How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ben Jones Your Own Question
Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 47367
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
29905560
Type Your Law Question Here...
Ben Jones is online now

I have worked part time as a PE teacher at a private school

Resolved Question:

I have worked part time as a PE teacher at a private school being paid whenever I submit an invoice. (I thought I was self employed) In February the school handed me a 'staff agreement' which imposed conditions on my working arrangements. I didn't sign or return the agreement. This week I had a disagreement with the school and left. They now refuse to pay my last invoice and say that I owe them money because the agreement says I have to pay back training expenses. The training took place last year before the agreement was produced and pay back was not mentioned at the time. Should I put in a small claims court claim for my last invoice? Does the school have a claim against me for training expenses? Julie
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.

Ben Jones : Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How much are you owed?
Customer:

582,25£

Customer:

This invoice was for the month March

Customer:

Can you let me know if you are still dealing with my question?

Customer:

?

Ben Jones :

Apologies for the slight delay, I experienced some temporary connection issues earlier on. All seems to be resolved now so I can continue with my advice.


 


It is unlikely that the school would be able to impose the terms of the agreement on you, although not impossible. Whilst training expenses can be recovered by an employer, the arrangements around this and your agreement need to be clearly documented. Whilst a retrospective agreement could be legally enforceable, it has to be legally implemented. This means that you must have agreed to it for it to be valid. In your case you did not specifically reject the agreement but simply failed to sign and return it. Whilst they could argue that by continuing to work under the other terms of the agreement you had implied your acceptance, that will not be easy to prove. This is especially when it comes to detrimental terms such as repayment of fees.


 


So you are certainly able to consider making a claim in the Small Claims Court for the amount owed – if the employer believes you owe them money they can just make a counter-claim instead and both will be heard at the same time, with a Judge deciding on who owes who what.

Customer:

They sent me an email, can I copy paste it here?

Ben Jones :

yes sure

Customer:
Dear Shauni,


I write in response to you email.


I personally handed you the contract on the 5th of February in the presence of Jo. At that time Jo explained to you that whilst you were not obliged to sign it, the agreement to the contact is the basis for starting/continuing work, you continued to work from the 5th of February and I am not aware of any conversation you have had with Jo or myself regarding being unhappy with the terms. In fact in a recent conversation with you regarding your breach of liaising with current parents and starting a similar class outside ÉtudEO whereby I advised you to inform Jo, I again reiterated the fact that you were obliged to stay working for ÉtudEO one year after your receive your coaching qualification and failing to do so would make you liable to pay all monies back, you replied “ I know” and again at no time did you say you disagreed with that. I also believe that that you may have had a similar conversation with Jo in between these times.


I appreciate you may have been given some advice from the CAB, I would however suggest that you take further legal advice from a qualified contract lawyer.


I think ÉtudEO is being fair with regards XXXXX XXXXX off the assisting wages that were paid, which could form part of the BGA training, however if we are forced to make a claim to recover monies from a small claim court then all wages/fees/expenses paid to you will be requested in the claim.


I do not want to have emails going back and forth, this is where ÉtudEO stands, please make payment to the Charity within 21 days.

Customer:

I have never agreed to it verbally or in writing that I agreed to the contract, and they never told me that the contract would be valid if I start working after I received it. As far as i know is it their word against mine then?

Ben Jones :

Well as mentioned there is such a thing as 'implied acceptance' where your actions suggest that you have accepted the contract even if no acceptance was made verbally or in writing. However, it is then for the employer to prove that by doing what you did you had implied your acceptance and it can be your word against theirs, hence why they can counter claim if needed and it is really for the court to decide

Customer:

So legally they don't have anything to take me to court for

Customer:

Because in the contract state: no variation of this agreement will be valid unless confirmed in writing and signed by or on behalf of both parties

Ben Jones :

That would apply after the contract is accepted and as mentioned there is still the possibility to argue that you had implied your acceptance beforehand

Ben Jones :

So they can still take you to court if necessary but whether they win is another matter which would be quite uncertain

Customer:

Okay because they gave me the contract during my appraisal and they always make notes of the appraisal. this is what they wrote down: Shauni Peeters given copy of staff contract - will read at home and return to Sarah Friend the soonest

Ben Jones :

Yes I understand but this is a matter of contract law, this is not to do with what they would usually do, so whilst their argument is certainly not strong or guaranteed to win, they may still raise it if needed, just as you can raise yours that you are owed that money

Customer:

Should I reply by email then or immediately take them to small claims court?

Ben Jones :

you do not have to reply, from a legal point of view anyway, so it is up to you whether to try and resolve this directly with them or just go to court

Customer:

Okay but as I understand they argument is not strong to win but neither is mine then

Ben Jones :

that is the nature of many disputes unfortunately - with these types of claim it is really down to the Judge to make a decision based on what they see, read, hear and believe is the fairest outcome, but at least the small claims court is reasonably risk free without you having to pay out huge costs or penalties if you lose

Customer:

Yes but if I lose I have to pay them money because they even say I owe them money because of the training I had

Ben Jones :

yes correct but it would mean that you were legally obliged to do so anyway because a court has decided that

Customer:

okay I thought my arguments where stronger then theirs but I needed to check if they had anything against me

Ben Jones :

I would say yours are stronger but they do still have on argument of your implied acceptance so it is not 100% in your favour that's for sure

Customer:

Yes I understand

Customer:

I will sent them an email back and definitely try the small claim court

Ben Jones :

ok you certainly have the right to do so

Ben Jones :

Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? Thanks

Customer:

Yes at the moment it answered all my questions, I'm just drafting a reply email but can I still ask anything if I have some questions today?

Ben Jones :

I am going offline shortly so won't be able to deal with it until tomorrow if necessary, but you can always post a follow up query on here

Ben Jones :

but if you don't mind leaving a rating for the information so far I would be grateful and the question won't close, so you can ask follow up queries as needed, thanks

Ben Jones and 5 other Law Specialists are ready to help you

Related Law Questions