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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 49839
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Hope you can help!! I am a CIPD qualified UK HR manager.

Customer Question

Hope you can help!!
I am a CIPD qualified UK HR manager. I operate through my registered limited company, providing HR services. So my status is limited company and NOT employee.
In short, I was verbally offered a 3 month services contract via a London recruitment agency, representing their client for an INTERIM HR assignment. I was telephone interviewed by the end user i.e the end user company, London HR department. I was then contacted by the agency to offer me a fixed term 3 (three) month contract for services. They confirmed a day rate, project duration, as well as a two week notice period.
I was then contacted by the Recruitment Department (of the end user) confirming in writing via e mail, my start date, day rate, and notice period as well as a meeting date and time in their offices, with their colleagues.
I cancelled my other work commitments, for this assignment, to be available for this assignment. I accepted verbally.
I then received an e mail confirming that I should not come in. The company were unsure about the project and would let me know. After pushing for a response, the company confirmed they did not need my services.
Does this constitute a contract as such? My accountant suggests I bill them for a the notice period.
Please advise as I an unsure how company law operates vis a vis employment law.
Thank you
'Out of pocket big time'.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a solicitor on this site and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. What was the notice period that was agreed?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Ben,
I originally asked for 1 week notice. The company insisted on two weeks notice.
01268 711281
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello Edward, it is indeed very likely that a contract was formed in these circumstances. It is not necessary for a written or signed agreement to have been in place for a contract to be formed and one could have become implied if the necessary elements for a contract were present. Under common law these elements are an offer, acceptance and consideration. There was clearly an offer, I presume you accepted it by confirming your intention to work with them and you showed consideration by amending your plans and proceeding on the basis you had this job in place. So a contract was most likely formed. Therefore, this is not really an employment issue but a contractual one.
If the other party subsequently acted in breach of contract, such as not proceeding with the original agreement to take you on, you would be able to consider pursuing them for any losses incurred as a result of that breach. The law would look at placing you in the same position you would have been had the breach not occurred. In reality, they could have taken you on and on day one given you notice as per the agreement to terminate your services. So as a minimum you would have still been entitled to the notice period, which in this case was agreed to be 2 weeks. So you would be able to ask for 2 weeks’ notice to cover your losses as a result of their breach.
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. 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 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.
I trust this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page). If for any reason you are unhappy with my response or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? If your query has been dealt with please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts from the top of the page. If you need further help please get back to me on here and I will assist as best as I can. Thank you.