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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 49855
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I am working for a company on a consulting basis. Usually -

Customer Question

I am working for a company on a consulting basis.
Usually - I would submit a timesheet and an invoice once the work is done and expect payment within 30 days of the invoice submission.
However, in this case - The company does not accept invoices from its consultants. They request that we submit timesheets only. They then create invoices themselves which can take between 1 and 2 weeks. They then start the 30 day count down from the date they send me the invoice for confirmation.
This seems unfair as I have no control over how long it takes them to write my invoice, and I end up getting paid 35-45 days after the work has been completed.
Is it legal for them not to accept invoices submitted by myself? It seems very strange to me!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Good afternoon Ben
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Did they provide you with a contract / agreement for work?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
here is the wording on "Time, Invoicing and Payment":"- You will be required to submit a timesheet at the end of each month for approval by your line manager. This timesheet must provide adequate detail of the activities undertaken.
- We request you to submit your expenses on a monthly basis as per the details below.
- Following approval of your timesheet and expenses, we request you to submit your invoice at the end of each month or the conclusion of the assignment.
- All invoices must be approved by the project manager prior to payment
- We will endeavour to pay as soon as possible upon receipt of an approved invoice. We will commit to payment within 30 days"As you can see, this contract must have been written prior to changing to a processwhere I am not allowed to generate my own invoice.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

There is nothing illegal with a refusal to accept invoices by the workers of a company. Whilst this may be the usual way of doing things, it is not set in stone in law anywhere and it is just common practice. So every company can decide what method of invoicing and payment works best for them and adopt it. So if they want you to submit a timesheet and then create an invoice themselves, they are perfectly entitled to do so. It may be against usual practice but it is certainly not unlawful. The key is that they should have the relevant terms in place and not in conflict with any other terms. There is a potential conflict here because your written terms do not reflect what actually happens and you can challenge them over this but all they have to do then is issue you with a new contract to reflect the current practice and that can then become the current enforceable practice. So in summary, it can certainly be acceptable for them to adopt a process like the one they have but they should ensure it is documented and agreed between the parties.

I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
legally they take as long as they want to create the invoice and stall my payments indefinitely?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

potentially yes they can do, but obviously if this is how they want to play it then it is unlikely that many people would work for them and will swiftly move on so there has to be a reasonable middle ground and you can still try an rely on the current term you have in place to push them for quicker turnarounds because technically what they are currently doing is in breach of the contract you have in place

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. If this has answered your question please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars from the top of the page. I spend a lot of time and effort answering individual queries and I am not credited for my time until you leave your rating. If you still need further help please get back to me on here and I will assist as best as I can. Many thanks.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello, do you need any further assistance or are you happy with the above response? Look forward to hearing from you.