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Ed Turner
Ed Turner,
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1910
Experience:  Director and Consultant Solicitor (Self-Employed) at Ed Turner LLB Limited
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I am currently on my 3rd contract on a government contract.

Customer Question

Hi I am currently on my 3rd contract on a government contract. I have just discovered the agencies between my company and the government department are charging a high day rate while paying me a below average one. They are also asking me to sign a new contract with 7 months still to go on my old contract making my payment terms much longer. My first two contracts only had 2 agencies between me and the govt department. On this contract there is a 3rd not mentioned on my contract to whom I submit my timesheets.My question is, the contract only mentions my agency Recann and the second agency in the chain HTS, HTS is down as the client and seems to be the hirer in the assignment section. Does that mean the restriction clause only applies tom me working for HTS and I could bypass them and get another contract on the project via a different agency.I have attached the contract, the restriction is clause 13, The assignment is on page 12.ThanksRegardsSimon Collins
Submitted: 15 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 15 days ago.

Hello, I’m Ben. It’s my pleasure to assist you today. I may also ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 15 days ago.

Hi there.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 15 days ago.

Can I just check why you are being asked to sign a new contract?

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
They want to change their payment terms due to 'implementing a new back office provider' which I see as their problem not mine. The original contract is the one I have attached, the payment terms are "Invoices will be paid based on approved timesheets on the first Friday of the month, unless otherwise informed." I interpret "unless otherwise informed to mean they can delay by a few days whioch they frequently do". The new terms in the new contract are "Unless otherwise informed, invoices will be paid on the 8th of every month based on clause 7.3 and 8.1. I'll attach screenshots of 7.3 and 8.1
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 15 days ago.

OK I understand and thank you for providing this information. Please leave it with me for now; I will get back to you with my answer as soon as I can, usually the same day. The system will notify you when this happens. Please do not reply in the meantime as this may unnecessarily delay my response. Many thanks.

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
8.1 is the killer it says "8th day of month following the month timesheets have been received" effectively adding in an extra month or two months if the timesheets miss the deadline in 7.3
Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Cant work out how to attach the additional screenshots but I thin k you have enough to go on.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 15 days ago.

My apologies, I have looked into your query in more detail but unfortunately it is not something I can assist with. I will therefore ‘opt out’ and a colleague better placed to deal with the nature of your query should hopefully pick this up soon. Please do not reply in the meantime as that will just assign the question back to me and you will experience a delay. Thank you

Expert:  Ed Turner replied 14 days ago.

Hello.   I am Ed, a Solicitor qualified in England & Wales with over a decade’s experience in the legal profession advising clients.

I specialise in Commercial Contracts, Business Transactions, Employment, Dispute Resolution, Personal Injury and Road Traffic Law and shall be reviewing your legal problem today.

Regarding the site’s automatic offer of a Premium Service Phone Call, I shall be delighted to talk with you by phone to discuss your issue in greater detail if you accept the offer.

However, if you do not want a phone call, please cancel the offer for a Premium Service Phone Call and you will not be charged extra.

Expert:  Ed Turner replied 14 days ago.

It appears that you are retained as Worker or a Self-Employed Independent Contractor via an Agency with the Government as opposed to having the status of a full-time permanent Employee.   Therefore, your scope to object to the changes to your fees and payment terms is limited to breach of contract for unilateral variations to the contract when you have not provided consent.

Variations to employment contracts (as with all commercial contracts) must be agreed by both parties to be effective.   You may expressly consent to the variation of your employment contract and perform your new role as your employer requires.

Otherwise, you may refuse the change and if your employer terminates the contract or you are forced to terminate it as a direct result of the change, you may claim breach of contract in the civil County Courts or the Regional Employment Tribunals.

If you believe that the employer attempted to vary your contract from its original terms without your consent, this is a potential breach of contract entitling you to terminate the contract and claim damages.

If you are unhappy with the new terms of the contract, I strongly recommend that you object as soon as possible by setting out your reasons in writing.   If the parties are unable to reach an amicable resolution to the dispute, you should terminate the contract and present a letter of claim for breach of contract before issuing court or tribunal proceedings against the employer.

If you delay for too long before objecting to the change and terminating in response, the court or tribunal may consider that you have affirmed the variation by conduct and waived any potential rights you may have had under breach of contract.

Expert:  Ed Turner replied 14 days ago.

I hope this resolves your enquiry.   Please revert to me if you require any clarification of my answer to your question and I shall be delighted to assist.

Kind regards

LawyerEd