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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 75142
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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After accepting an IT contract role in mid June, the

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After accepting an IT contract role in mid June, the recruiter strung me along and issued a contract to start on 6 Sept but I have not started work as their client is still considering milestones for work. Where do I stand?
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: London, UK
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: None - waiting for the recruiter to get back to me of when to start work
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: Can't think of anything

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.

Customer: replied 17 days ago.
Hi Ben, Please go ahead.

Did you sign a contract when you accepted the role in June? and what are you ideally hoping for, given the circumstances, so that I can best advise?

Customer: replied 17 days ago.
The contract was issued 2nd Sept. for me to start on 6 Sept. and yes both parties have signed
Customer: replied 17 days ago.
I accepted the offer in June but the recruiter strung me along as the client was putting a team in place and wanted everyone to start at the same time.
Customer: replied 17 days ago.
I'm hoping to be paid since it's due to no fault of mine that I haven't started work

Many thanks for your patience, I am pleased to be able to continue assisting with your query now. First of all, I am sorry to hear about the issues you have experienced in your situation.

If there was a formal contract in place for you to start work on a set date and there were no conditions attached to it which would allow them to delay it, then you can argue that they are acting in breach of contract.

In these circumstances, you could indeed consider whether to pursue them for compensation for any losses incurred as a result of this delay. If such a request is refused, your only realistic option is a court claim for compensation but obviously you need to consider whether this is something you want to do, especially as it will very likely affect your relationship with them going forward.

If a party wishes to pursue another for financial compensation arising out of a dispute between them, they can potentially do so by making a court claim. However, as legal action should only be used as a last resort, there are certain steps that should be taken initially to try and resolve this matter informally and without the need to involve the courts. It is therefore recommended that the following steps are taken in order to try and resolve this:

1. Reminder letter – if no informal reminders have been sent yet, one should be sent first to allow the other party to voluntarily settle this matter.

2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but have been ignored, the other party must be sent a formal ‘letter before action’ asking them to resolve this amicably within a specified period of time – 14 days is reasonable. They should be advised that if they fail to make contact to resolve this matter, formal legal proceedings will be commenced to pursue them for compensation. This letter serves as a ‘final warning’ and gives the other side the opportunity to resolve this without the need for legal action. There are numerous templates available online for such letters and a simple search will bring up a list of useful results.

3. If the letter before action is also ignored, formal legal proceedings can be initiated. A claim can be commenced online by going to https://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/web/mcol/welcome. There will be a fee payable, which depends on the amount that is claimed. The other side will eventually get a copy of the claim and they will have a limited time to answer it. They could accept it and pay what is owed, they could accept it only in part and defend the rest, or they could outright reject it. They could also completely ignore it, in which case judgment will eventually be entered automatically against them. Also, it is worth noting that the simple act of submitting a claim could show the other side that this is being taken seriously and prompt them to consider negotiating a potential solution to stop the claim progressing further, such as offering full or partial payment of the amount sought in the claim.

Hello, following my main response above, I just wanted to check that everything was clear. If you have any further queries about this issue, you can reply to me at any time on this portal and I will be happy to help. Thank you.

Customer: replied 17 days ago.
Hi Ben, You've answered my question, I now have a sense of direction. Greatly appreciated and thank you.

You are most welcome. If you have any further questions about this, please do not hesitate to get back to me and I will be happy to help. All the best

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