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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50148
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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Dear solicitor, I am writing in the hope of getting some

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Dear solicitor,
I am writing in the hope of getting some legal advice.
I worked for a UK University (De Montfort University, Leicester) till 30 June 2015. During the time I worked at the University, a colleague and I were requested to do extra work outside of our normal workload in order to set up international teaching programmes. the understanding was that we would be paid a honorarium of £500-00. When I left the University, I was not yet paid and made contact with the colleague who worked with me, who told me he has followed this up with the University. He also sent me a copy of the email in which this was confirmed. I understand the Deputy Dean was not happy with him copying me into the email but knew this was followed up.
I learnt two weeks ago that he was paid the honorarium, but the payment to me was not made. I rang the University, asking them when I would be paid, and was informed (after numerous phone calls) that because I did not make contact with them earlier, they will not be honouring the agreement to pay me the £500.
I left the University on 30 June 2015 and the email confirming the conversation is dated 7 July 2015. What are my options?
Thanking you in anticipation
Hellmuth Weich

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

How long did you work there?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
13 years
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Copy of the email sent to me from my colleague:
Hi Kaushika
Following our meeting last week, just a reminder that we agreed to an honorarium for both Hellmuth and myself for the work in developing the Global Community Health Education module.
I have all the teaching & learning materials and the module session structure available also.
Kind regards
Dr Jagdish Chouhan
Senior Lecturer
MA YCD Programmes Leader / School International Lead
Social Work, Youth & Community Development Division
School of Applied Social Sciences
Faculty of Health & Life Sciences
Hawthorn 00.19a
The Gateway

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. As you are too late to make a claim in the employment tribunal (the time limit is 3 months) your only option now is to consider a claim in the small claims court. There you will be claiming for breach of contract, basically a breach of any contractual agreement you had with the employer on them paying you that fee.

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.

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

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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.