'I wouldn't wish this on anyone': Cafe worker forced to take former bosses to tribunal after waiting more than a year to be paid

A young woman who claims she waited a "stressful" 14 months to be paid after leaving her job at a Longton café is now encouraging young workers to be aware of their rights.

By James Holt
Friday, 28th May 2021, 9:58 am

23-year-old Jade Metcalf claims she had to battle with her previous employers in a year-long ordeal during the pandemic to get her full month's wage she says she was owed from over a year before.

The hospitality worker from Leyland claims she was owed her monthly wage from the Mad Hatters Cafe in Longton from January 2020, but didn't actually receive the money until March of this year - a torturous 14 months later.

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Jane, 23 fought for her wages she was owed through the pandemic

And she is now encouraging young workers to "stick up for themselves" and know their rights in case they find themselves forced into the same situation as her.

She said: "When I left, I gave a weeks notice but was told it wasn't enough and that it had to be at least two weeks and wasn't aware of the proper process to leave.

"I was young and clueless like so many other young people and had never been put in a situation like this before. I had not received my last wage weeks after handing in my notice and giving back my uniform, so the first thing I did was speak to my parents and get advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau.

"It started from there and I just kept following the books and the procedures to go through. I am only 23, so wouldn't have known to go to these places had I not got the advice and tried to resolve it for so long."

Mad Hatters Cafe on Franklands, Longton

After first handing in her notice in January 2020, Jade says that she was sent numerous messages telling her that she would soon be receiving her final month's wages.

Still waiting, young Jade escalated the situation further and in November, it went through an Employment Tribunal where the decision outlined that owner Mrs Jayne Flanagan had made "an unauthorised deduction" from her wages and was ordered to pay the gross sum of £1,012.15.

Despite this, the 23-year-old cafe worker claims that months later, she had still not received her final payment and, in February, and after a difficult Christmas, was forced to inform Employment Tribunal Penalties that she was still waiting, over a year after leaving her role at the business.

She told the Post that it was after another penalty notice was served to the village cafe that she had the wage deposited in her bank account, on March 2 of this year.

Jade claims she left the cafe in January 2020

She is now using her experience to alert other young workers to these sorts of incidents and says people should "fight for their rights."

Jade added: "Throughout the process, I stuck to my guns and for what I knew I was entitled to, and would encourage anyone else in this situation to do the same.

"It has been a very stressful process and there were times that I thought I wasn't going to get anywhere, but I knew I wanted the money that was owed to me and I want other people to know that they can do the same if this happens to them.

"At the end of the day, people get up and go to work for a living and staff should always be paid the correct amount. No one should have to go through this long and difficult process to get it.

"I had tried to resolve this between us first through asking for updates but things got out of hand and escalated and I decided to go down the proper route and follow all the process. I wouldn't ever wish this stress on anyone.

"So many young people wouldn't get the advice I was lucky enough to be given and could so easily be misled."

Mad Hatters cafe was approached for their response on the matter.

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