Hi there, I am back now, thanks for your patience. So first of all the existence of a contract. You are entirely correct that the lack of a written/signed contract does not mean there is no contract in place.
I do not foresee any difficulties if this was to be challenged in court. The simple fact that you have been providing a service for such a ling time, where they have been paying you for it, will clearly show there was an intention between both parties for a contractual relationship to exist. The terms of such a contract would generally be based on the arrangements you had in place, so basically what has consistently been applied between you and them, such as hours, fees, amount of work, etc.
So a contract would have been implied in place in any event and it is clear it would have existed regardless of the lack of anything in writing.
Even if a contract was in place that does not mean it cannot be terminated though - no contract would be in place indefinitely. Whilst you would ideally want a written contract with a stipulated termination notice, one side can still terminate the contract by giving ‘reasonable notice’. What is a reasonable notice period will vary greatly and will depend on the individual circumstances, industry practices, length of employment, frequency of payment, etc. A useful starting point would be to look at the usual invoicing and payment cycle, which may provide the length of the notice period that could be reasonable (e.g. invoicing for work on a monthly basis can potentially require a month’s notice to terminate).
As to TUPE, this would potentially apply if the services which you had provided were taken over by another provider or the client takes them in house. Only you, as employees would transfer, so the Ltd company will no longer have any involvement, but you can expect your employment to automatically transfer to the new provider or the company if services go in house.
The client does not have to release the new contractor’s information but they will need to provide the relevant information to the new contractor and it must then make the necessary arrangements to consider the transfer and taking you on. If they do not do so it would be the new contractor you would be pursuing over this.
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