Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.
What compensation are they seeking and what specifically for?
I see you did not manage to finish the extra work but what losses have they suffered as a result?
Hi Ben. They are seeking an amount they will calculate for the incomplete work, which is around 1/6th of the total project. They will have to pay someone else to complete the work, I imagine it will be a full time salaried employee so it's difficult to say what losses they will incur.
Would it be helpful if I copied in the email exchange from the past couple of days? It essentially summarises both sides.
Were you working on a self employed basis?
No, I had a signed contract for a part time salary of £8,700 for the 12 month period, working 25 hours per week for 40 weeks and 40 hours per week for 8 weeks. Here is the original contract: https://www.dropbox.com/sc/33hg7gihw12ep0z/-_HnVf3BqJ
Here are the emails exchanged:
2. Her response to that:
I have taken advice and I am sorry to say that I will be pursuing this further, as I do feel that it was fully agreed with various emails and a general understanding that you would complete the Online Coder as part of the contract for last year. I have several emails – just a selection of which I will forward to you stating that you will complete the curricula etc. One further point, I agreed to extended PAID holiday to China or for a weeklong placement – I have several emails stating that you have not been able to keep up with your work due to university workload, this demonstrates that you have not given FunTech the required hours. I am afraid this is the case for this year to and our email exchanges prove that you continued to express that you would complete the work that you had understood would be required as last terms contract. The advice I have been given is that we have a strong case for compensation as this has impacted our business and can show the trail.
It is such a shame that we are now having to change the way we work and become less flexible and work on payment by results.
I am still willing to accept that you complete the Online Coder to a good standard and return our £3k after which we go our separate ways
I look forward to your response.
Sorry for the huge influx of information, I hope it isn't too overwhelming in one go.
No problem, I just need a bit of time to go through it
So this course then - what was the actual understanding that you would perform it? I presume it was not in the original contract rather something that was allegedly agreed on the side?
Yes, it was not in the original contract, but it was agreed via e-mails throughout the year what work would be completed to a time schedule, unfortunately deadlines overran and so on and there was an overhang of work at the end of the contracted period.
ok so the important part is did you actually agree that you could complete this as part of the original contract and included in the original pay?
It's hard to say really, I did not agree to anything specific when I signed the contract, I did agree that I would complete the work within the contracted year during the year when I was given a proposed schedule and so on. Pay was never really mentioned throughout the year, although retrospectively I was sent an e-mail when deciding on work to continue into this year (which was cancelled) which stated something along the lines of "Complete [this course] by this date - already paid for" which I suspect I might have implied acceptance of in e-mails.
I essentially want to know therefore; should I accept that I am at fault and negotiate compensating them, or should I seek legal representation and retain my position that I do not think there were any exact specifications in the original salary contract?
ok let me get my response ready please
by the way when you left did you give the specified notice in the contract?
I did not leave early, I completed the contract to the end after which it was no longer in effect. I was in negotiations of a new contract but never signed any.
This is not an easy issue as I presume you have already accepted. The key really is what was agreed and under what conditions as this is going to be a contractual matter.
The correspondence between you and the employer will be crucial – this is what will reveal whether you had agreed to do this work or not. But at the same time, if you were an employee, then regardless of what you had agreed to do, you have the right to leave the employment and not be bound by any further contractual duties because once you legally terminate your employment you are released from all duties under the contract, or any ancillary agreements, with the exception of any post-termination restrictions.
So even if you had agreed to complete a specific course whilst employed by them, if the contract had come to an end, whether by early termination through you or the employer, or just because it was a fixed-term contract that had reached its end date, once the contract has terminated you are released from its terms and obligations under it. The case would be different if you were actually self employed because they you would have a contract for service, rather than a contract of service, and if you failed to meet the conditions of your contractual agreement with them, they could hold you to be in breach of contract and pursue you for the losses incurred.
This further complicates matters because there is a possibility you could be actually self employed rather than an employee, in which case failure to undertake the promises you made could place you in breach of contract.
No easy way to determine if you were an employee or not, although these are the usual tests applied:
It should give you an idea of what your status may be and on your rights. So to clarify, if you were an employee, your rights will be better and can argue that the termination of the contract means you are not responsible for any work after that date, even if you had agreed to do it before – it should have been dealt with by the employer whilst you were employed by them, such as through a disciplinary or capability procedure. If you were self employed then it would be worse for you, because if it can be shown that you had agreed to undertake the work but failed to do so, you could be acting in breach of contract and they could potentially pursue you for losses incurred as a result.
Thank you for the answer. Based on the tests on the link I would definitely consider it likely that I was an employee and am no longer. I will probably get a high street firm to represent me and undertake any further correspondence with them just to be on the safe side, but I appreciate the help given here today.
the matter is now in their hands - until they actually make a formal claim, there is little they can do. Return the other money owed and tell them as far as you are concerned this is the end of the matter. If they want to take it further they can, you can then consider whether to get someone to represent you
Ah OK yes that makes more sense, thank you.
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Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX!