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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50953
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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My wife and myself are cleaners employed by a LTD company

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My wife and myself are cleaners employed by a LTD company and my wife is the sole director. We have been working in a client’s premises for 7 years without written contract. We made an offer, they accepted and paid accordingly.
Probably because of financial factors, they are giving us 18 days’ notice. The terms of our LTD company is 1 year. This was discussed at the beginning but the client is unlikely to agree to remember. We were introduced to the client by another of our contracts. The introductory client has signed a contract that states the 1 year notice, so we have proof that it is a general term for service and not something made up.
The client seems to have signed a contract with new contractors. I am asking for a meeting and need your advice on how to conduct the matter. I plan to tell the client that although there is nothing written, we still have a contract because of offer, acceptance and consideration.
I plan to tell them that a contract can be written and unsigned, written and signed, implicit and/or verbal. In our case, I will tell that it was implicit and verbal. Let me know your thoughts. Because I can prove that I have precedents of 1 year notice with other clients, is this enough proof in court? What else would I need to provide to a court to prove that this term exists?
I also need to know whether my wife and myself qualify for European directive TUPE with the new contractor. In such a case, do you have a letter to send to the client for them to release the name of the new contractors. What if they refuse to provide the information? What resources do we have?
Please let me know if further information is required for you to provide an accurate answer and advice.
Kind regards
Northampton - UK

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

Are you employees or self employed?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I am in a library using their internet. I don't have a mobile
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Hello, are you still there?

Yes I am due in court shortly though so won't be able to reply immediately can you check back mid aftetnoon please

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
sure. talk to you later. what sort of time? I don't have internet at home so I will need to come back to the library

I will likely be able to reply around 230 so any time after that thanks

Hi sorry this has dragged on a bit I will be finished by 3 thanks
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I'll probably pop back home for a coffee and return around 330 if that's OK. what time you finish for the day? are you working tomorrow?

Hi there, I am back now, thanks for your patience. So first of all the existence of a contract. You are entirely correct that the lack of a written/signed contract does not mean there is no contract in place.

I do not foresee any difficulties if this was to be challenged in court. The simple fact that you have been providing a service for such a ling time, where they have been paying you for it, will clearly show there was an intention between both parties for a contractual relationship to exist. The terms of such a contract would generally be based on the arrangements you had in place, so basically what has consistently been applied between you and them, such as hours, fees, amount of work, etc.

So a contract would have been implied in place in any event and it is clear it would have existed regardless of the lack of anything in writing.

Even if a contract was in place that does not mean it cannot be terminated though - no contract would be in place indefinitely. Whilst you would ideally want a written contract with a stipulated termination notice, one side can still terminate the contract by giving ‘reasonable notice’. What is a reasonable notice period will vary greatly and will depend on the individual circumstances, industry practices, length of employment, frequency of payment, etc. A useful starting point would be to look at the usual invoicing and payment cycle, which may provide the length of the notice period that could be reasonable (e.g. invoicing for work on a monthly basis can potentially require a month’s notice to terminate).

As to TUPE, this would potentially apply if the services which you had provided were taken over by another provider or the client takes them in house. Only you, as employees would transfer, so the Ltd company will no longer have any involvement, but you can expect your employment to automatically transfer to the new provider or the company if services go in house.

The client does not have to release the new contractor’s information but they will need to provide the relevant information to the new contractor and it must then make the necessary arrangements to consider the transfer and taking you on. If they do not do so it would be the new contractor you would be pursuing over this.

I trust this has answered your query. Please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars above - this is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you still need me to clarify anything else, please reply on here and I will assist as best as I can. Thank you

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
this answers the question Ben, thank you. If the client does not pass the info to the new contractor, what can be done?

It is tricky because it is the employer's responsibility to share that information. The client is not the employer - currently the Ltd company is and then the new contractor will be. So it is between those two employers that information must be shared. I do not know of any authorities that deal with the case of the client in the middle not agreeing to share that. I presume you have to find a way to approach the new contractor , perhaps you can speak to the new staff to find out who they work for, there will be ways

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