My 19 year old daughter left her part-time job at the end of last month, having only been there for 2 months. It's a very small cafe that seems to do very little business. The owner was never there as he had other rather vague (dodgy?) businesses that he also owned and ran.
He is now two weeks late in paying her wages (nearly £200) and he's not answered her calls or responded to her texts about this. So I got involved today. He didn't answer my first call, so I texted him saying who I was and that I wanted to clear the matter up with him, so could he please ring me back. 3 hours later I called him on my landline and he answered. He said that he is "investigating the way she left" claiming that she "threw stuff on the floor" which is a complete load of BS as I was sat in the cafe waiting to take her home for the last 15 minutes she was in there as she was late finishing (doing unpaid overtime) to sort out orders and help the next shift. The owner wasn't there at the time.
So, question 1:
The owner says he's legally entitled to withhold her wages for 28 days whilst he "investigates"? Is this correct?
(a)I told him that if my daughter hasn't been paid in cash* by Sunday evening, then on Monday I will start making a Small Claim against him/his business in my daughter's name for the wages due and any costs incurred in recouping them. This isn't an empty threat, I'm prepared to do this, but is there anything I should do before starting down that route?
(b) Is the Small Claims Track (court) the best route to take?
*she was previously paid in cash (late by about a week) when there had been "problems" setting up the bank details for electronic payment
Thanks for any advice....oh and before you say, I don't own a pair of Bombers or have access to his shoes