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Shackattack
12th March 2016, 21:30
HI All

I recently started a contract for a well known food and clothing retailer as a delivery manager.

The job I applied for was PM but for some reason in the interview they gave me a role of Software Release Manager.

As soon as a started it became clear the whole thing was badly managed, I was given vague instructions, bizarre emails, there was no structure and everyone looked deflated and confused. Despite this I set about putting some much needed structure in place, forged relationships and started planning.

To cut a long story short 3 weeks into the contract the delivery manager decided to cut my contract short and serve notice, she set up a meeting and explained that I didn't have to work my notice but they would pay me. All good I had a really bad feeling about the management and lack of direction so I gracefully accepted.

I returned hone and got a call from the recruiter saying that I had told the Manager I did not want to work my notice and that I would go home instead and not get paid the notice period. I explained I was happy to work the notice the agency phoned me back and explained that the client had now decided to terminate my contract.

The client has not provided an real concrete evidence and consistently lied about a whole host of things.

Ordinarily I would let it go and focus on getting the next contract, however I have never come across a situation where a well known high street retailer have been compelled to lie so easily.

Question is do I have any rights, are there any legal procedures for this kind of thing and how much would it cost to take this to court.

Any advice appreciated.

SueEllen
12th March 2016, 21:44
You made a big mistake.

Firstly never verbally agree to leave a contract early unless you understand and remember what is actually written in your contract.

Secondly in situations where you verbally agree to leave never expect to get paid more than the days you have already worked.

Thirdly when you understand all this, you need to email then call the agency and give your side of the story before the client does.

This is one reason to have a smartphone where you can easily access the internet and read your emails plus other documents on.

Unfortunately you have learnt the hard way that contracting is harder than you thought and some clients cannot be trusted to tell the truth.

fidot
16th March 2016, 16:38
You also appear to only have the agent's word that the client has changed their mind. An alternative scenario is that the client will pay the notice period but the agency are pocketing it.

dogzilla
17th March 2016, 10:34
I would expect the agent to enforce the notice period because that's comission for them. Unless they already have a lot of business with the client and see fobbing you off as a favour to the client.

How much notice period are we talking about? Is it a couple grand or a big chunk of money you will be out?

Your first will be to bluff the agency and tell them you are not happy and will be seeking to have this remedied in the courts.

If that doesn't work then start a claim with the small claims court. That might shock them into action.

Further than that, if they decide to defend themselves then you have to be prepared to put in a case as to why the contract terms were broken and what you are owed.

bikeman
18th March 2016, 19:45
My 2 penny worth.

The stock reply form this forum is that 'if you didn't work it, don't expect to get paid'.

However notice periods are bilateral arrangements. The client wants you to give them notice so they are not left in the lurch when you quit, likewise you want hem to give you notice so you can find alternative work. It cuts both ways, the client wouldn't expect you to just walk and likewise you shouldn't expect them to just withdraw work. If the contract has a notice period you should get paid whether they need you or not - it's their choice as to whether they want you to work notice or not.

Secondly, consider that the agency isn't going to let them off quite so lightly and will expect the notice to be paid to them, since they will expect their commission. If you let it go expect the agency to trouser your notice pay.

I'd pursue them through the small claims court.

BlasterBates
22nd March 2016, 09:01
Do check your contract, as many contracts are actually written so that the agency has no obligation to pay if the client terminates with immediate effect, eg has no work. Check for that clause.

In that case the notice period actually only protects you from being terminated by the agency and being replaced.

kaiser78
22nd March 2016, 11:50
The job I applied for was PM but for some reason in the interview they gave me a role of Software Release Manager.


Just this has got you off to a bad start - did you question this at the time or have some sort of role spec to refer to ? The other posts have captured the other points to raise.

Shackattack
22nd March 2016, 22:24
Just this has got you off to a bad start - did you question this at the time or have some sort of role spec to refer to ? The other posts have captured the other points to raise.

The client at the time agreed to pay notice, it seems to me, (and I speculate) that the incredibly inexperienced Delivery Manager probably didn't understand the notice period was 4 weeks, which equates to around £10k.

I've put together a list of of information I needed to defend the allegations including,

- all emails between the agency and client
- break down of events including the client changing tact
- a complete list of reasons why the client felt my work was not of the standard they expected.

The client responded with largely subjective answers, such as we expected more etc, which in10 days sounds a little bizarre.

It's all very subjective and the client has not actually provided any concrete proof as well as lying several times.

It's currently back with the agency who are clearly taking the side of the agency as they have 40 people placed there.

Ordinarily I would just call it a day, however the way the retailer has behaved has left a really bad taste, I almost feel like I have to bring this one to justice for my own self respect. There are boundaries and rules of engagement outside of a written contract. This has been one of the messiest teams I have ever worked for in 15 years and needs to be addressed.

Shackattack
22nd March 2016, 22:26
Just this has got you off to a bad start - did you question this at the time or have some sort of role spec to refer to ? The other posts have captured the other points to raise.

Yes I have a spec, I complete list of areas I focused on with updates, meetings times and dates, org charts, plans.

Shackattack
22nd March 2016, 22:27
Do check your contract, as many contracts are actually written so that the agency has no obligation to pay if the client terminates with immediate effect, eg has no work. Check for that clause.

In that case the notice period actually only protects you from being terminated by the agency and being replaced.

I've checked the clause, the client swiftly changed tacked from serving notice to not happy with my work once they realized they had to pay me 4 weeks notice.

SueEllen
23rd March 2016, 06:44
I've checked the clause, the client swiftly changed tacked from serving notice to not happy with my work once they realized they had to pay me 4 weeks notice.

Put your energy into finding a new contract and chalk this one up to experience.

If they are as chaotic as you said you are well out of there.

If you had stayed longer they would have made you the scapegoat for something else serious, and as you don't know how to deal with clients' who play dirty tricks it would be a whole lot worse for you.

Pondlife
23rd March 2016, 11:07
Anyone else got that song from Frozen stuck in their head again?

northernladuk
23rd March 2016, 11:14
Anyone else got that song from Frozen stuck in their head again?

Funnily I was just humming 'He's a poof' by the Macc Lads but I'd hate to admit that on a public forum. Very un PC and just not the done thing anymore.

DallasDad
23rd March 2016, 22:03
Would it have been of any value if the OP had got the agent on a conference call with the client during that fateful meeting?
The agent could perhaps have brokered a better outcome.

Note I did not say for whom though!

MrMarkyMark
27th March 2016, 09:33
Its happened to all of us, seasoned contractors, at some point, sometimes the client will let you work the notice, sometimes they won't.

Put it down to experience, dust yourself down and move on.

Kingkong
1st August 2016, 20:50
HI All

I recently started a contract for a well known food and clothing retailer as a delivery manager.

The job I applied for was PM but for some reason in the interview they gave me a role of Software Release Manager.

As soon as a started it became clear the whole thing was badly managed, I was given vague instructions, bizarre emails, there was no structure and everyone looked deflated and confused. Despite this I set about putting some much needed structure in place, forged relationships and started planning.

To cut a long story short 3 weeks into the contract the delivery manager decided to cut my contract short and serve notice, she set up a meeting and explained that I didn't have to work my notice but they would pay me. All good I had a really bad feeling about the management and lack of direction so I gracefully accepted.

I returned hone and got a call from the recruiter saying that I had told the Manager I did not want to work my notice and that I would go home instead and not get paid the notice period. I explained I was happy to work the notice the agency phoned me back and explained that the client had now decided to terminate my contract.

The client has not provided an real concrete evidence and consistently lied about a whole host of things.

Ordinarily I would let it go and focus on getting the next contract, however I have never come across a situation where a well known high street retailer have been compelled to lie so easily.

Question is do I have any rights, are there any legal procedures for this kind of thing and how much would it cost to take this to court.

Any advice appreciated.

I experienced something very simliar, exactly 3 weeks, and got the chop my worst ever contract. It seems like its very limited in what you can do to the client and the agency

eek
1st August 2016, 21:01
I experienced something very simliar, exactly 3 weeks, and got the chop my worst ever contract. It seems like its very limited in what you can do to the client and the agency

What did I suggest in the other thread?

Companies will pull tricks as will other less professional contractors.... Live with it accept the bigger pay cheque you get and accept that you will be shafted / screwed once in a while. When you do that you will find life so much more bearable - yep you may get messed round once or twice but you should learn from the incident and move onward.

Continually talking about it just shows that you take things personally which is the last thing a business should do... and if you are a contractor you are a business first and a person second.. That is the reason they are bringing in you as an expensive temporary resource rather than employing a new employee...

northernladuk
1st August 2016, 21:06
I experienced something very simliar, exactly 3 weeks, and got the chop my worst ever contract. It seems like its very limited in what you can do to the client and the agency

What Eek said. Accept some of the responsibility, grow some and move on already.

JaredM
2nd August 2016, 00:37
FWIW, I have always insisted on a < 2 week notice period. If ClientCo want longer then I tell them the contract would need to explicitly state that if client serves notice they must pay for all working days up until the end of the notice period whether they require work or not. 3 clients have just accepted that the notice period is 2 weeks, one altered the contract as I requested but contract ended naturally after a couple of renewals.

Generally, always negotiate something - contracts are increasingly becoming more one-sided.

cojak
2nd August 2016, 06:49
If you had stayed longer they would have made you the scapegoat for something else serious, and as you don't know how to deal with clients' who play dirty tricks it would be a whole lot worse for you.
An interesting comment SE.

Could you start a thread with a few tips on how to deal with client's dirty tricks?

I'll sticky it if you do.

northernladuk
2nd August 2016, 06:59
An interesting comment SE.

Could you start a thread with a few tips on how to deal with client's dirty tricks?

I'll sticky it if you do.

They lure you in with promise of great wealth and when you arrive they give you work to do. The bastards.

eek
2nd August 2016, 07:14
They lure you in with promise of great wealth and when you arrive they give you work to do. The bastards.

You've got the wrong skillset. I roll in spend a week looking at what is there and start recording what is wrong and adding solutions. Once I've highlighted the disaster and fixes required I can kick back and slowly fix things