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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 47864
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I am a contractor and was recently contacted by an

Customer Question

Good afternoon
I am a contractor and was recently contacted by an employment agency (Sola) and offered a 6 month contract with Fujitsu. With Sola's full knowledge I terminated a contract 1 month early as this was an urgent assignment. However when I turned up at Fujitsu I learned that Sola is not a preferred supplier and therefore the normal process to set up a contractor and get them working was not followed. I have been unable to work since I joined on 31 August as they can't set me up on their internal systems and provide IT for me to work on. Yesterday I was sent home while they "sort this out". One of Sola's directors agency called me and admitted they were at fault and they are working to resolve this with Fujitsu. He also acknowledged that I would be paid in spite of not being able to work.
I suspect this is going nowhere and am going to look for another contract. However I believe Sola has misrepresented their relationship with Fujitsu and that they should pay me until I have found another contract.
Can you advise on the legalities? I have a contract with Sola commencing 31 August.
Regards
Gaby
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry I clicked something by mistake. Can we proceed online?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hi there Gaby. Have Sola said they will not pay you in the interim?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No, but I'm trying to head this off before it becomes an issue so I understand where I stand.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am concerned that they have not acknowledged our conversation and are not getting back to me today.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

OK, thank you for your responses. I will review the relevant information and laws and will 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. Also, please do not responded to this message as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Many thanks for your patience. The first consideration here would be whether the placement was conditional on anything, such as the agency getting approval to be a contractor or anything else in relation to this. If there were no such conditions placed on the offer and it was simply sold to you as a guaranteed start for the client at the set date, then their failure to materialise this can amount to a breach of contract. The fact they have admitted liability will also help you so if you have evidence of that it would be useful to retain it.

In terms of damages, there is indeed an argument that you should be paid for the duration of the contract as that is what was promised to you under the contract you had entered into at the start. There are a couple of factors you must take into account though:

· Was there a notice period for early termination. If there was then even if you had started the job they could have terminated it by giving you that notice period. So a court may decide that you should only be entitled to that notice period as damages as that is the worst position that could have been feasible

· You have a duty to find a new job as soon as you know that there are issues with the current one. You must provide proof of job searches and applications and obviously the sooner you find one the less compensation from the contract’s full value you may receive.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the steps you must follow should you have to pursue them for compensation, 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 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
1. The contract was not conditional.
2. The contract can be terminated giving 5 working days notice however I have not been given notice.
3. I have already started looking and have evidence to that effect.I look forward to your detailed advice on next steps. I understand this industry is regulated by REC so it may be worth a complaint about unethical behaviour if they try not to pay me.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. My main concern would be that a court decides you are only due 5 days notice because that is what they could have given you to terminate the contract even if you had started with them on the greed day. However, if you were left ‘hanging’ with promises that this would be resolved soon and did not seek other work initially as a result, then that should also be taken into account and perhaps you should be given compensation for a longer period to reflect that.

Whenever a dispute arises over compensation owed by one party to another, the party at fault can be pursued through the civil courts. 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 party at fault to voluntarily settle this matter.

2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but these have been ignored, the party at fault must be sent a formal letter asking them to resolve this amicably 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 pursue the compensation due. 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 other side 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.
Thank you Ben. Hopefully we can sort this out amicably.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hope so too, you know where to find me if you need further assistance, all the best

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Good morning BenSince we last spoke I have followed up daily with Sola and in spite of promising to contact me with information c.o.p Thursday heard nothing from them with regard to progress getting set up to work at Fujitsu.Yesterday I gave notice (5 days in accordance with the contract) via my umbrella company and told them we would be invoicing for 14 days (9 elapsed days since the start of the contract + 5 days notice). We asked for confirmation of the email but as yet this is not forthcoming.They appear to have covered themselves quite well in the contract with regard to paying (see clauses 6.4, 7.1 and 9.5 below). However I feel that I have acted reasonably and that there is a case for misrepresentation and unethical behaviour as they engaged my services without having a supplier agreement in place. Plus their director, Jim Nicholls told me verbally that it was their fault and that I would get paid for down time. Of course he would not confirm this in writing.I would like to send them an email saying that I believe I have acted reasonably but their lack of communication forced me into a position where I became concerned about my income, hence the termination so I can pursue other opportunities. My thinking is that I will give them a deadline to confirm that they will pay me or I will complain to the REC (recruitment governing body) and start legal action.I would like a steer from you on this.Clauses:
6.4 SOLA shall make no payment to the Consultancy for any period during which Services are not performed under the Assignment (whether due to illness, agreed absence or for any other reason).7.1 The Consultancy shall be entitled to receive payment of the Fee as detailed in the Assignment Schedule for Services completed. The Consultancy shall not be entitled to receive payment from SOLA or the Client for time not spent on the Assignment whether in respect of holidays, illness, absence or for any other reason.9.5 SOLA shall only be liable to pay the Consultancy for Services performed satisfactorily up to the date of termination and subject to receipt of a signed Timesheet from the Client. In the event SOLA terminates the Agreement within the first 5 Business Days of any Assignment, the Consultancy shall not be entitled to payment of the Fees in respect of those Business Days, unless and to the extent that the Client exercises its discretion to make payment to SOLA for Business Days on which Services were performed by the Consultancy and the Client signs a Timesheet in supportI have attached a copy of the full contract.Regards
Gaby
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Unfortunately it appears that I agreed to opt out of "conduct regulations" and I am not sure SOLA is a member of REC so I won't use this in my email.