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Can anyone recommend a lawyer? Contract changed due to implicit excuse

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    Can anyone recommend a lawyer? Contract changed due to implicit excuse

    I've been working at a big company for a couple of months via a recruitment agency, with a 1 month notice period. I am a ltd business, i fill in a time sheet to the recruiter, they invoice the company and then the recruiter pays me. The company asked if i wanted to extend my contract recently. We both agreed to extend and the recruiter has confirmed both parties signed this off and this is written.

    The company have now decided they don't want to extend the contract. To get out of this they are saying it was 'implicit' (their words) that the notice period had gone from 1 month to 0 days. The extension made no reference to notice period. All this part has been verbal so far. They want me in on the first day of the contract extension but thats it. I have again had no written confirmation of this.

    So where do i stand, is it worth contacting a lawyer, as in my mind they are breaking the contract or worse, trying to get me to break it by keeping all this verbal. Any advice?

    #2
    No it's not. There is no work to do so there is nothing to bill for. You are done.

    Notice periods are largely irrelevant for us as we only get paid for the work we do. If there is no work then we aren't paid, irrespective of notice.

    If they were smart they'd say fine, we'll give you one months notice but then ask you not to come as there is no work. Everything is then by the contract.

    Just time to move on.
    Last edited by northernladuk; 31 January 2019, 19:57.
    'CUK forum personality of 2011 - Winner - Yes really!!!!

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      #3
      The difference here is they haven't said there is no work (it's a budget issue for them) Also my contract states specific days and hours I am meant to be there for rather than just a period of time.

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        #4
        They don't give you any work then. Same thing.

        Might want to watch the specific days an hours thing if you are taking something 9-5 mon to Friday. That's very permie'esque
        'CUK forum personality of 2011 - Winner - Yes really!!!!

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          #5
          Originally posted by tigaruk View Post
          I've been working at a big company for a couple of months via a recruitment agency, with a 1 month notice period. I am a ltd business, i fill in a time sheet to the recruiter, they invoice the company and then the recruiter pays me. The company asked if i wanted to extend my contract recently. We both agreed to extend and the recruiter has confirmed both parties signed this off and this is written.

          The company have now decided they don't want to extend the contract. To get out of this they are saying it was 'implicit' (their words) that the notice period had gone from 1 month to 0 days. The extension made no reference to notice period. All this part has been verbal so far. They want me in on the first day of the contract extension but thats it. I have again had no written confirmation of this.

          So where do i stand, is it worth contacting a lawyer, as in my mind they are breaking the contract or worse, trying to get me to break it by keeping all this verbal. Any advice?
          Welcome to contracting

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            #6
            Originally posted by tigaruk View Post
            I am a ltd business, i fill in a time sheet to the recruiter, they invoice the company and then the recruiter pays me.
            I assume in order for the recruiter to pay you, that you also fill out an invoice to request payment?

            If you don't then your relationship isn't a B2B relationship you are actually a paid-consultant paid what equates to a salary - in this case you do have a potential claim against the recruiter (not the client) for not paying notice - but you would need a solicitor and a lot of patience and money - and even then no guarantees.

            However any gains from the claim would be more than wiped out in the ensuing reclassification of your earnings to date as a salary and all permie taxes, deductions etc. becoming due to HMRC

            As others have said - what you've described (on the termination point) is just part and parcel of our chosen livelihood's - if you can't accept that, then contracting just isn't for you

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              #7
              Originally posted by tigaruk View Post
              The difference here is they haven't said there is no work (it's a budget issue for them)
              Come on, are you that daft?

              There is no budget for you, therefore there is no work for you.

              That doesn't mean they don't have any work to do.

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                #8
                You can't take any legal action against the client. Your contract is with the recruitment agency.

                Contractors often make this mistake, they want to sue the client, well the answer is no, the client can do whatever he wants.

                You need to contact the recruitment agency. Unfortunately most contracts include a clause which basically states that the agency will only pay for work that has been signed off. If you want to be paid what you really need is a very specific clause in the contract that either guarantees payment regardless of whether work is done or not or compensation in the event that the agency has no work for you.

                You may be able to take legal action arguing that you were effectively an employee of the recruitment agency, though I think this wouldn't be worth the effort.

                I would write it off, in future you should ensure that your contract has some sort of provision for compensation in the event of the client cancelling the agency's contract.
                I'm alright Jack

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                  #9
                  Assuming that you could get legal and win a case here are some thoughts.

                  A lawyer will cost at least £200 per hour. And will likely be a few thousand pounds by the time you've gone through the process.
                  To sue someone for a month of work you can only go through the small claims court, unless your day rate is over £500 (seems unlikely given the lack of basic grammar).

                  In a small claims court you cannot claim costs (that's your legal fees) so you'll lose the laywer costs. Even if you win you've not got much.
                  It will take a long time to resolve as well.

                  You could represent yourself, but if you knew enough to do that you wouldn't be asking the question you did. So I'd not recommend it.

                  Make a court claim for money - GOV.UK


                  In any case. As other have said. You'd lose.
                  See You Next Tuesday

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by BlasterBates View Post
                    If you want to be paid what you really need is a very specific clause in the contract that either guarantees payment regardless of whether work is done or not or compensation in the event that the agency has no work for you.

                    You may be able to take legal action arguing that you were effectively an employee of the recruitment agency, though I think this wouldn't be worth the effort.

                    I would write it off, in future you should ensure that your contract has some sort of provision for compensation in the event of the client cancelling the agency's contract.
                    Just to point out that this seems unwise as payment irrespective of work completed is frequently discussed on here as an IR35 indicator and personally I think the risk from Hector (combined with the likely difficulty in getting a contract that's so deeply in your favour) outweighs the risk posed from clients that do this.

                    Also, you may not be aware of it but if you are an IPSE+ member you have inclusive business interruption insurance that may pay up in this sort of event (up to £1K for breach of contract) - it may soften the blow.

                    And as an aside, try to get something in writing (email them to confirm or whatever) if the client says verbally don't come in. It'd help a lot if there is a later dispute over whether it was you or the client who decided you weren't to come in, and your insurance will probably want it as evidence.
                    Last edited by man; 1 February 2019, 15:20. Reason: More detail

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