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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 48156
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I was working for one client through an employment agency as

Resolved Question:

Good morning,
I was working for one client through an employment agency as a limited company contractor.
I had an unfortunate accident on the customer's site. No personal injury, but the client's assets were damaged. The accident was my fault.
Can the agency legally withhold my payment?- They said they cannot pay me until the client finished the investigation.
When I signed up for the job, they did not require any insurance from me. I usually was covered by the agencies insurance on other contracts.
Who should recover the damage caused in this case? Can I sue the agency in small claims court for my two weekly pay?-One week was due before the accident happened
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.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

How long ago did you do the work? Also, did the agency confirm that you would be covered under their insurance policy?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello Sir,
Agency has not confirmed I am covered. I spoke them yesterday, and the said if the client's investigation find me responsible I must pay.I started work for them at the beginning of July. Worked for two weeks. The accident is happened in the second week. Agreement was that they pay me every following week.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

OK thank you, ***** ***** it with me. I am in court today so will prepare my advice during the day and get back to you at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Thank you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** looking forward to it.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

No problem at all.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for your patience. Unless your contract with the agency had a specific clause allowing them to withhold your pay for any such issues, doing so would amount to a breach of co tract on their part. You may have indeed been guilty of negligence and caused damage but that does not mean they can automatically withhold your pay. There are other avenues for them to take this further, for example the client can take their own action against you to recover any damages or losses caused by you. So you need to check your contract to see if what they have done is allowed under its terms. If it is not then you can argue that their actions are a breach of contract and that you are able to take the matter further if they do not pay you as per the agreement they have with you. Getting paid as you are entitled would obviously not remove any liability on your part and you may still have to cover any losses/damages in the future, but at least you should get paid what you are due for the time already worked.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the options you have to take this further if they refuse to pay you, 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 is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you

Ben Jones and 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. Before you consider starting legal action you may wish to consider sending a formal statutory demand. This is a legal request which asks the debtor to pay the outstanding debt within 21 days and failure to do so will allow you to bankrupt the debtor (if they are an individual ) or wind up the company (if they are a business). For the relevant forms to serve a statutory demand see here: https://www.gov.uk/statutory-demands/forms-to-issue-a-statutory-demand

4. 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.