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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 48799
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I was employed by an agency to do brickwork company.

Customer Question

i was employed by an agency to do brickwork for a company. paid an hourly rate of £17,50. I began on monday the 27th april and finished on thursday the 30th april. Thursday night l was contacted by my agency and told l would only be paid for one day as in the oppinion of the contracts manager l had not done enough work. But the site foreman was happy to keep me on. Can this be done
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Does your contract say anything about that and what they can do?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No when i was taken on by the agency PCR, l was told the rate would be !7,50 per hour, i worked monday 8 hrs with just the foreman Jerry tues 8 hours with one new bricky from agency wed a couple of hours rained off,

Thurs l got a call on the way to work saying l was not needed, but when l got to site Jerry said there was work so l did the day. About 15,45 the contracts manager turned upon site, he is jerrys son stayed about 30 minutes left site. Next thing l get a call from the agency saying l'm only getting paid one day as the contracts manager was unhappy with the amount of work l'd done.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

i have replied to your question and given you all the facts. as yet l have no reply

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

i answered the question from your expert and as yet have received no further info.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello my apologies for not being able to get back to you sooner, my computer packed up and I have only just managed to get a replacement. Going back to your query, the employer cannot retrospectively decide that they are not going to pay you. It may indeed have been the case that they were unhappy with the standard of your work but what they should have done is asked you to stop working there and only then could they have not paid you. They cannot still ask you to come in and work, then afterwards decide that they do not want to pay you.
Saying that it is important to check your written contract to see if there is any clause which allows this to happen. If that is the case then it could be contractually possible for this to happen and challenging it may be more difficult. For example, the agency could have a clause which states that if the client does not authorise your pay they may not be able to pay you. You cannot then pursue the client as you would not have a direct contract with them and you can’t pursue the agency either as contractually they would not be liable if that clause is in place.
Assuming no such clause exists toy could take this further by claiming breach of contract. 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 they fail to pay or at least make contact to try and resolve this, formal legal proceedings can be initiated. A claim can be commenced online by going to www.moneyclaim.gov.uk. 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. Please take a second to leave a positive rating, or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Ben. Thanks for your reply, its as l thought. My contract was with the Agency, although only verbal, l've worked for this agency quite a few times. They will wriggle out of it by saying that they haven't been paid by the Client. The only argument l have, is if the Client was unhappy why did it take until thursday evening for them to deceid? I know the rates are very low on that job. I'll speak to the Agency tomorrow try to work something out. But l guess l'll have to swallow it? I take it going to the site with a sledge hammer and knocking my work down is not the best course of action to take?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
No I would not recommend that you destroy your work as it could actually amount to criminal damage so best to stay out of that. Try the more civilised route for now, if that does not work you may threaten legal action, even start the claim - it could all prompt them to reconsider their position and just pay you off to avoid having to be dragged further for this