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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 47412
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Hi, Im actually writing this for my daughter. She worked

Resolved Question:

Hi, I'm actually writing this for my daughter. She worked as a freelance worker at a local business and had to take time off for an interview at which point they took great offence, started questioning her professionalism and subsequently terminated her position there. Unfortunately there wasn't a written contract and they owe her £700 but she has previous invoices and matching bank statements to prove she worked there as well as a number of texts and emails. I wrote to them a few days after this to ask them to pay the invoices or I would resort to legal action because they had ignored her verbal requests to pay them and her texts/messages. They now want a meeting with her which they're calling mediation but just them and her and she's scared to go as they intimidate her and she's seen what they've done to others in this situation. Any advice ?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Ben Jones :

What does she want to achieve - simply to get the money she is wed without having any direct dealings with them?

Customer:

Hi Ben, thanks. Yes, she just wants the invoices paid. She starts a new job in a couple of weeks.

Customer:

and would rather not deal with them anymore because they've been rude, belittle her and as per my original text they intimidate her. She's quite sensitive and has been through a lot in the past.

Ben Jones :

She cannot be forced to attend this meeting, whatever they dress it up as. Mediation is a voluntary process which can only occur if both parties agree to it and are willing to engage.


 


She is therefore able to take the matter further without attending if necessary, however 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. I appreciate you may have already followed some of these steps but I will clarify what the accepted procedure is to proceed with this:


 



  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.

Customer:

but what about the fact she had no contract - does that come into play at all ?

Customer:

and would you advise me sending a reminder, even though I sent the other letter, in other words, pretend I didn't send it and start again ?

Customer:

she'd go to the meeting if she felt comfortable, ie. with me present but they won't allow it and won't allow her to record it either.

Customer:

Sorry for the questions.

Ben Jones :

an implied contract would have been in place in any event so the fact there was nothing in writing does not mean she has no rights. You do not have to send another reminder letter if you have already done so, I was just outlining all the steps and if you have already done some of these you do not have to repeat them

Customer:

No, I think I went straight to step 2 although they had about 5 or 6 texts asking for payment as well as the phone calls, so those could be step 1 I guess.

Customer:

If she agrees to a meeting, can she bring whoever she wants to accompany her or can they stop her bringing anyone who isn't impartial

Ben Jones :

the above is not a strict procedure, it is best practice, she could just make a claim directly to the court without any correspondence if she really wanted to. They can refuse to allow her to bring anyone in if they wanted to - but in that case she does not have to attend

Customer:

they've said she can bring a solicitor, but then the costs get stupid right at the start. I think their brother is a solicitor/accountant and is advising them on this matter.

Customer:

they seem to have taken great offence to my letter but they're a bit like that. They've also accused her of posting pictures of a sexual nature online which they deem inappropriate under their 'employment'. 1. She's self employed. 2. It's her facebook account. 3. One was her in a bikini on holiday and the other was her in a dress. Very odd people.

Customer:

All this in an email in response to my letter which was very condescending.

Ben Jones :

certainly no point having a solicitor at this stage, or even at all

Customer:

ok, I guess that's it then. Would she be best advised to decline the meeting and give the reason that she would not feel comfortable doing so ? I wouldn't want it to compromise any court case if it goes that far.

Ben Jones :

it shouldn't compromise any claim she makes - as mentioned mediation is a voluntary process which no one can be forced to engage in. It is up to her whether she attends or not and she could always consider going and seeing how it goes, bringing the meeting to an end at any point she becomes uncomfortable, but at the same time she can just decline this straight away if needed

Customer:

ok thanks.

Ben Jones :

you are welcome

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