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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70702
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I am self employed and have been carrying out works training

Customer Question

I am self employed and have been carrying out works for a training company. For some reason the relationship has broken down and I do not feel I can continue due a torment of emails from the MD that I can only say are bullying, however I am owed money. As I am not contracted if I decided to cease the working relationship can I expect payment in full with immediate effect?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
What did you agree about the payment scale?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

£18 per hour for all works carried out

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Okay.
But what did you agree about how quickly you would be paid?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Originally all my invoices were submitted on the 20th of each month and paid on the last working day. However I received and email at the beginning of April to say that due to the company not being paid by a contractor I would not receive payment for my invoice on the 20th April until the end of May and would then be 30 days thereafter for subsequent invoices.

My concern is that due to the nature of the emails and basically slanderous content I can not continue but am concerned I will not be paid. She has already questioned my last Invoice even though it was in the same format as the previous 10. Originally when I sent it she did not ask for more information but since I have received these awful emails she is now questioning it.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Well, that is completely unreasonable. It is not your problem but they haven't been paid and she cannot visit her misfortunes on to you in this way.
From what you say, she is exactly the type of Paymaster who may well not pay.
Ultimately there is nothing you can say or do that will change an unreasonable person into a reasonable one.
If she does not pay then you only have two options. The first is to write the money off as a bad debt which probably isn't very attractive. The second is to sue.
The disadvantage is suing is that it does slow things down a bit but you are more likely to get your money at the end.
If she doesn't pay then just send her one letter saying that if she does not you will sue and claim costs and interest. Give her a specified period of time by which payment must be made and then if she does not just issue against at the Small Claims Court. You will win on these facts.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

But what would be reasonable as since I invoiced her on the 20th April I have completed more work?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
It isn't what is reasonable that is the issue. It is what you agreed.
If you didn't agree anything then the law will imply that the payment term to which you originally adhered is the contractual payment term unless there is clear evidence that the variation was agreed.
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Ok, so If I have a conversation with her on Thursday and state I do not want to continue due to the content of the emails I have received am I right in saying that as I have no contract I can cease all work with immediate effect and expect payment for all work completed?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
I don't think you should be having conversations with her.
Put everything in writing so that there can be no denying what was said.
You seem to be saying that you were not bound by contract to complete a particular task. Even if you are in breach of contract you still have a claim for the work that you have done and also if she is genuinely screaming abuse and making defamatory allegations then a county court judge would probably understand a decision to breach
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

She is insistent we have a telephone conversation and has sent me an agenda. I am going to tell her I am going to record the conversation and then back it up in writing. She is saying she does not want me to leave but I know it is because she does not have anyone else to continue with some of the work as you have to be occupationally competent and could cost her in the region of 18k if she does not find someone to replace me.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
One option then is to do that and if she refuses speak to her and then send her an email immediately afterwards confirming what was said. If she doesn't come back denying anything then realistically that is enough to prove to the civil standard what was said.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The way she is carrying on and sending emails saying "I hope you lose friends and future work" not only will I be taking her to court for the money but for bullying and harassment.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Yes, I would hang on to emails like that.