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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 48193
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I was contracting with a Financial services company

Resolved Question:

Hi,
I was contracting with a Financial services company for 11 months when they terminated my contract due to an error someone in my team made. I did exactly what I was supposed & didn’t deviate form process at all. It was my case handler that made the mistake & admitted that he had done so however the company decided to terminate us both. They paid me 20 days notice & actually stated that I had been made a scape goat. I then submitted a DSAR request as I was not happy with the outcome & they responded stating that I’d breached my contract as I’d made a mistake. This is what I’ve emailed today. Can you let me know if I have a strong case to take this to court as I believe I should be paid until I am able to ecue new employment. The contract end date is August 2016.
Many thanks for your recent letter & the prompt response.
I note from the documents that my contract was terminated due to a breach of contract however I did not breach my contract in any way, shape or form & this is why I am so upset by what has happened. Rest assured if I’d done something wrong I would have put my hands up & admitted it & been thankful for being paid 20 days notice however the fact is that I did not deviate from process at all. The process has never been that TLs check their CHs rework – if it were the case I would have flagged it as an issue as I wouldn’t have known what to check – this is the same for the vast majority of TLs in the business. In addition, XXX did exactly the same thing I did & the reason she did this is because it was what we were told to do.
Having sought legal advice I have been informed that it is actually XXX that has breached the contract by an accusation of a breach on my part to justify early termination.
I am only too aware of how important Firewall is & I, more than any other TL, in XXX took responsibility for Firewall – I proactively picked things up that fell outside of my remit & ensured that all cases on the spreadsheet were picked up. I liaised with Jon Lodge & even emailed TLs in review, Redress & QC to ensure they were aware that they had cases on the XXX report. If you look through my emails you will see that this was the case.
The CH made the error & admitted it – he had told me he’d done the rework when he hadn’t. Again you can check through my emails & see what I sent to the team – I continually stressed to them the importance of Firewall. I also did this verbally in most team huddles.
I agree that I was offered a CH role in XXX however that was a drop from £250.00 a day to £145.00 – this simply isn’t viable financially for me. Further you state that you will continue to look for suitable roles for me however I appear to have been removed from the XXX weekly email update.
I don’t want to cause waves – I simply want to work. I managed to secure a role on the XXX contract however that was then blocked by XXX despite my being advised to contact them. I am not expecting you to pay me until the end of my contract I just want a job that pays the same day rate. I accept that the nature of contacting is that sometimes a scapegoat is needed & actually I’d have been ok with that if an alternative role had been found for me – this didn’t happen.
All I want is to continue working – it’s not as if I hadn’t been doing my job well. I am an extremely experienced manager & I very much enjoyed working on the project & my team were doing incredibly well. Time after time my team were the top team on production & they were managed correctly. A number of people on the project were negative & complained about how terrible things were – I was never one of those people – I constantly reminded people how well paid we all were for what we were doing.
I did not breach my contract – I did exactly what I’d been asked to do. I did not make a mistake. I have also been made aware that since I was released there have been further Firewall rework errors that have not resulted in anyone being released from the project. I believe this were made after ***** ***** had been released from the project. I obviously don’t know the ins & outs of these cases however I do know that CHs and/or TLs had made mistakes but were not released.
I even asked XXX if there was work I could do in XXX – on a day rate rather than as a permanent employee as I have worked in Financial Services for the whole of my career & can offer a lot to the business.
I hope that you review the circumstances of my dismissal & are able to offer me something paying the same day rate that I was on before. The nature of the role isn’t an issue to me as I just need to be working really & can turn my hand to most things.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello was there a clause allowing for early termination of the contract?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
This is a copy of the termination part of the contract:10 TERMINATION OF CONTRACTOR SERVICES 10.1 Huntswood is entitled to terminate the Contractor Services by notice with immediate effect in the event of serious misconduct and/or gross negligence of the Contractor. For the avoidance of doubt, acts or behaviour which constitute serious misconduct by you shall be taken to include (but not restricted to) the following: 10.1.1. Theft or attempted theft from Huntswood, Huntswood’s Client or their employees (or other personnel). For the avoidance of doubt this shall include, without limitation, falsifying timesheets or otherwise claiming that the Contractor worked on the Assignment during hours in which they did not in fact work; 10.1.2. Fraud or dishonesty or acts in any manner which in the opinion of Huntswood brings or is likely to bring Huntswood or Huntswood’s Client into disrepute or is materially adverse to the interests of Huntswood or Huntswood’s Client; 10.1.3. Rude offensive and threatening behaviour to Huntswood, Huntwood’s Client or their employees (or other personnel); 10.1.4. Malicious damage to Huntswood or Huntswood’s Client property, including the introduction of viruses and other damage to computer systems; 10.1.5. Breaches of Huntswood’s or Huntswood’s Client internet or social media policy, including downloading pornographic or other prohibited or illegal material; 10.1.6. Breaches of Huntswood’s or Huntswood’s Client policies or procedures including security and health and safety; 10.1.7 any breach of clause 13 (confidential information and intellectual property) 10.1.8 any breach of clause 14.4 (data protection); 10.1.7 any breach of clause 15.1 (bribery & corruption); 10.1.8 Negligence resulting in serious loss, damage or injury to Huntswood, Huntswood’s Client or their employees; 10.1.9. Serious breaches of Health and Safety regulations when at Huntswood or Huntswood’s Client premises; 10.1.10 Attempting to perform any duties while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs; 10.1.11 Failure to provide notice or the required notice period for leave as required under clause 8.2 or failure to promptly notify Huntswood of any period in which you anticipate the Contractor not being on Assignment; 10.1.12 conviction of any criminal offence (other than an offence under any road traffic legislation in the United Kingdom or elsewhere for which a fine or non-custodial penalty is imposed); 10.1.13 Failure to submit timesheets in respect of work done by the Contractor; and 10.1.14. Failure to achieve or maintain competence as required under clause 4.1 10.1.15 the Contractor is declared bankrupt or makes any arrangement with or for the benefit of his creditors or has a county court administration order made against him under the County Court Act 1984; 10.1.16 you make a resolution for winding up, make an arrangement or composition with your creditors or make an application to a court of competent jurisdiction for protection from your creditors or an administration or winding-up order is made or an administrator or receiver is appointed in relation to you; and 10.1.17 any breach of your duties under clause 2. 10.2 In the event the Contractor Services are terminated early by Huntswood (howsoever arising) for any reason set out in clause 10.1 or where the Contractor Services are terminated by you under clause 10.4 and such termination becomes effective within the Term, Huntswood shall be entitled to deduct from monies owed to you a maximum of up to 10 days Day Rates as damages for Loss that Huntswood will suffer as a result of termination of the Contractor Services. 10.3 Huntswood is entitled to terminate the Contract at any time during the Assignment by giving you written notice in accordance with the notice period specified in the Confirmation Letter.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Thank you and what is the notice period stated in the Confirmation letter in the event they terminate your services?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hiya,I have added the contract & confirmation letter
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. The issue here is that you are a contractor, not an employee, working under a contract for services. As such you do not have protection against unfair dismissal, which means that the employer can dismiss you for more or less any reason and without following a fair procedure. Even if you were an employee, protection does not kick in until you have had at least 2 years’ continuous service with the employer. So it does not matter whether you had done anything wrong or not – you could be completely innocent and be able to prove it but they can still elect to terminate your employment with no reason and without having to justify it. All that is required of them is that they follow the contractual requirements you are working under. In your case you have a contract which specifically deals with termination on their part and that states: “Huntswood is entitled to terminate the Contract at any time during the Assignment by giving you written notice in accordance with the notice period specified in the Confirmation Letter.” We then check the Confirmation letter and it states that the notice period required by them is 20 working days. So in effect they can choose to terminate your services at any point and for any reason simply by giving you the 20 days’ notice, which in this case they have done. In the circumstances you have no right to make a claim for ongoing loss of earnings because they have not breached their contract – they have relied on a specific termination clause allowing them to terminate the contract by giving you a specified period of notice, which they have, therefore they have legally terminated the contract and no damages or compensation is due. I'm sorry if this is not necessarily the answer you were hoping for, however I do have a duty to be honest and explain the law as it actually stands. This does mean delivering bad news from time to time. I hope you understand and would be happy to provide any further clarification if needed. If you are still satisfied with the level of service you have received I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page. Thank you
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