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taratill, Solicitor
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 6428
Experience:  15 years experience of advising on employment law matters
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I was seconded from my employer to another company. I had

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I was seconded from my employer to another company. I had a letter of secondment and a consultants contract with the new company. By mutual agreed departure I left my employer to work direct to the another company. The new company are claiming that the consultants contract ended when I left my employment but i consider it a separate contract under which I have worked for three years. The company is now saying they will give me one months notice which the contract demands. So if I don't have a contract how can they now give notice. Where do I stand on this.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I am happy to help you today.
When did your employment with your original employer end for you to go to work direct for the other employer?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Jenny.

My employment ended on March 31st 2015 after 9 years. I have been working directly with the programme since April 1st and have just received the first months fee.

Why is there a dispute over the start date with the current employer? I need to understand the background in a bit more detail to properly advise you.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

there is no dispute over the start date it is that some of the Board of Directors are saying that they do not recognise the validity of the contract that I have saying that when my contract with my employer who seconded me ended the contract with them ended also ended. I dont agree with this as it is a seperate consultants contract with the new company and requires notice to terminate the contract which has never been given.

Ok but how has the question of the validity of this contract arisen?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

In a letter after I sent them a copy of the agreement in order to prove that I have a contract they replied.

The Board takes a different view to you on your employment arrangements. It is the Board’s understanding that your contract was with ITF and that you were seconded to MPHRP. Any documentation with MPHRP was intended to be a job description and not a contract of employment.

However the document states

Monday 13th August 2012.

Roy Paul

373 Metro Central Heights



Dear *****,

Consultancy agreement

I am writing to confirm the terms of our agreement concerning the provision of your consultancy services to the Maritime Piracy Humanitarian Response Programme, (MPHRP) as Programme Director.

  1. Term

You shall provide your services to the MPHRP commencing on 1st January 2012 for a period of 36 months and thereafter by mutual agreement, provided however that this agreement may terminated by either party giving to the other not less than one months’ prior written notice or as otherwise provided in this letter. The MPHRP will be entitled to make a payment in lieu of notice.

This therefore to my mind this is a contract and therefore they are wrong. Am I write and should I persue this and if so how?

Why do you want to prove this is a contract under the circumstances. This is what I am unsure about? Are you trying to enforce employment rights? why does this matter?
Also were you issued a further contract at the end of this 36 month term?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

it matters as this is my income and so I need to be protected against these board of directors who believe that they can ignore the legal standing of a contract and just dismiss people without payment if the contract is not valid. Taking into account that I have worked under this contract for three years and that they have now paid me for working for then in April. So I need legal advice as to whether the contract I have is legal and has to be abided by. I need advice as to whether I have anything to protect myself and my income.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I asked for a new contract from April 1st and this is what started this debate about whether I had one or not. They as you see disagree with me even though they havent taken legal advice.

Ok but have you been offered a further contract since this one and has your contract been terminated?
In regards ***** ***** rights they are right that you cannot have 2 concurrent employers so they were not your employer for the period you were 'employed' by your previous employer.
This means that the maximum continuous service you can have is one month since the employment terminated with the original employer.
The exception to this is that your employment might be covered by TUPE laws in which case you may have continuous service giving rise to a claim for unfair dismissal in the event they terminate your employment. This is an extremely complex area of law and you will need to take advice on this. The reason I offered the additional service is that it would be useful to talk to you to understand the situation in more detail to fully advise.
They are wrong to say that this contract was not valid as you have clearly provided services under it. I think it is possible you could have further rights and would urge you to take further advice on this.
taratill and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I dont claim to be employed by them but I have provided services as a consultant. and its that contract I say continued beyond my employment with my employer who seconded me, please offer more advice again

Ok I understand that. My understanding of your position is that:
1. Your employer says that the original contract is invalid.
2. Notwithstanding that you have been paid for your subsequent services.
3. You have been issued with a months notice to terminate your engagement, this is in line with the notice period in the original contract.
If this understanding is correct whether the original contract is valid or not makes no difference to the position as they have given you a months notice.
The only possible claim could be in breach of contract which would be for failure to give valid notice.
Please can you explain why, in the context of the above, it assists you to say that the original contract was valid?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

1.They are not my employer as they pay me a fee for consultancy services.

2. They have paid my expenses for three years and now my fee for April.

3. Yes the notice period is in line with the original contract.

If the contract is not valid then they can't give notice or the payment in leiu of notice that it states. Also I have control of bank accounts and issue contracts to other consultants so what is the legality of my actions for the past month if the contract is not valid.

Ok they are your employer in that they are paying you for services under a contract not in the employment law sense.
It is my view that the contract is valid and extends to your current 'engagement' with them. They are therefore allowed to pay you notice. In any event it is not in your interest to argue otherwise as it is in your interest to be paid notice.
If they have have instructed you to do the work whether this is under a contract or not is irrelevant. There is nothing in illegal in what you have done. Many people work without the existence of a valid written contract.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks Jenny.for your response.