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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Loss of earnings

Customer Question

I resigned recently as Chair of a community enterprise company as we had taken on a centre manager and she was able to take on the duties that I had been carrying on for 5 years (unpaid) in running the centre - as we were always short staff. I resigned on amicable terms giving that very reason, that they did not now need me. However, I am also an IT Tutor and was employed as part-time tutor by Neath Port Talbot BC to deliver an ECDL Extra course at the premises of this company. The company in question knew this and this had nothing at all to do with my being Chair and resigning. The next 15 week course is due to start in a couple of weeks and I have been informed that the centre has requested a new tutor - not me. I don't know the reason, or what if any grounds they have but it means there will be a loss of around £3000 income. Have I grounds for redress?


 

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Was your attendance to teach this course confirmed beforehand?

JACUSTOMER-xe6kaftz- :

My teaching has been on a course for which 3 year funding was received from Welsh Assembly. We are in the third year and this is last course. It was taken as understood between myself, Computeraid who got the funding and Neath Port Talbot Adult Learning Network that I would be teaching all courses. When I resigned as Chair of the enterprise company, at which premises I taught, not employed by them, but by NPT, I did say that I would be returning in May to take the final course. The enterprise company is merely the location from which Computeraid and NPT hire the computer suite. I had even done new leaflets before I left for them to put out. But, no definite contract in writing if that is what you are asking

JACUSTOMER-xe6kaftz- :

I have been teaching for NPT Adult Learnign Community for 14 years and have a very good record with learners returning year after year and excellent results/achievements so I cannot see the enterprise has any reason.

JACUSTOMER-xe6kaftz- :

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Ben Jones :

ok thanks, XXXXX XXXXX am really after is whether there was any formal confirmation, guarantee, etc which promised you the position for the upcoming course or if it was all done unofficially and just on 'friendly' understandings between each other?

JACUSTOMER-xe6kaftz- :

It was on an understanding with Neath Port Talbot Adult Community Learning and Computeraid who got the funding, nothing in writing and it was nothing to do with the company form which I resigned as they are merely the room hirer in this instance. But as I have a good track record, and this is the last one of three years, work there was no reason for them not to have me as tutor. Both Computeraid and Neath Port Talbot ACL were surprised at the request that I not be the tutor but they will not tell me what reasons were given. It could be they just don't want me on the premises because it might be embarrassing but I need to know if they are slandering me.

JACUSTOMER-xe6kaftz- :

All I really need to know is whether it is worth my going to a solicitor to write them a letter saying I am seeking compensation for loss of earnings.

Ben Jones :

This is not slander so do not concern yourself too much with this. The key is whether there was a contractually binding agreement that you were guaranteed to teach the course and the employer’s withdrawal of your services was a breach of contract. For this you do not necessarily need a written contract stating this and the actions between you and the employer could also give rise to an implied contract. However, for that to happen there must have been a clear understanding that you were promised to teach the course, that you were always of the understanding that this was guaranteed and that you had relied on that to your detriment, then you may be able to argue breach of contract and associated losses.


 


However, if this was never formally agreed, this as simply based on your assumptions and simply on previous practice, then your argument would be weak.


 


Legally there is nothing stopping the company from deciding on who they want to teach the course, even if they decided against you due to your resignation. They would only be acting unlawfully if the reason for deciding to not work with you is based on a protected characteristic, such as race, age, gender, religion, etc, in which case it would be potential discrimination. The only other time is the breach of contract scenario as discussed above but in the absence of a written contract it is for you to prove that an implied contract with a degree of certainty was in place.


 


So there is nothing stopping you from contacting them and arguing your case, asking for compensation – you can do this personally at first to keep the costs down, then get a solicitor to write a letter on your behalf – all of this could place some pressure on them. But only consider legal action if you are confident you can show that an implied contract was in place and you may wish to consult the solicitor that writes the letter for you before deciding on whether to issue legal proceedings.

JACUSTOMER-xe6kaftz- :

I thought that would be the answer but will probably write to the board expressing my disappointment in their action in view of 14 years faithful community teaching, and that I will be seeking legal advice as to whether I take action for loss of earnings. Thank you and good evening.

Ben Jones :

You are most welcome, all the best

JACUSTOMER-xe6kaftz- :

Thanks and good evening.

Ben Jones :

Thanks you too

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