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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50157
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I have just been terminated from a contract early. The contract

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I have just been terminated from a contract early. The contract was due to be four or five days per month. I Have been asked to take the extra one day per week off the notice period as of today. That amounts to seven days total in January and February. Their point is I didn't get explicit confirmation that I was going to do five days in January and February but I did email an admin to say that I would take those extra days off my last month's contract bill in June. Given that they have given notice today I assume that I have to take off the extra seven days from my notice period. Therefore given I received the email today and my contract says one month notice that means that my last working day is 10 April as there are two bank holiday days in March.therefore given they say I can only bill four days a week, and the seven days extra for Jan and Feb - I will bill 16 - 7 days = 11 days. Therefore 10 April minus 7 working days means I end on Weds 1 April. And I will bill four days a week from now until 1 April. Is this correct and can they rightfully ask me to average out the days to four days a week. Help!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
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Hello were you an employee or a contractor?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
i would also like to know the best professional response to make
Thank you. I do not quite understand what they have tried to do. I have looked at the contract and it states it is for 4 days a week, unless it has been specifically agreed in advance that you will work 5 days a week. So what happened in Jan and Feb? Did you work 4 or 5 days then?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes I did actually work five days a week due to massive demands and I advised a PA that I would take that off the end June date. Not the contract owners. Not that the contract lead was ever clear but that is by the by . That end June date has now come sooner ie they want to terminate me now. I will admit I did not get specific owner permission to work those five days as i understood this to be a fixed term contract to end June and I could take the extra days off contract end. They have asked me to respect that additional one day a week in the notice period so I am trying to figure out if I just need to 'swallow that' in the end date/notice period. or given the contract was due to finish end June whether there is any room for maneouvre. I just want to check my options before I confirm my contract end date.
So who agreed for you to work the 5 days at the beginning?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi did you see my contract. Due to the work demands, I chose to work five days in Jan and Feb and liaised with the PA in charge of the PO to say I would finish early to recompense for the extra workload early on in the contract by finishing early in June, finishing early in June is not an option as today they wanted me to finish today until I pointed out I have a month's notice in the contract. So they have asked me to effectively take what is 7 days off my notice period and only work four days a week in March.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
so just trying to figure out where I stand
given the contract was until end June but will now finish in March
They have not paid me for Jan work yet - systems at AstraZeneca are terrible
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
It wasn't explicit - as per the doc I sent you it said four or five agreed in advance. So I didn't have a physical email from those two but I notified them afterwards to say I would take those extra days off the June end date when work was expected to be quieter.
Thank you. Having looked at the contract, it does state that you are only guaranteed 4 days a week, with the option of working 5 days if discussed and agreed in advance with the client. You may have decided to work an extra day at the beginning of the contract, but this should have been agreed with the client rather than working on the assumption that they would agree to it. However, you could argue that if you did the days and they knew about it and did not challenge you working the extra days, that there was an implied acceptance for you to work 5 days. You may also argue that you gave them a condition that you would give these days back but only if the contract was terminated in June. If they did not terminate it then you can say that the condition you gave them is no longer valid and that they cannot now try and deduct these days from your notice period. The issue is that there is no right or wrong answer here. It is about arguing your position with the other side, and if it was to go to court, one judge on one day could come to a different decision to another judge on a different day. So it is a case of interpreting what has happened so far, what arrangements were in place and what implied agreements were reached. This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the steps you can take to pursue the ‘lost’ days payment if needed, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there I no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks Ben. I had to go back yesterday so in the interests of me wishing to move on swiftly and maintain my good reputation. Also I wish to get paid . The company is a huge multinational but their processes are not efficient therefore I am still waiting to be paid from 29 Feb This is due this week however if the Feb and March payments are late can I include late payment fees in an additional invoice if they don't pay on time. It has not been dealt with properly
Thank you. If you have not agreed when the money will be paid, the law says the payment is late 30 days after either:· the customer gets the invoice· you provide the service (if this is later) The interest you can charge is ‘statutory interest’ - this is 8% plus the Bank of England base rate, which is currently 0.5%, so a total of 8.5%. You then send a new invoice with the interest added on, remembering that it is 8.5% per annum, so it will accrue daily (i.e. you can’t just charge a total of 8.5% straight away as that is a whole year’s worth of interest). If they refuse to pay, 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.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Dear Ben,
Eventually I did the following as I wish to remain professional and move onto my next contract. This is a unique situation to me. I replied back to the Guy who gave me written notice on 8 March and wanted me to average out 4 days a week over three months. I started on 6 January and I assuming he means from then until the end of March. I note there are two bank holiday days at the end of March. I wrote back and offered to take the additional 7 days additional (which you and I discused previously) from January and February off the notice period of one month. I then calculated four days a week from that adjusted contract end date. I sent that on Tuesday. Another contractor, who is long term contractor there phoned me and said 'Your email did not go done well with Sanjay' and we had an adult to adult conversation where I said that I would just like to be paid for the work I have done and need to do to honour the contract. I mentioned that I had indeed 'given back 7 days' and felt I was being fair and reflecting what he asked. So I have had no further communication from Sanjay. I send this lady a very polite note to ask if she could come back by close of business tomorrow so that we may conclude this discussion swiflty, collegiately and professionally. Additional note - my invoice submitted 31 January has still not been paid. I have been told by the outsourced finance team it will clear in four days. My invoice submitted 29 February has been sitting for authorisation with a PA since 9 March. It has been a catalogue of complication that I have not experienced before. To be honest, my concern is not how someone 'feels' about something, it's about getting paid what I am owed and deserve and achieving 100% clarity. I have concerns now that given he wanted me to go on 8 March, that this may drag on. That if I do not get a reply and leave on 22 March without an official note, they may try to hold me in breach or something. I am very concerned about my exposure here as there is a history of issues. I do not wish to get 'litigous' about it but I am considering that if I do not hear anything back by a week - next Tuesday - sending a follow up communication that protects me legally and saying that I will be seeking advice. I do not wish to inflame the situation but I am very very concerned about the issues around what to me is a very simple matter. What advice do you have please? Thank you, Sarah
Hi, I fully understand you want 100% clarity but you will not get that unless you go to court When it comes to contracts, where you have not explicitly followed the rules, as in this case, it will come down to interpretation and what a court believes is a reasonable outcome. So that is why you cannot get your answer in black and white and complete guarantee that you will get what you want. Neither can you point the company to anything which will leave them with no option but to pay you. The fact is that you did not explicitly follow the rule as you did not agree the extra days before working them so they do have an argument if they need it. Similarly, you still conducted the work so can expect some form of remuneration even if it is not the full amount. As to what your plan of action is, if you have specifically told them what your plans are in term of leaving, such as dates, and they have not replied, you can assume that they have not challenged that and you can leave as you have advised them. Otherwise, if they challenge it you will have to continue negotiating over that.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
ben i am not challenging the days I am just wanting to get paid and clarity over finishing and getting paid notice
ok so do you mean you want to get paid for the invoices submitted?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes. And I have fully taken off the 'extra days' worked from my one month's notice period. I have based my final invoice - not yet submitted (will be submitted end March) on taking off the 'extra days' and based my final bill, and month on that and a four day week. I have not had a response on my email outlining that. Therefore finishing the 22 March. I have had no formal response except a verbal yesterday where this other contractor said 'my email did not go down well'. this same lady also emailed me her calculations (which were in fact higher than mine but I have left it with her as I do not wish to send any more emails or confuse matters) and I have asked her to respond by COB today . i have kept everything very friendly and professional. I want to ensure that in case of no written response that i am paid for Jan, feb and March and as per my email. So I feel i am being fair, taking off the 'extra days' and adhering on that basis to my notice period. I want to ensure I am paid and it is clarified so there is no comeback and this can conclude swiftly and professionally. They still have not paid me for Jan.
The money owed can be pursued as per my response dated 10/03/2016 20:31. The end of the contract is something you need to clarify with the company. There has already been correspondence in relation to that so to be on the safe side you have to send them one further letter stating what you are treating your end date to be and why and ak it clear that if you do not hear anything from them, you will assume that this is when the contract will end. If they come back to you to challenge it then you can continue negotiating, otherwise you can leave on the date you stated.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
thank you. That was indeed going to be my next step and today I have outlined that in writing to the other contractor who for some reason seems to have got involved. I will wait until one week - next Tuesday and if I do not hear send what you suggested. I have done that today but I will ensure that is sent to the actual person who signed the contract.
Yes certainly send it to the people in charge, not just other contractors.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Well today the in situ contractor Comms Director sent an email to the lead guy and the other two people I report to. It was extremely clear and stated my end date, what I will bill etc. It matches what I had said and set out. So all sorted. I will use this email when submitting my final invoice and chasing the others. Thanks for the advice, Sarah
Great, glad it has been resolved, looks like the sooner you get out of there the better
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Absolutely. Possibly the worst professional experience in an otherwise illustrious career..It was set up poorly so I was not set up to suceed tbh...hidden agendas of those to put down to experience, take the learnings and move on. Very pleased to leave indeed.Thanks again, Sarah
All the best