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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: UK Employment Law
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I hope someone can give me sound legal advice? I was taken

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Hi there,
I hope someone can give me sound legal advice?
I was taken on as CEO of property company for a fixed term of 7 months on a self employed basis but with a completion bonus and if terminated within that time a 3 month notice period by either party. All of this was agreed and negotiated in emails with promise to set up contract, but that never happened. After 31st January 2017, I would be taken on full time employed on higher salary etc. This company has terminated me without any notice or payment although claiming to be perfectly happy with my work.
They then offered me £40 an hour to consult for other divisions within their company for max of 20 hours a month (£800pcm) This is an insult as they were paying me £3,916 a month.
I left a perfectly well paid secure job to join this firm and I don't know what to do. They are ignoring my calls and emails and I need money in the next 2 weeks as I have a stay at home wife and 2 year old son.. Thanks, Mark

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

To clarify, they have not asked you to work a notice period nor have they given you any reason whatsoever for terminating the contract from their side? Please can you also advise, what your ideal outcome will be, given the circumstances so that I can advise you of your options. Thank you

Customer: replied 3 days ago.
Hi Ben,
No notice was given. On 26th Sept I received a phone call from the owners office manager stating some rubbish about the project being delayed due to planning validation being revoked (that by the way is extremely rare to have a planning val revoked) They said they would pay me to month end which they did but said no further payments would be made. I did not make a fuss as I wanted to ensure I received that payment on the Friday. The office manager did not actually say terminating my contract, he just kept saying he was sorry and 'shit happens' and that later next year, they would take me on again to recommence. When they offered me that crappy hourly rate, they said, when you accept this, please also confirm that you will not persue the 3 months' notice you are claiming for - of course I didn't. The notice due to me is £10,750.01 (3 months) They also owe me £351 business and travel expenses, but in the grand scheme of things, that's irrelevant. My ideal outcome is to get my money as quickly as possible as I have no money and bills coming in at the month end. My wife doesn't even know yet as I'm so angry, embarrassed and totally shell-shocked that they have done this to me. Obtaining senior roles such as mine take time and really don't know where to turn at present. Thanks
Customer: replied 3 days ago.
Oh and another thing, when he called me on the 26th, he said other people would be losing their jobs but I know they are still receiving high volumes of revenue from the property investment side. I also sitll have access the company architects emails which seems to show business is carrying on as normal with no mention of anything being revoked. The company archtiect has not been told of my termination as he still copies me in on company emails. Also, when I asked him to put the 'termination' in writing, he bluntly refused and said we won't be doing that.

Hi there. Thank you for your response; please leave it with me. I am in court for the rest of today so will prepare my advice in a while and get back to you at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Thank you.

Many thanks for your patience. as a self employed worker or even an employee but with less than 2 years service you are not protected against unfair dismissal. This means the employer can dismiss you for more or less any reason and without following a fair procedure. So you cannot challenge the dismissal itself. However, you can claim for breach of contract for not being paid what you were contractually due. You may not have had a formal written contract drawn up but you can certainly argue that the promises and discussions made before starting, which you had relied on to take the job would have formed an implied contract anyway and you should be able to rely on them legally.

To take this further, whenever a dispute arises over money owed by one party to another, the debtor can be pursued through the civil courts for recovery of the debt. As legal action should always be seen as a last resort, there are certain actions that should be taken initially to try and resolve this matter informally and without having to involve the courts. It is recommended that the process follows these steps:

1. Reminder letter – if no reminders have been sent yet, one should be sent first to allow the debtor to voluntarily pay what is due.

2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but these have been ignored, the debtor must be sent a formal letter asking them to repay the debt, or at least make arrangements for its repayment, within a specified period of time. A reasonable period to demand a response by would be 10 days. They should be advised that if they fail to do contact you in order to resolve this matter, formal legal proceedings will be commenced to recover the debt. This letter serves as a ‘final warning’ and gives the other side the opportunity to resolve this matter without the need for legal action.

3. If you wish to go down the legal route instead of a statutory demand, a claim can be commenced online by going to Once the claim form is completed it will be sent to the debtor and they will have a limited time to defend it. If they are aware legal proceedings have commenced it could also prompt them to reconsider their position and perhaps force them to contact you to try and resolve this.

Whatever correspondence is sent, it is always advisable to keep copies and use recorded delivery so that there is proof of delivery and a paper trail. The court may need to refer to these if it gets that far.

I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars - this is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you still need me to clarify anything else, please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you

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