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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50191
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I am currently working for a company as an osteopath but

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Hi, i am currently working for a company as an osteopath but contracted as self employed. I am now leaving the company due to the finanical management being appalling. The payment system works that you work the month, hand in your invoice then they have 28 working days later to pay you. Even though this is not the case and they owe multiple practitioners alot of money. I have just handed in my invoice for september so i am expecting to recieve that nov 10th. However i am starting my new job before that date (nov 2nd). It is mentioned in the contract that if you do not work for them for atleast 12 months then they can take away one months pay. I have not signed the contract due to multiple holes in it which is a legal requirement in itself. I am wondering whether it is possibly for me to leave and still get my money back? I handed in a notice yest (they want atleast 2 months) and asked if i couod have written confirmation of them actually paying me. But ofcourse they have ignored me again.

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

How long have you been contracting for them?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Since july 2016, so received one payment from them

Also, had you stipulated any payment terms of your own when you invoiced them?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Id rather not pay more to call sorry
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Just want to know whether i can leave now and still claim my septembers payment ?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Apologies for the slight delay and thank you for the live phone call request. I am unable to talk at the moment but please leave it with me and I will review the relevant information and laws 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. Also, please do not responded to this message as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you.

Thanks for your patience. Even though you had not signed the contract it could still be binding and enforceable if you had implied your acceptance to it – this could happen if you had started to work under the rest of the terms and accepting payment under it. Saying that, it does not automatically mean that such a clause in it would be enforceable, especially if it is considered to be a penalty clause. Penalty clauses are unlawful in UK law so if they are trying to penalise you for leaving early by withholding a month’s pay even if you had done work for them for that time, that could be unlawful and unenforceable. If they were trying to withhold the money to cover for any losses incurred as a result of you leaving early, like training costs, loss of business, to pay for recruitment fees, etc then these can be justified but withholding the pay for no apparent reason can be unenforceable. In these circumstances you can still leave and consider taking the matter further as far as the small claims court to get what you are due.

Please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars. I can continue answering follow up questions and in particular can also discuss the steps yu need to follow to issue a claim if needed. Don’t worry, there is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can still continue this discussion. Thank you

Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** But what if they put in their contract they will deduct a month of payment which is the training month? However i just went straight into work?
Also it does not state anywhere in the contract about payment, but they have claimed on email that it is in there about the 28 working days later?

they need to be able to justify that they have spent time and costs training you to be able to claim that money back. Also there should be a clear repayment clause, or a specific contractual right allowing them to do so.

If they withhold payment and you need to take this further, 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 you wish to go down the legal route instead of a statutory demand, 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 1 year ago.
Thank you so much Ben. You have been concise and direct. I will write a good review and tell the other employers to contact you.

many thanks and all the best