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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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Is there a (minimum) notice period contractor/interim

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Is there a (minimum) notice period for a contractor/interim working for a company on the basis of a daily rate. At interview the employer was adamant that the employee committed to a full three months because of financial year end demands. There was a verbal agreement with two senior executives at interview but the company never followed this up with a written contract. Subsequent to starting work the 'employee' set up their own limited company and used this to invoice the company for the services on a weekly basis, as this was a requirement of the job offer. Not sure whether this falls to Contract law or Employment law, but hope you can help. Please let me know if you need any further information.
Hello Fergus, my name is***** am an employment lawyer and I am happy to help you today. What is your involvement in this so I understand the background?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I started the role four weeks ago after being approached by the interim CFO who is a neighbour. I attended for interview on the Monday at 9.30 and started work immediately after. I was told yesterday at 12.00 that as my excel skills were not to the level required the role was being terminated immediately. The matter was not for discussion, there had been no previous 'warning' or indication that this was such a critical issue and indeed was only a relatively small part of the overall job (monthly accounts preparation & review and managing the financial year end process). I committed to the three months and stopped all my job applications that were in process to meet the employer's requirement.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I am in a library so best to continue typing as I cannot talk from here
Ok and can you confirm that there is no written contract and you worked 4 weeks in total?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes, no written contract was later offered/produced after verbal agreement at interview, where my 3 month commitment was an essential requirement of me. I worked for 3 full weeks and until 12.00 yesterday. My limited company was set up on 15th February and I invoiced and was paid for the first two weeks on Friday 27th February.
Did they say that it was a fixed term of 3 months at the interview?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
They were not willing to offer the role if I did not commit to a full three months, their notice period to me was not mentioned, I had understood it would be the same (I live and learn).
Ok , finally can you tell me if you think the decision to terminate your contract discriminates against you on the basis of your age, sex, religion, race or disability or for raising a health and safety complaint?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No I would not see this to be the case, but there was no willingness to discuss the issue and to see how it might be resolved to mutual satisfaction.
Ok thanks, ***** ***** do not think you have any recourse either as a contractor or as an employee. If you were deemed to be an employee the Employment Rights Act states that no notice is required in the first month of employment. Often employers will have contracts in place which give a contractual right to notice but this is not the case for you and whilst they asked you to commit to 3 months it does not appear to be a fixed term. This means that unless there is an element of discrimination for one of the reasons above there is no recourse against the employer. I would urge you in the future to insist on a contract prior to starting work. If you have any further questions please do ask. If I have answered your question I would be grateful if you would be so kind as to rate my answer. Thank you and all the best.
Hello Fergus is there anything further you would like to know as I can see that you have not yet rated my answer which is an important part of the process?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you, ***** *****'t intent to pursue further, your answer is clear. I understand fully the contract issue and will be wiser the next time. Two small additional point of clarity please a) whether this type of role normally is governed by Contract law, Employment law, or a mixture and b) after one month, how does any 'entitlement' change.
Thank you very much for your prompt and professional support. Fergus
My honest opinion if you are planning to provide work through a limited company is that you are operating as a contractor. In those circumstances the right to minimum notice does not apply and it depends entirely on the terms of the contract which will need to be negotiated at interview. Even as a contractor you will have certain rights as a 'worker' so employment lawyers are able to deal with it but not all employment laws (rights as an employee) would apply.
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