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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50161
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I am an IT Consultant (self employed contractor) is an email

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I am an IT Consultant (self employed contractor) is an email to my agency renewing my contract legally binding, my current contract ended today and I have been told not to come back and the company say they do not need to give me notice as they have not signed any paperwork with my agency.
I have a signed Contract Schedule from the agency extending my contract until 15th Aug, but the agency only has an email from the company. The company are saying they do not need to honour the new contract and therefore do not need to give me notice or pay me for the notice period

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi where do I stand can I insist on the 2 week notice period being honoured even though the agency only has an email

Hi there. Please can you tell me how long you had been contracting for?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
16 years although only been at this place for 3 months
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
All I need to know is the email from the company to my agency confirming my contract is being extended to 15th Aug legally binding and therefore can I insist on them paying me for the next 2 weeks

OK, thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and laws and will get back to you in a short while. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Also, please do not responded to this message as it will just push your questions to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you.

Hello, my sincere apologies for the delay in responding. For some reason your question had dropped off from my queue of outstanding questions. I believe it is a system issue and our technical department is looking into it.

Going back to your query, for a legally binding contract to be in existence it is not necessary to have a formal signed contract in place. Under common contractual law, a contract is formed if there is an offer, an acceptance and consideration. So if there was an offer by one party and an acceptance by the other, the likelihood is that a contract would have been formed, regardless of the lack of any formal signatures or contractual documents.

So in the circumstances you can certainly try and argue that the elements for a binding contract have been satisfied. If they refuse to adhere to the notice period you can consider pursuing them for breach of contract in the small claims court.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the steps you need to follow if you wish to take this 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 is 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.
Ben, many thanks that is just what I wanted to hear

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. Before you consider starting legal action you may wish to consider sending a formal statutory demand. This is a legal request which asks the debtor to pay the outstanding debt within 21 days and failure to do so will allow you to bankrupt the debtor (if they are an individual ) or wind up the company (if they are a business). For the relevant forms to serve a statutory demand see here:

4. 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.