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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50161
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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Hi I have been working as a self employed disc jockey every

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I have been working as a self employed disc jockey every Friday and Saturday nite at the same venue for the past 15 years. I have no written contract. The venue I work at has some of its own equipment but over the years when it goes wrong I have replaced the equipment with my own. I would say that I own approx 75% of the equipment and it is fixed in a dj box and lights fixed to the ceiling. I have now been told that as the World Cup approaches I will not have to work on nights when matches are during my dj times so will not get paid. I can't get other work as this is short notice and my equipment is not in theory easy to remove. Should I get paid for not working or get paid a retainer as each time I do not work I will lose £200. The boss of the venue say I am on a zero hours contract.

Any help would be much appreciated
Tony savage

Ben Jones : Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Have you had cancellations in the past and if so how much notice have you been given for them?

Hi Ben


No cancellations in the past at all


Warned About 3 weeks prior to the cancellations but no dates can be given due to how England do

Ben Jones :

Hi, sorry I was offline earlier. As someone who is self employed your rights will be somewhat limited due to you not having any rights to getting a minimum wage or have any work guaranteed. Your rights will mainly be determined by whatever written terms you have in place, for example in a formal contract between you and the other side. It could deal with guaranteed hours or days of work or mention a retainer. However, in the absence of such a written agreement, you could still argue that there were certain implied terms that applied between you and the other side. The term is called ‘custom and practice’, where a consistent custom or practice has been applied for long enough to make it contractually binding, even if it is not written down anywhere. So in your case you could try and argue that because you have worked consistently every Fri/Sat for years, that it has become an implied term that you are more or less guaranteed to work these days and if you are not wanted that you should receive either minimum notice to allow you to book other work or get some sort of a retainer.


The problem with this is that it is not easy to show such terms were implied – only a court can say if that was the case or not. It does mean that whilst you can challenge the other side over that, if they refuse to accept it, all you can do is take it to court and plead your case there. However, that could sour the relationship with the venue and as you are self employed they could consider terminating your contractual relationship with them. They will have to give you notice but they can terminate the contract. So you could be sacrificing a long-term employment opportunity for a payment for a few weekends.


Hope this clarifies your position?

Customer: Hi Ben
Customer: thankyou for your expert advice.
Customer: i thought I would be on thin ice trying to argue the case with my employers but was worth getting expert opinion.
Customer: i Thankyou for your time
Customer: kind regards
Customer: tony
Ben Jones :

You are welcome Tony, all the best

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