Question: Recently I landed a job through a recruitment agency. After three weeks, I decided to leave for another employment opportunity.
The problem is, the unhappy, previous employer keeps on harassing and threatening me to ask me a refund of the money he paid to the third party recruitment agency. The amount is doubled the amount of my total pay during the three weeks period.
I have recently received a voicemail threatening me that I will be taken to court and ultimately “pay more money” than what’s being asked.
What should I do?
The very first thing to do is to look back at the terms of the employment contract and see if there is any clause that governs what should happen when you leave the company after 3 weeks. Depending on type of employment e.g. permanent (which usually comes with a probation period), contract or temporary, each might come with different terms.
For instance, during probation, it is normally OK for any side (employer or employee) to terminate the employment (with or without reason) without further monetary obligation. Someone under a contractual job might need to serve a certain period before leaving, failing which might result in him or her having to pay the “notice in lieu” (again, this should be stated clearly in the agreement).
As for the payment being paid to the recruiter, the employer should have done a better job in safeguarding their interest. There should be an agreement between the two what will happen next in case of the employee (introduced by the recruiter) resigns hastily. In the usual case, the recruitment agency will take responsibility to replace the affected position, failing which, the employer gets some sort of discount or something.
As for the payment, again, look back at your employment contract to see if you are liable for any monetary obligation. Don’t let the employer’s wrath continues. If you feel you’re being victimized here, just tell them to back off, or otherwise you’ll report to the authority. If you’re not sure how well your position is now, talk to the local labor or industrial office and get some advice.