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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50148
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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Before I ask my question I'm going to quickly give you an

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Hi, My name is***** and before I ask my question I'm going to quickly give you an insight of what's going on:
I started working for this agency and we had a verbal agreement that I would be getting paid weekly and the hourly rate would £8.50. I was not paid in the first or second week. When I finally did get paid on the third week, I found out that the rate I had been paid was not the same as the one initially agreed on. I immediately stopped working as I felt betrayed seeing as I only had accepted working for them to help them because they were in a pinch to find qualified workers for the position. I had already another job offer and that is why I had the liberty of negotiating the hourly pay rate. So I had already worked 100 hours, 40 of which had already been paid at a different rate (£8.25) so I was still owed 60 hours of work. This week I have been paid £199 which even if I had only worked for 30 hours in my second week of work would still not be nearly enough. I have realised that this company is trying to steal my money and I honestly doubt I'll see the rest of it. Is there anything I can do? Thanks in advance

Hello, do you mean is there anything you can do to get the money you are owed?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Ben, yes. And if I could get any sort of compensation for being tricked into accepting this job under false conditions instead of the other one which was guaranteed.

Hi there. Thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and laws and will get back to you as soon as I can. Please do not respond to this message as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you

Hi there, you will certainly have rights to challenge this if needed. After all you agreed a specific rate and started working there on that assumption and this would amount to a legally binding contract. You did the work in good faith and therefore should be paid for the hours you worked and at the rate which was agreed at the outset. The only issue I foresee is that the rate was agreed verbally and if there is no written evidence of what you had agreed then it will electively be your word against theirs. That means there is a higher risk of a court not finding in your favour because if the other party is more convincing and they can persuade the court that such an agreement was never reached, they could win. However, that should only really impact the issue with the rate of pay rather than hours worked so you should still be able to pursue them for the unpaid hours, even if it ends up bing at the lower rate of pay. But of course there is also every chance that you manage to recover the hours at the higher rate if pay which was actually agreed.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the steps you need to follow in order to take the matter further, 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

Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Brilliant. Thank you for your answer. Please let me know what steps should I take next.

Thank you. 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.