Client and Agent serve notice but don't pay me - where do I stand legally Client and Agent serve notice but don't pay me - where do I stand legally
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  1. #1

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    Default Client and Agent serve notice but don't pay me - where do I stand legally

    Hi,

    I wonder if this has ever happened to anyone one here:

    I'm a freelance IT contractor and have been for over 10 years. I signed a 6 month contract in January with a consultancy (thru a well known agency) this year due to expire in August.

    After 3 months at one client site, the work dried up and they advised me they would re-deploy me to a role closer to home. They asked me to take two weeks off (unpaid) while they finalised the paperwork for the new client. After 2 weeks I'd heard nothing so chased up and was told it would be another week. I reluctantly agreed to take another week but at the start of the fourth week, I declared myself fit and willing and available for work and contacted the agency.

    The dilemma I had as that the consultancy had a 1 week notice clause but I had no notice clause (under the wording of the contract) - this week they told me to "look around" for other work as the second client had changed their mind.

    I contacted the agency to ask if this constitued me being served notice under the contract and whether I would be entitled to (at least) 1 weeks pay in the circumstances in luei of notice.

    He advised me that I wouldn't be entitled to invoice as I hadn't wokred any hours. Any views on the legalities of this and advise on what action (if any) to take would be gratefully appreciated.

    N.B. the agent had a clause in the contract that said they could come after me for compensation if I walked out (clearly I couldn't give notice as I didn't have a notice clause) BUT, have either of them behaved reasonably, seems to me they wanted the best of both worlds. Feels like they've restrained me from trading for a few weeks!!!

    twofront

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by twofront View Post
    Hi,

    I wonder if this has ever happened to anyone one here:

    I'm a freelance IT contractor and have been for over 10 years. I signed a 6 month contract in January with a consultancy (thru a well known agency) this year due to expire in August.

    After 3 months at one client site, the work dried up and they advised me they would re-deploy me to a role closer to home. They asked me to take two weeks off (unpaid) while they finalised the paperwork for the new client. After 2 weeks I'd heard nothing so chased up and was told it would be another week. I reluctantly agreed to take another week but at the start of the fourth week, I declared myself fit and willing and available for work and contacted the agency.

    The dilemma I had as that the consultancy had a 1 week notice clause but I had no notice clause (under the wording of the contract) - this week they told me to "look around" for other work as the second client had changed their mind.

    I contacted the agency to ask if this constitued me being served notice under the contract and whether I would be entitled to (at least) 1 weeks pay in the circumstances in luei of notice.

    He advised me that I wouldn't be entitled to invoice as I hadn't wokred any hours. Any views on the legalities of this and advise on what action (if any) to take would be gratefully appreciated.

    N.B. the agent had a clause in the contract that said they could come after me for compensation if I walked out (clearly I couldn't give notice as I didn't have a notice clause) BUT, have either of them behaved reasonably, seems to me they wanted the best of both worlds. Feels like they've restrained me from trading for a few weeks!!!

    twofront
    And again....

    No work = no pay. It's kind of what being a contractor means. Neither is it their problem if you don't have other work to take on when they don't.

    Notice is another question entirely, but it sounds to me like they haven't terminated you, merely not given you any more work: and to their eyes that implies as soon as they have work for you to do they'll shout.

    But after 10 years in the trade, I rather hoped you'd already worked this out for yourself.
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  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by malvolio View Post
    And again....

    No work = no pay. It's kind of what being a contractor means. Neither is it their problem if you don't have other work to take on when they don't.

    Notice is another question entirely, but it sounds to me like they haven't terminated you, merely not given you any more work: and to their eyes that implies as soon as they have work for you to do they'll shout.

    But after 10 years in the trade, I rather hoped you'd already worked this out for yourself.
    WMS

    Ur a business, not an employee - if you are plumbing and there's no more plumbing to do, do you hang around for four weeks not plumbing getting paid?

    No, you move on and plumb elsewhere instead of bitching.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by twofront View Post
    Feels like they've restrained me from trading for a few weeks!!!
    How? What prevented your company from engaging in any other work?
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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by twofront View Post
    Hi,

    I wonder if this has ever happened to anyone one here:

    I'm a freelance IT contractor and have been for over 10 years. I signed a 6 month contract in January with a consultancy (thru a well known agency) this year due to expire in August.

    After 3 months at one client site, the work dried up and they advised me they would re-deploy me to a role closer to home. They asked me to take two weeks off (unpaid) while they finalised the paperwork for the new client. After 2 weeks I'd heard nothing so chased up and was told it would be another week. I reluctantly agreed to take another week but at the start of the fourth week, I declared myself fit and willing and available for work and contacted the agency.

    The dilemma I had as that the consultancy had a 1 week notice clause but I had no notice clause (under the wording of the contract) - this week they told me to "look around" for other work as the second client had changed their mind.

    I contacted the agency to ask if this constitued me being served notice under the contract and whether I would be entitled to (at least) 1 weeks pay in the circumstances in luei of notice.

    He advised me that I wouldn't be entitled to invoice as I hadn't wokred any hours. Any views on the legalities of this and advise on what action (if any) to take would be gratefully appreciated.

    N.B. the agent had a clause in the contract that said they could come after me for compensation if I walked out (clearly I couldn't give notice as I didn't have a notice clause) BUT, have either of them behaved reasonably, seems to me they wanted the best of both worlds. Feels like they've restrained me from trading for a few weeks!!!

    twofront
    After 10 years I would have thought you would know the score, if you don't work you don't get paid. Also if someone told me to take unpaid leave I would have starting looking for something else straight away. You are not bound to any contract really, most contracts have a clause where they don't have to give you work and you don't have to accept work either.

  6. #6

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  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by stek View Post
    WMS

    Ur a business, not an employee - if you are plumbing and there's no more plumbing to do, do you hang around for four weeks not plumbing getting paid?

    No, you move on and plumb elsewhere instead of bitching.
    Yes, but how many plumbers have notice periods in their contracts?


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    Quote Originally Posted by billybiro View Post
    Yes, but how many plumbers have notice periods in their contracts?

    He's not been given notice. The contract is still in place, but there's no work to be done...
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  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by malvolio View Post
    He's not been given notice. The contract is still in place, but there's no work to be done...
    This.. And even if they did give him notice the situation would not change. All that would happen is the contract expires earlier than planned.
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  10. #10

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    Why do you all keep contradicting yourself on this matter!

    One minute stating its a business and the next about no pay for no work by the individual.

    It is based on the business CONTRACT - if the contract has a notice period then it should be paid - unless it states specifically that it is reliant on work being available, timesheets being signed blah blah blah and agreed - and equal to both parties.

    There are many business contracts in construction that do end up paying contractors / workmen whilst they cant work as either the site / materials are not ready - what do you think they do send them home & dont pay them everytime there is a lapse in the project.

    If the notice period excludes payment then the notice period is worthless as the contract can be ended at a moments notice just by saying we have no work, dont come back, but take 4 weeks unpaid notice - it makes absolutely no sense and is totally open to abuse. It would also be totally unfair.

    The regulations are clear. Why are so many of you confused?

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