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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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My child was put into child care and due to the distress it

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My child was put into child care and due to the distress it was causing I had to leave my job. The childminder is now asking me for over 700 pounds to be paid however I did not sign an official contract and it does state that 4 weeks notice must be given to remove her from childcare. My daughter did not even attend for a full week. I need help

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

Is the £700 being charged for 1 full week of child care?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No 188 for one week which is incorrect as she only attended 4 days then a charge of 188 times 4 as a four week notice period but does not states on the contract what the 4 weeks notice is for
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I was not even given a copy of the contract

OK thank you, ***** ***** it with me. I am in court today so will prepare my advice during the day and get back to you at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Thank you.

Many thanks for your patience. The fact that the contract was not signed does not mean that it cannot be legally binding. If you both knew that this contract was in place and both had agreed to proceed under its terms (signified by not rejecting it and continuing under the remaining terms in it, like the pay, hours, etc) then your and their acceptance would be implied. Therefore, the contract can be legally enforceable and if you do not adhere to its terms then you could be acting in breach of contract. However, if you were not issued with any of the terms before you placed your child there and never had sight of the contact until the point you wanted to cancel, you could try and challenge this. To rely on the cancellation terms, or on the contract as a whole, you should have been given the chance to see the terms before you agreed to them.

So this is what it would mainly come down to. You can try and use that argument to offer a reduced notice period (some notice period would be required). However, if they refuse to accept that they could try and say you are in breach and it would then be for them to decide whether to pursue that, such as by making a claim for compensation in the small claims court.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the rights you have should they decide to take this 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

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I signed a brief Contract yo state the hours I wished my daughter to attend. Nowhere on the contract I signed did it state I have to give 4 weeks notice period nor does it state that the notice must be payable in full. My daughter was so soo distressed when in her care I had to take her to an emergency doctors appointment and then for further tests. I have now had to give up my job due to the stress this has caused for my daughter. How can I give the supposed 4 weeks notice when I had to remove my daughter from her childcare after 4 days? Where do I stand on this. The governing body for childminder states that I should have received a copy of the contract, her ousted report neither of which I received. Also they state there is a 12 day cooling off period which I was not given or advised of. I am now out of pocket because I have had to give up work.

Thank you. Your main arguments here would be that you were jot issued with a copy of the contract before agreeing to take up the services, which means that you did not know what you were signing up to. For example, had they issued you with the contract and you knew that there was a 4 week notice payable on termination, you may have decided against it. Also, it appears that the services provided may have fallen below the reasonable standard expected of someone in their position. That could have translated into a breach of contract on their part, which means that the whole contract likely becomes void, taking away with it the requirement of a notice period on termination. So these are the points you need to put across when explaining why you will not be paying them notice. If they threaten you with legal action, you can tell them that in return you would be making a counterclaim for tour losses as a result of having to leave your job (in reality that is unlikely to be a successful claim for you but it does not stop you from using it as a threat in your negotiations).