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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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I had a company car through my previous employer. my budget

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I had a company car through my previous employer. my budget was £250 per month but was given the option to upgrade and pay the difference each month. I took delivery of the car in sept 2014 in feb 2016 my employer gave me a new contract which included if I leave their employment I must pay the difference of the outstanding lease of the car. none of this was mentioned to me when I was first given the option of upgrading and I was told if I did not agree and sign the new contract they would remove the company car. I left in april 2016 and am now being perused for the difference even though the company had returned the car to the lease company. I am refusing to pay on the grounds that it was not mentioned in the first instance and they have nothing in writing from me to say that I would pay any difference until the new contract was forced up on me. and the car has been returned to the lease company so why should I be liable for future rental of a car they are no longer in the position of. How would I stand in court?

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

Had you signed the revised contract at all?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I was told if I did not sign the contract they would take the car off me. they total changed my employment contracted increased my working hours with no extra pay etc.

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.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
ok thank you

just to check, did you ever agree to the new contract or continue working under its conditions without challenging them?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
They had already changed our working times etc which I did object to under customs and practice and out of hour commitments with my son. my original start time was 9 -5 they change it to 8-5.30 with half hour lunch. they gave us the contact a couple of weeks down the line.

ok so when the contract was issued you were told that if you do not accept it they would remove the car - did you accept it then to keep the car, or was the car removed due to your non-acceptance?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
accepted and kept the car but left there employment 2 months later due to all of the changes that were being made andbbeing buillied by the director

The act that you had accepted the new contract may make things more difficult for you to challenge. Whilst the potential charges were not discussed at the outset, once the new contract was issued you would have had two options – reject it and not be bound by it, or accept it and be bound by its terms, even if they go on to create liabilities which were not discussed with you before that.

So if you had clearly rejected the contract, your argument would have been that the employer had attempted to make a change to your terms and conditions to cover such charges but as you did not accept it then such terms would not be binding on you. However, if you had accepted the contract, knowing what the terms in it were, then they would have become legally binding on you, even if they created new liabilities. So the key was to reject it if you did not agree to it.

So a court would take this into account and this may affect your chances of successfully defending this. Of course that is not to say that they may decide you should not be liable for all of them but that is a decision only they can make at their own discretion so whether it will happen or not is impossible for me to say at this stage.

I'm sorry if this is not necessarily the answer you were hoping for, however I do have a duty to be honest and explain the law as it actually stands. This does mean delivering bad news from time to time. I hope you understand and would be happy to provide any further clarification if needed. If you are still satisfied with the level of service you have received I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page. Thank you

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