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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 47858
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I have recently ceased working for a contractor that i worked

Resolved Question:

I have recently ceased working for a contractor that i worked for just short of 1 year on road reinstatement works. The contractor held a 5% retention on all of my invoices issued throughout the duration of works without a contract in place. They have said that i can start claiming this back after a 2 year liability period providing the work is not defective in any areas. My question is - can this contractor legally hold this retention money without a signed contract in place?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. When were you initially advised of this retention?

Customer:

Hi Ben, i was advised prior to commencement of works in May 2012 that a 5% retention amount would be held by my client. I had been invoicing on a weekly basis detailing the 5% retention amount until a couple of months ago as i decided to cease working with the company as the rates were poor and the distance to travel was extremely demanding. There has never been a contract in place between our companies, and the retention was agreed verbally only.

Ben Jones :

was the 2-year liability period mention at the outset?

Customer:

yes

Ben Jones :

It is not necessary for there to be a written contract in place in order to allow the other party to retain these payments. A legally binding contract can also be a verbal agreement as long as it was agreed by the parties and they had signified their acceptance to these terms. In fact, many contracts can be verbal and they can be just as legally binding as w written one.


 


In your case what would matter is whether you were informed of these specific terms of the outset and if you had accepted them expressly, or you had n some way signified your acceptance.


 


An express acceptance would be a direct acceptance where you agree with the other party that you are happy with these terms. This can take place verbally.


 


An implied acceptance would be when your actions show that you had accepted the terms, even if you had not directly stated that you d so. For example if you were told that certain terms apply to this relationship but you did not challenge them and continued working under the general terms of the contract then it could be implied that you had accepted these terms and that they would still be legally binding.


 


In this particular case you were specifically told that there will b a retention and that there will also be a 2 year limitation period where this retention will remain with the other party. You do not appear to have challenged these terms and had continued to work with the other party under these terms. Even if they were not confirmed in writing they can still be just as legally binding.

Ben Jones :

I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating - your question will not close and I can continue providing further advice if necessary. Thank you

Customer:

Many thanks Ben

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