myself and her colleagues she was naturally preoccupied as to her father’s health, and as such was unable to fulfil her employment duties.”

Mr McHugh also claimed that JR Recruitment had pressured the employee to go back to work in a ploy to ensure it would not lose its recruitment fees.

James Richmond, managing director of JR Recruitment, said this is not true and made multiple attempts to collect the fee from Mr McHugh and even included a discount, before going ahead with legal proceedings.

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Mr Richmond wrote in his statement: “Mr McHugh mentions he contacted me to update me on the situation with the employee... going on to say that James had been in contact to persuade her to go back and a verbal agreement was made to extend the probation period. This is not true.”

Following the ruling, Mr Richmond said he was “relieved” that he would finally get the money and told the Ham&High that Mr McHugh paid immediately.

He said: “He lied about loads of stuff to try to get out of his contract but in the end he paid us the full amount straight away so he obviously had the money. I don’t know why he didn’t pay before.”

Mr Richmond’s satisfaction was, however, short-lived as following the court case his car, which was parked on Claremont Street outside Edmonton County Court, was scratched by a key across four panels.

Police confirmed they arrested a 56-year-man at the scene on suspicion of criminal damage, after he had been restrained by a member of the public.

Mr McHugh did not comment.