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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 57167
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I live in Portugal. I have a 7 months consultancy contract

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Hello, my name is ***** ***** I live in Portugal. I have a 7 months consultancy contract with a UK pharmaceutical company, and the 7 months have already passed (1st January 2019). I continued to work for the company after this date. On the other hand, the company continued to pay. Yesterday they called me with the purpose of terminating the contract (notice date was yesterday and they said it was effective from yesterday). My question is the following: Since in my consultancy contract there is not an automatic renewal clause but it is stated that either myself or the company should give a 2 weeks prior written notice to the other party, should I demand a written notice and be entitled to these 2 weeks payment? Thanks for your clarification. Kind Regards, Ana.
JA: Have you discussed the termination with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: No, I have not done it. I was informed by the commercial director to whom I worked but not by HR
JA: What is your employment status? Are you an employee, freelancer, consultant or contractor? Do you belong to a union?
Customer: Consultant. I do not belong to any union
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No, it was basically this doubt. It is a consultancy agreement constructed in accordance to the english law

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

You are indeed correct that the company should have given you 2 weeks notice to terminate the contract and if you had any specified hours in the contract, they should have honoured these for that 2 week notice period. The issue would be if you had no defined hours of work, in which case as a contractor you have no automatic right to receive work, which means they could still give you 2 weeks notice but give you no work for that period and pay nothing. However, either way, you need to have been given these 2 weeks as notice and potentially have been paid for them if the contract said anything about contracted hours of work.

Does this answer your query?

Customer: replied 4 days ago.
Dear Ben, Thanks for your answer. I will just transcribe what I have in the contract. If fact, it does not mention hours, just milestones. Can you just confirm it for me? In any case, don´t you think I should contact the company ´s human resources? Thanks for your answer.Regarding fees and expenses:
"Theramex agrees to pay the advisor a daily rate of 200 €. Payment will be made at the end of each month and will be equivalent to the successful completion of project milestones as agreed between Theramex and the advisor related to the provision of the services (the fee). "Regarding independent contractor status:
"There is no obligation on Theramex to request the advisor to provide any services, nor the advisor obliged to take any of the services from time to time. Theramex may at any time and from time to time require that the adviser cease immediately to provide any or all of the services. "Kind Regards,
Ana..

Hi there, according to the contract there is no obligation on them to provide you with any work at any time so they could potentially use that to state that whilst they are giving you notice, they do not require any work to be undertaken. You can only potentially argue that they should pay you if you already had specific work booked in for that time or you had achieved milestones for which they have to pay you. In any event, you can indeed contact their HR to discuss this but this would be your legal position. Hope this clarifies?

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Customer: replied 4 days ago.
Thanks Ben. Much appreciated.

All the best