How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ben Jones Your Own Question
Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 48776
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
29905560
Type Your Law Question Here...
Ben Jones is online now

Dear Sirs, I am currently employed and have an unsigned

Customer Question

Dear Sirs,
I am currently employed and have an unsigned contract. The contracts were re-done when the company decided to enrol in the Pension Scheme in 2014. However, although we have found out that these exist, they have never been formally issued and we have not been told by any correspondence, letter or email, that these are on file.
I also have another issue, in that I was told that I would receive an annual bonus and this would be based on 10% of the companies profit and loss from their year end in September, and this would be paid before Xmas. However, over the last five years, the bonus has never been paid out fully prior to Xmas. I have now found out that I have never received the full 10%, but now that the company has had a really good year, the bonus should be around 100k. I have been paid 10k prior to Xmas, but nothing since. This evening, i have received an email from my employer, after discussions, and have been offered another 10k. I have also found out, over the five years that the bonus was supposed to be paid, that I have never been paid the full 10%.
I have asked, only last week, for a copy of my contract, which does state the 10% bonus, but after corporation tax.
My problem is now that I don't think I can carry on working in this employment, but need to know if I can hand in my notice, 4 weeks, but can the contract be enforced and can I claim what I feel is due under the contract. I appreciate that these are unsigned by both parties.
I hope you can assist and look forward to your response.
Kind Regards,
Terry
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long have you worked there for?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
15.5 Years
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry Ben, that was a bit blunt.I started with the company as an electrician, then was promoted to management role about 10-11 years ago. The bonus's were given as a thanks for all the hard work, late hours and helping the company grow to what it is now.Thanks. Terry
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. How and when were you told about the bonus? Was this in place before the new contracts were put in place?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Ben, it was more or less a verbal agreement, but I was also told that I would be able to view the company accounts to keep things fair, these have never been shown to me over the years, so was more on trust and I have just been given an amount, as and when. I have no idea what the previous contract said, as this has never been issued or signed either?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Ok I will deal with each issue separately. First of all the new contracts. A contract can be legally binding even if it is unsigned, however for that to happen both parties would need to have been aware of its terms and its existence. So if you were never issued with this contract or knew what its contents were then it is quite unlikely that either you or the employer will be bound by it. However, that does not mean no contract would be in place – there would still be an implied contract in place, based on what the accepted terms between you and the employer have been over the years. The bonus – this can be legally binding even if it was only agreed verbally. The issue is that there has been a different practice which was consistently applied over the years it may have taken precedence over what was initially agreed. So if you were not paid what you had agreed and accepted that over the years then these new terms may have become the ones which are now binding. You can try and challenge this by arguing that you did not actually know what you were receiving and what it was based on but in any event this is for a court to decide so if the employer does not wish to pay you as requested you will have to make a claim in court to pursue your rights. This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the steps you can follow should you decide to pursue this matter further, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there I no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
Ben Jones and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. 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 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: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Ben,I think this has answered most of my questions, however, I would be interested in how to proceed further. The problem is, it is a lot of money to me, and I believe this could be in excess of 130k. I have already been told by ACAS, that I would need to take out a civil claim, but in essence, what are my chances of completing a claim. ACAS said that I would require documented proof of discussions, but most of this has been done verbally. The only evidence i have is payslips?Your assistance is appreciated.Thanks. Terry.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Sorry looks like our replies crossed. As you are making the claim it is for you to prove that what you are claiming is true and that you were promised these things. If it was done verbally then it will be your word against your employer's. You could try and rely on evidence by others, if for example they were promised the same to show that this was not just a one off and that what you are claiming is true, but in the end only a court can decide if they believe this or not
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Ben,Thanks. One last thing, hopefully...Obviously, I have never been shown the company accounts to verify what the bonus should have been. However, I have had to find out in my own way, and was informed that these are available to view on company house, just register an email address. This I have done, and have therefore seen the Profit and Loss, so can work out what is, in my opinion due. I know that this is not the best way to do things, but I was left with no choice really. We also have an accounts lady in the office who is fully aware that this 10% bonus scheme was in place as she does the wages, and who also informed me today, that I have never been given the full amount. Obviously, I get on well with her, so would not inform my employer that we talk, but if needs must, would this help the situation.Many ThanksTerry
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
There is nothing wrong in doing that - these are public documents so you have every right to see them. As to the information from the accounts lady yes that will help but if it ends up in a claim you would need her as a witness to confirm that what she said is true - she may be reluctant to do so so as not to damage her relationship with her employer. although f needed you can force her to attend as a witness if the court agrees
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks Ben.The accounts lady is due to retire in a year, so I don't think she would care!!!I think this has really helped and appreciate your time and assistance. I will now pursue from here.Thanks and Kind Regards, Terry
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
You are most welcome, best of luck!