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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 44352
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Dear Sirs, I'm a contractor and I felt discriminated and

Customer Question

Dear Sirs,
I'm a contractor and I felt discriminated and abused in my last role in the following situations:
1 - Bear in mind both parts had 1 week notice. On month ago, I had a meeting with my manager who proposed something I wasn't interested in taking part and I told him he would have my 1 week notice to leave after the meeting to what he shouted at me "Leave right now!" without notice and I had to leave the office as fired. Is that acceptable?
2 - After the previous incident, they requested a hand-over, during which things calmed down and we continued as normal. I had already been working from home some days or weeks before and, due to a familiar urgency, I had to ask again to work from home. The manager rejected my request, forced me to take the week off and cut off my remote access so I was unable to do work. This was my last week because, even though they offered an extension, I rejected it due to the issues above. Now they don't want to pay for that week. Is that acceptable?
Yours sincerely
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. can you tell me how long a contract you had with the company please and was a reason given for rejecting your request to work from home please.

JACUSTOMER-agix33cs- :

The contract started on Nov/24th/2014 and ended last Friday Mar/27th/2015.

JACUSTOMER-agix33cs- :

His answer was: "This was not a work from home position, its not acceptable. Take this week off , and let me know when you can come into work."

JACUSTOMER-agix33cs- :

The agreement was to be able to sometimes work from home, not actually a work from home position.

Ben Jones :

Ok thank you leave it with me I need to look up a few things and then get my advice ready.I will post back on here when done there is no need to wait and you will receive an email when I have responded.

JACUSTOMER-agix33cs- :

Do you need the actual contract wording?

JACUSTOMER-agix33cs- :

Where is the answer?

Ben Jones :

Hello, sorry I posted the answer earlier but for some reason it did not register so I will try again.

First of all, this is not discrimination in a legal sense so best bot to refer to this term hen dealing with this. Discrimination occurs only if you are treated detrimentally due to a protected characteristic, such as gender, age, race, religion, etc and there is no evidence any of this applies here. The fact you have had a disagreement and told to leave is not welcome but not much you can do about and the only issue is whether you r due the notice period under contract – that is the only thing you can claim for.

What you are dealing with is a potential breach of contract and that is all there is to it legally. You have to consider if the employer has the right to refuse withholding your notice pay. This would only happen if you had left and refused to work through it or you had acted in breach of contract first. You state that you asked them to work from home and whilst they rejected that request (which they can do) the key is whether you then were still available to work from the office if needed. If you were but they refused to allow you, then they have acted in breach of contract and you would still be due your notice period.

Whenever a dispute arises over money owed by one party to another, the debtor can be pursued through the civil courts for recovery of the debt. 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. It is recommended that the process follows these steps:

  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 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.

I hope this clarifies your position? If you could please quickly let me know that would be great, as it is important for us to keep track of customer satisfaction. Thank you

JACUSTOMER-agix33cs- : I forgot to mention that the agent is in the middle between the customer and myself. They are the ones who get paid by the customer when the customer approves my time sheet. Then the agent pay me. In this case the agent seem to agree with the customer. I know already about money disputes, my question is more related to how to prove or find out if the customer has the right to refuse withholding my notice pay when the agent seem to think they do because they rejected my request to work from home.
JACUSTOMER-agix33cs- :

Is there any progress about my last question?

Ben Jones :

Hello, sorry I was offline by the time you had replied. The customer will have the exact same right to withhold your pay if they believe you have acted in breach of contract so my earlier answer does not change. The key is - were you in breach of contract in the first place and were you available to work your notice period as per the terms of your contract. If you did not breach the contract and were available then you can pursue the notice period money.

Does this clarify things for you?

JACUSTOMER-agix33cs- :


1.1 In these Terms of Business the following definitions apply:

“Assignment” means the period during which the Supplier is supplied by the Agent to render services to the Client

“Assignment Schedule” means the schedule attached to all Assignment contracts which contains various details specific to the Assignment

“Client” means the person, firm or corporate body together with any subsidiary or associated Company as defined by the Companies Act 2006 requiring the services of the Supplier.

“Relevant Period” means the longer period of either 6 months from the termination of the Assignment under which the Supplier was last supplied or if there was no Assignment, within 6 months of the introduction of the Supplier by the Agent to the Client.

1.2 Unless the context otherwise requires, references to the singular include the plural.

1.3 The headings contained in these Terms are for convenience only and do not affect their interpretation.


2.1 These Terms constitute a contract for services between the Agent and the Supplier and they govern all Assignments by the Supplier. However, no contract shall exist between the Agent and the Supplier between Assignments.

2.2 No variation or alteration to these Terms shall be valid unless approved by a Director of the Agent in writing.

2.3 Unless otherwise agreed in writing by a Director of the Agent, these Terms prevail over any terms of business or purchase conditions proffered by the Supplier.

2.4 For the avoidance of doubt these Terms shall be not be construed as a contract between any personnel supplied or any representative of the Supplier and any of the liabilities of an employer arising out of the Assignment shall be the liabilities of the Supplier.


3.1 The Agent will endeavour to obtain suitable Assignments for the Supplier. The Supplier shall not be obliged to accept an Assignment offered by the Agent.

3.2 The Supplier acknowledges that the nature of temporary work means that there may be periods when no suitable work is available and agrees: that suitability of the work to be offered shall be determined solely by the Agent; that the Agent shall incur no liability to the Supplier should it fail to offer opportunities for suitable work and that no contract shall exist between the Supplier and the Agent during periods when the Supplier is not working on an Assignment.

3.3 At the same time as an Assignment is offered to the Supplier the Agent shall inform the Supplier of the identity of the Client, the nature of their business, the date the work would commence and the likely duration of the work, the type of work, location and hours the Supplier would be required to work; the rate of remuneration and what experience, training, qualifications the Client considers necessary or required by law to work in the Assignment.

3.4 Upon acceptance of the Assignment the Supplier and its personnel will confirm to the Agent, in writing, whether they are choosing to remain under the protection of the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Business Regulations 2003

3.5 If before the first Assignment, during the course of an Assignment or within the Relevant Period the Client wishes to engage the Supplier or employ the Supplier’s personnel direct or through another employment business, the Supplier acknowledges that the Agent will be entitled either to charge the Client a fee or to agree an extension of the hiring period with the Client at the end of which the Supplier may be engaged directly or through another employment business without further charge to the Client. In addition the Agent will be entitled to charge a fee to the Client if the Client introduces the Supplier to a third party who subsequently engages the Supplier within the Relevant Period.

3.6 If the initial personnel stated on the assignment Schedule is unable to continue providing the services the Supplier can supply a substitute with the same skills, knowledge and experience subject to the Client and Agent qualifying the substitute’s suitability.

DocuSign Envelope ID: 8C9E5F25-1CA9-48BE-9406-A40AE8184DC6


4.1 The Agent agrees to pay the hourly/daily/weekly charges to the Supplier as notified at the commencement of the Assignment and as may be varied from time to time during the Assignment. The charges are calculated according to the number of hours (to the nearest quarter hour) worked by the Supplier to the satisfaction of the Client. Any travel, hotel or other expenses as may have been agreed with the Client and not paid directly by the Client may be included if accompanied by Client approval and copies of receipts. VAT, if applicable, is payable on the entirety of these charges.

4.2 The Agent will pay the Supplier on a monthly basis, paying the Supplier within 14 days of receipt of Invoice, provided the Supplier has supplied the Agent with approved timesheets using the Agent’s ETZ system covering the relevant calendar month.

4.3 Subject to any agreement by the parties to the contrary the Supplier shall not be entitled to receive payment from either the Agent or the Client for time not spent on Assignment whether in respect of holidays, illness or absence for any other reason.

4.4 The Supplier shall be responsible for any PAYE, Income Tax and National Insurance Contributions and any other taxes and deductions payable in respect of its employees, officers or representatives for any Assignment and shall indemnify and keep indemnified the Agent and Client against any liability, loss, damage, cost, claim or expense they suffer or incur as a result of any claims in respect of employment or other taxes.

4.5 Subject to clause 4.6, the Agent shall pay the Supplier in accordance with these terms and the Conduct of Employment agencies and Businesses Regulations2003.

4.6 Where the Supplier fails to submit a properly authenticated timesheet the Agent, in a timely fashion, will conduct further investigations into the hours/days/weeks claimed by the Supplier and the reasons that the Client has refused to approve a timesheet in respect of hours/days/weeks. This may delay any payment due to the Supplier. The Agent shall make no payment to the Supplier for hours/days/weeks not worked.


5.1 The Supplier shall be liable for any loss, damage or injury to any party resulting from the negligent acts or omissions from its employees, officers and representatives during an Assignment.

5.2 The Supplier shall ensure the provision of adequate Employer’s Liability Insurance, Public Liability Insurance and any other suitable policies of insurance in respect of the Supplier and its employees, officers and representatives during the Assignment and shall make a copy of the policy available to the Agent upon request.


6.1 The Supplier agrees on its own part and on behalf of its employees, officers and representatives:

6.1.1 Not to engage in any conduct detrimental to the interests of the Agent or the Client which includes any conduct tending to bring the Agent or the Client into disrepute or which results in the loss of custom or business.

6.1.2 To be present during the times or for the total number of hours during each day and/or week of the Assignment as may be agreed with the Agent or the Client.

6.1.3 To take all reasonable steps to safeguard its own health and safety and the health and safety of any other person who may be affected by its actions on the Assignment.

6.1.4 To comply with all statutory obligations and codes of practice to which the Supplier is subject in respect of its employees, officers and representatives including but not limited to the Working Time Regulations.

6.1.5 To comply with any rules or obligations in force at the premises where services are performed during Assignments to the extent that they are reasonably applicable.

6.1.6 To co-operate with the Client’s staff and accept the direction of any person in the Client’s organisation to whom it is required to report and comply with all reasonable and lawful instructions within the scope of the Assignment made by the Client.

6.1.7 To furnish the Agent with any progress reports as may be requested from time to time.

6.1.8 Not to sub-contract to any third party any of the services which it is required to perform under any Assignment.

6.1.9 To notify the Agent forthwith in writing if it should become insolvent, dissolved or subject to a winding up petition.

6.1.10 To comply with all the requirements of VAT legislation and the Companies Act 1981.

6.1.11 The Supplier warrants that the personnel it provides to perform the Assignment is either self-employed or employed by the Supplier and nothing in this Agreement shall be deemed to make the Supplier’s personnel an employee of the Agent or Client. Furthermore, the Supplier shall indemnify the Agent and Client from any such claims of employment and related rights by its personnel.

6.1.12 If, either before or during the course of an Assignment, the Supplier becomes aware of any reason why the employees, officers and representatives supplied to do the work may not be suitable for an Assignment, the Supplier shall notify the Agent without delay.

6.1.13 If the Supplier and/or the Agency Worker considers that the Supplier’s Consultant has not or may not have received equal treatment under the Agency Workers Regulations as a result or omission of the Agent the Supplier may request that the Supplier’s Consultant raise this in writing with the Agent setting out as fully as possible the basis of the Supplier and / or its Consultant’s concerns. Save to the extent that such Loss results from any act or omission of the Employment Business or the Client the Supplier shall indemnify and keep indemnified the Agent (or, as the case may be the Client) against any losses the Agent (or the Client) may suffer or incur as a result of any claim made by or on behalf of the Agent under the Agency Workers Regulations.


7.1 The Supplier acknowledges that all copyright, trademarks, patents and other intellectual property rights deriving from services carried out by the Supplier and its employees, officers and representatives for the Client during the Assignment shall belong to the Client.

DocuSign Envelope ID: 8C9E5F25-1CA9-48BE-9406-A40AE8184DC6


8.1 The Supplier shall ensure that any computer equipment and associated software that it provides to its employees, officers and representatives for the purpose of providing the services contains anti-virus protection with the latest released upgrade from time to time.


9.1 In order to protect the confidentiality and trade secrets of any Client and the Agent and without prejudice to every other duty to keep secret all information given to it or gained in confidence the Supplier agrees on its own part and on behalf of its employees, officers and representatives as follows: -

9.1.1 Not at any time whether during or after an Assignment (unless expressly so authorised by the Client or the Agent as a necessary part of the performance of its duties) to disclose to any person or to make use of any of the trade secrets or confidential information of the Client;

9.1.2 To deliver up to the Client or the Agent (as directed) at the end of each Assignment all documents and other materials belonging to the Client (and all copies) which are in its possession including documents and other materials created by it or the employees, officers and representatives during the course of the Assignment;

9.1.3 Not at any time to make any copy, abstract, summary or précis of the whole or any part of any document or other material belonging to the Client except when required to do so in the course of its duties under an Assignment in which event any such item shall belong to the Client or the Agent as appropriate.


10.1 The Agent may terminate an Assignment immediately without any liability prior to the Assignment commencing. Once commenced an Assignment may be terminated by either the Agent or the Supplier by giving the other party the notice period notified at the commencement of the Assignment and may vary from time to time during the Assignment.

10.2 Notwithstanding sub-clauses 10.1 and 10.5 of this Agreement, where required by the Client, the Agent without notice and without liability or payment in lieu instruct the Supplier to cease work on an Assignment at any time, where:

10.2.1 The Supplier has acted in breach of the rules and regulations applicable to the Client’s own staff;

10.2.2 The Client reasonably believes that the Supplier has not observed any condition of confidentiality applicable to the Supplier from time to time; or

10.2.3 The Supplier becomes insolvent, dissolved or subject to a winding up petition

10.2.4 For any reason the Supplier proves unsatisfactory to the Client.

10.2.5 The Client terminates the Assignment due to project cancellation, project needs or the Client has been acquired by another company.

10.3 Failure by the Supplier to give notice of termination as required in the assignment confirmation note shall constitute a breach of contract and shall entitle the Agent to claim damages from the Supplier for any resulting loss suffered by the Agent.

10.4 If the employees, officers and representatives are unable for any reason to work on an Assignment the Supplier should inform the Agent by no later than 10.00 am on the first day of absence to enable alternative arrangements to be made.

10.5 The Supplier acknowledges that the continuation of an Assignment is subject to and conditioned by the continuation of the contract entered into between the Agent and the Client. In the event that the contract between the Agent and the Client is terminated for any reason the Assignment shall cease with immediate effect without liability to the Supplier.


11.1 All notices which are required to be given hereunder shall be in writing and shall be sent to the registered office from time to time of the party upon whom the notice is to be served. Any such notice may be delivered personally or by first class prepaid post or facsimile transmission and shall be deemed to have been served if by hand when delivered, if by first class post 48 hours and if by facsimile transmission when dispatched.

12 LAW

12.1 These terms are governed by the law of England & Wales and are subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Courts of England & Wales.

JACUSTOMER-agix33cs- :

I think I'm not in breach but could you please check for sure according to the contract, which I pasted above.

JACUSTOMER-agix33cs- :

To your second question, I was available to work my notice period

JACUSTOMER-agix33cs- :

My message was the following when I requested to work from home send on Sunday: "Unfortunately my wife had to go to Spain for personal reasons and I have to stay with the kids until she comes back so I’ll be working from home."

JACUSTOMER-agix33cs- :

My manager's answer was the following on Monday morning: "This was not a work from home position, its not acceptable. Take this week off , and let me know when you can come into work.".

JACUSTOMER-agix33cs- :


JACUSTOMER-agix33cs- :

The last four messages are not part of the contract, they are my questions. Please answer so we can close this matter.

Ben Jones :

I think I'm not in breach but could you please check for sure according to the contract, which I pasted above.

The issue is whether you would have been able to work from home or not – there is nothing in the contract that deals with this so it would not be the main point of reference for this issue.

To your second question, I was available to work my notice period

OK that is good as it would show you did not refuse to work and as such should be paid for it

My message was the following when I requested to work from home send on Sunday: "Unfortunately my wife had to go to Spain for personal reasons and I have to stay with the kids until she comes back so I’ll be working from home." My manager's answer was the following on Monday morning: "This was not a work from home position, its not acceptable. Take this week off , and let me know when you can come into work.".

So you may not have been allowed to work from home and your request to do so was rejected – they can do that. They could also choose to terminate the contract as a result of this but only in accordance with the termination provisions, which give you a week’s notice. As you were not in serious breach of contract and you were available to work your notice week, they should still pay you for it

JACUSTOMER-agix33cs- :

Thank you, ***** *****!

Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 44352
Experience: Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
Ben Jones and 4 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

The following is the answer from the agent's Legal Department:

"Unfortunately the contract makes no reference to working from home and does specifically set out the assignment location as being the client’s address (see the Assignment Schedule on page 4). The client was therefore entitled to refuse Alvaro permission to work from home (which his lawyer has also confirmed in the email below). From the correspondence I have reviewed the client responded first thing Monday morning to Alvaro’s email which was sent after 11pm on Sunday and I cannot see what more they could have done given that Alvaro was unable to attend the assignment location. In contradiction to the lawyer’s comments below, Alvaro was not available to work his weeks’ notice/last week of the assignment as he was at home and has admitted he could not attend the location for that week.

I am not trying to be unreasonable but it is clear that working from home was not agreed on this assignment. We are only obliged to pay for time actually worked and approved by the client and Alvaro is not entitled to pay for any absence for any reason (see clauses 4.1, 4.2 and 4.3). Despite the hours on Monday not being approved and Alvaro not being on site we are offering to pay for that day as a gesture of goodwill but, unfortunately, I cannot approve any further payment of time.”

Could you please indicate whether it is worth to pursue the matter further?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
hello, as discussed in my earlier advice the key was whether you were available to work in your notice period - by that I did not mean available to work at home but at the client's location or at any location determined by your contractual terms. If you could only work from home that week then you would not have been available and would not be paid for this period.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I need clarification:

  • After the rejection to work remotely, my network access to the client was cut by the client but I could have paid someone to take care of the kids and travel to the office (2 hours journey), in which case, because they mandated to take the week off they could have denied my access to their premises. I understand this means I was available, doesn't it? Is it worth to fight for this?

  • Another thing, you relate the notice period with this issue and I don't think they are related: They mandated to take the week off but if I had accepted the contract extension I would still be working there but I would be here talking to you also about how to get that week paid.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
You say you could have but you did not make that clear - you are working on assumptions here, so the client did not know that you were available and that you specifically offered your services to work from the office - s far as they were aware you ere only interested in working from home, without making it clear it was just your preference to work from home but that you would have been happy to work from the office as well if needed.
As to the notice period they issued you with notice to terminate your employment at the time and that week was effectively your notice period. They would only be obliged to pay you if you actually were available to work and do that work in the office, not at home. So it is relevant whether you were available to work in that week from the office, not from home.
Now unfortunately your question has expired as you must post any follow up queries within 7 days of the date of the original question. If you need any further help on this subject please post it as a new question on our site - you may start it with 'for Ben Jones' so that I get it and deal with it as fast as I can. Many thanks

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