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JimLawyer
JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 9849
Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
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I am just wanting to know how I stand. My childminder is

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Hi I am just wanting to know how I stand. My childminder is wanting me to pay a full month and she isn’t having my children. I don’t want to be giving money away for a service that isn’t being used
JA: What steps have you taken? Have you filed any papers in family court?
Customer: No
JA: Family Court normally sits in a local County and Magistrates' Court. Do you know the location of the court? If not, what county do you live in?
Customer: No sorry I live in sileby which is classed as Loughborough
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: The only thing I would say is the childminder is open but not sure now as of 2 July leicester is going back into lockdown but it’s me that isn’t wanting to send the children
Customer: replied 5 days ago.
Hi is anybody there

Hello, this is Jim and I’m a dual-qualified lawyer (UK & Republic of Ireland) happy to help you today.

The nursery/childminder should not be charging you for a service which they cannot offer. The essential term to the contract you have with them is that you pay them - and in return they provide childcare services.

If one of these essential terms is not able to be carried out, in this case due to an external event being the pandemic, you can refuse payment. The term here is "force majeure", or an "act of God" clause - meaning that if performance of the contract is impossible then the parties can agree to suspend their obligations - for the duration of the force majeure, or in this case, for as long as the service cannot be carried out due to the lock down.

Therefore, you would be within your rights to withhold payment until the nursery is in a position to resume their own contractual obligations and provide the service.

If they dispute this, threaten them with a report to Trading Standards (tel: 03454 040506). If they threaten anything else such as court proceedings (which would be unlikely, especially as most court cases are not now going ahead) then come back to me - I can assist with any response to the claim.

I hope this helps? If you would kindly leave me a 5 star rating (at the top of your screen), the question will stay open and any follow up questions are welcomed.

Many thanks,

Jim

Customer: replied 5 days ago.
I don’t want to send the children back to the childminder just yet not until they go back to school in September. Am I still in my right to not pay even tho I am the one not wanting to send them?
Customer: replied 5 days ago.
I just think paying for service that I am not having

Yes, you are within your rights to not pay. You are correct in not offering to pay for a service which they cannot offer - and it is beyond their control. I seriously doubt their terms and conditions mention anything about a pandemic or indeed "Covid".

I hope this helps? If you can reply “yes”, or when you have the chance would you mind giving me a positive rating for the answer (the site will then credit me for my time). There should be a rating system at the top of the screen. Any other queries please let me know.

Many thanks,

Jim

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