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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 47889
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Wage dispute! I am a contractor / consultant with a limited

Customer Question

Wage dispute!I am a contractor / consultant with a limited company and have just renewed my contract for another 6 months through my agency, with my hiring company. The new contract is £50 more per day than the previous.I was just called by my boss from the hiring company who uses the agency and he said there was a mistake and there will be no pay rise. I have a contract in my hand with the new rate issued by the agency at £50 per day more.I spoke to the agency who said yes there had been a clerical mistake and they cannot pay the new rate. I said this is not my problem and they should take it up with the hiring company. They said they will issue a new contract with the old rate for the next 6 months. I said no I have a contract with the increased rate. They said if you do not accept a revised contract they will serve me my 1 months notice and my contract would be terminated. I said if that is the case I will be forced to quit but go back and talk to the hiring company and see what you can do.I have not heard back from the agency however I have had an invoice submitted with my old rate, the new rate should have started on the 3rd of June.I think I have a few options.1. Say I am going to quit and they maybe come back with a revised rate, this is calling their bluff and the risk is I have to leave. However they may be thinking about this as strategy.
2. Just continue on the current rate and dont worry, it is a good contract and I have a good rate any way
3. Ask the agency to split their markup, £54 per day on my rate as a token of good will.
4. Take up some legal action with the agency?Any advice appreciated.
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 months ago.

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

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 months ago.

So were you advised verbally by either the agency or the employer of the increase?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I was advised verbally by the employer that he was seeking to increase my rate on the 31st of June. I was then advised on the 5th of June by my agency that the rate had been uplifted and the contract would be in my inbox to sign that eve. I actually signed it on the 6th June and have a copy of it on my computer. On the 7th of June I was told by my employer that there had been a mistake and they will only pay the existing rate to the agency and no increase. This was then confirmed by phone call by my agency on Monday 12th of June, which is detailed above.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 months ago.

Hi there Gavin. Thank you for your response. Leave it with me for now and I will review the relevant information and laws 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. Also, please do not respond to this message as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 months ago.

Whilst the contract they issued can be argued to be legally binding, if there was a genuine mistake then they will have the right to correct that if needed. Errors do happen and the law does allow parties who have made a mistake to rectify that if needed. How strong their case would be depends on various factors such as whether they can show this was indeed an error, how soon after the error they identified it and took steps to rectify it etc. It looks like they did not waste much time in rectifying this so this is likely to go in their favour. What they have said about terminating your employment is actually correct though – even if you were to push them to accept the new rate, they can immediately give you notice to end your contract and whilst they will then have to pay your new rate for the notice period, once the contract ends you will no longer have any right to claim that or even work for them any longer. So be careful how much you push them – your rights as a contractor are not great and you have no protection against termination so they can very easily terminate this new ‘wrong’ contract. I would say see if they call your bluff on quitting and perhaps you can negotiate something but you cannot really take any legal action apart from maybe if they serve notice and they do not pay the new rate for that notice period.

I trust this has answered your query. Please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars above - 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 reply on here and I will assist as best as I can. Thank you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 months ago.

Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. Could you please let me know if it has answered your original question? You can either reply on here with a quick ‘Yes, thanks’, or select 3, 4 or 5 stars on this page. I can still answer follow up questions if needed to clarify anything for you. Many thanks

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 months ago.

Hello, not sure if you are having trouble seeing my posts? Do you need any further assistance or are you happy with the response to your query? I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks