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ATTENTION LEGAL EAGLES!! Help with verbal contract. Any solicitors in the house??

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posted on Oct, 13 2011 @ 12:54 PM
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First off, anyone who reads this could you please flag it even if you cannot help, thanks.

Hi all, not sure if this is in a suitable board so mods move it if you need to.
Also not sure if this forum is appropriate


Anyway, due to not being able to find any suitable jobs I have been freelancing for the last year, as a toolmaker if you can believe that!!
Anyway, the first place I was at where great, paid on time, good hourly rate and importantly for me they agreed to give me 4 weeks notice when they no longer required my services, this was to give me time to find alternative work. Well when the time came, I was given my notice and as luck would have it I was being pestered to come work for another company, so off I went to talk terms.
We discussed the role and what would be expected from me, I was then asked about pay etc Simple I thought, I said I would want the same hourly rate, submit weekly invoices that would be paid straight away and you guessed it the 4 weeks notice that my work would be coming to an end (all of the terms where spelled out along with the need for the 4 week notice) this was all agreed by the MD, so i started work the following week on those terms.
Having worked for the guy before and it being a family business of born again christians (cue laughter) I thought that their word would be good enough.
Anyway, I worked for them for a couple of months on various projects and recieved fantastic feedback about the quality of my work. They paid promtly (mostly) and we had a good relationship.
However just last week totally out of the blue I was summoned and told that I was no longer required, thanks, so long!!
Literally that quickly!!
I collected my tools and left after having said how disapointed I was etc and that this was not what we had agreed.
The following week I submitted my final invoices, 1 for the previous weeks work and 1 for 4 weeks pay in lieu of the 4 weeks notice period that we had agreed upon.
Next thing I know I recieved an email stating that they had paid for the previous weeks work but would not be prepared to pay the invoice relating to notice!!
I pointed out that it was discussed and agreed upon before I started and also stressed why it was an important condition. Oh, sorry, I can't remember that conversation?!?!?!?
was the response.
Anyway, guess what this long winded rambling is asking is any advice?? I'm in the UK BTW so not sure how any advice from non UK members may help, but any help would be appreciated!!
Its no small amount either (not for me anyway) over £2500, mortgage, bills etc coming out soon.


HELP!!!!
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posted on Oct, 13 2011 @ 01:03 PM
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Sorry, unless it's on paper there is no contract. Ask Judge Judy. Sorry about your situation, but there is not much you can do about it.



posted on Oct, 13 2011 @ 01:11 PM
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reply to post by Manhater
 


HI, from what I have read so far, in the UK a vebal agreement is as legally binding as a written contract, just don't want to have to take it to that stage but will if necessary.



posted on Oct, 13 2011 @ 01:14 PM
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Originally posted by waveydavey
reply to post by Manhater
 


HI, from what I have read so far, in the UK a vebal agreement is as legally binding as a written contract, just don't want to have to take it to that stage but will if necessary.


Yeah, but it will next to impossible to prove to a court. If you have no witnesses and he has his wife as witness then it's 2 against 1. And, the verdict will most likely swing his way.



posted on Oct, 13 2011 @ 01:16 PM
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reply to post by waveydavey
 

Sorry to hear about your situation

Were you self-employed and contracting or were you employed by them?

If it's the latter, you should have redundancy rights. Although, as I understand, unless it's in your contract it would only be at the statutory level - for both notice periods or payment in lieu of notice:


before your employment ends. The statutory redundancy notice periods are:

- at least one week’s notice if you have been employed between one month and two years
- one week’s notice for each year if employed between two and 12 years
- 12 weeks’ notice if employed for 12 years or more

However, you should also check your contract of employment because your employer could have set out longer notice periods.

In some cases your employer may have included a payment in lieu of notice clause in your employment contract. This means that your employer can end your employment contract with no notice, however they must give you payment for all of the pay you would have received during the notice period. This covers basic pay and may include other matters such as the equivalent amount of pension contribution or private health care insurance.


Redundancy Notice Periods & Pay in lieu

Additional info: Redundancy Rights

Hope this helps clarify things.

Edit to add: From what I understand from your post, it appears that you're entitled to at 1 week's payment in lieu regardless. Even if you can't get the 4 weeks you'd verbally agreed, they legally owe you that 1 week.
edit on 13/10/11 by lizziejayne because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 13 2011 @ 01:21 PM
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Originally posted by Manhater
Sorry, unless it's on paper there is no contract. Ask Judge Judy. Sorry about your situation, but there is not much you can do about it.


You are sooooo wrong on this.

1. Judge Judy DOES recognize verbal contracts.

2. Verbal contracts DO hold up in court.



posted on Oct, 13 2011 @ 01:22 PM
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I never heard of a Contractor getting notice he would no longer be needed.

Four weeks sounds like your preference.

If it was in writing...maybe.

If you are going to be making non-traditional demands...

Well, I won't beat the dead horse (write it down).

PS...This might be done regularly in the UK. If it is, my apologies.
edit on 13-10-2011 by whyamIhere because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 13 2011 @ 01:28 PM
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Originally posted by AngryAlien

Originally posted by Manhater
Sorry, unless it's on paper there is no contract. Ask Judge Judy. Sorry about your situation, but there is not much you can do about it.


You are sooooo wrong on this.

1. Judge Judy DOES recognize verbal contracts.

2. Verbal contracts DO hold up in court.


The only way it holds up, is if the Plaintiff can:

1) PROVE IT by solely witness statements.

or

2) If the defendant should happen to slip up in court about the Verbal Contact itself.

If 1 or 2 can not be satisfied. Most likely it be thrown out of court without prejudice.


edit on 13-10-2011 by Manhater because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 13 2011 @ 01:31 PM
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Sorry to hear about your recent problem.
I don't know if something can be done but I do know you must get terms agreed and in writing, otherwise these things can happen.
The people involved sound like harsh individuals to just drop someone like that.
I had more to add but I can't remember what I was going to say..
edit on 13-10-2011 by SilentE because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 13 2011 @ 01:35 PM
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Originally posted by Manhater

The only way it holds up, is if the Plaintiff can:

1) PROVE IT by solely witness statements.

or

2) If the defendant should happen to slip up in court about the Verbal Contact itself.

If 1 or 2 can not be satisfied. Most likely it be thrown out of court without prejudice.



edit on 13-10-2011 by Manhater because: (no reason given)


That doesn't change the fact that you are wrong and give bad legal advice.

In a small claims, civil, type case (in the US) you do not need to prove anything beyond a reasonable doubt. You simply must convince the judge that your version of the story is correct. The judge uses common sense, combined with evidence, to make their best judgement. While it is the responsibility of claimant to prove their case, they only need to prove it by "51%" to be awarded a victory.

Telling this person that they're screwed and to give up does not help.
edit on 13-10-2011 by AngryAlien because: Removed large quote



posted on Oct, 13 2011 @ 01:37 PM
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reply to post by waveydavey
 

It might be worth considering suing under the civil court, as you'd only have to prove the agreement on the balance of probabilities (i.e. 51%) rather than beyond reasonable doubt (i.e. 99%).

Don't forget you'd have your previous working pattern to demonstrate your tendency to agree 4 week notice periods.

Also, raising a claim under the civil courts is reasonable (less than £100) and can be done easily online. Worth a thought?

Additional info regarding the legality of verbal contracts in the UK: Contract Law: Verbal Agreements



posted on Oct, 13 2011 @ 01:43 PM
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reply to post by AngryAlien
 



To some extent the Plaintiff does have to prove their case when they go to court.


The defendant does not.

It's reality not bad advice.

A) Save all emails and communications.
B) Save Pay Statements
C) Tape all Conversations with them

Those will be helpful when you go to court. Try to catch them in lie during the conversations.
edit on 13-10-2011 by Manhater because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 13 2011 @ 01:51 PM
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Hi all, excellent response and lots to consider!!
My previous work have agreed to provide me with written proof of my terms demonstrating a pattern if you like, also prepared to issue a sworn affadavit should i require!! There the good guys!!
Dunno if it will help but the md of the company in question has a history of failed business's in his wake, but failed through bad management and each one leaving a trail of supplier debt and crown debt (PAYE, VAT etc)
So maybe his history will count against him aswell.
I'm not a vindictive person and this isn't a grudge, we honestly discussed my terms and the need for the 4 week notice and we both agreed!!
Funny how the bible bends when it comes to money!! (sorry not a religious bashing so don't flame me)
I'm just frustrated, money is very tight as it is and what I earn just about covers me from month to month.



posted on Oct, 13 2011 @ 01:53 PM
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Sorry to hear about your circumstances


I don't work in the legal area, but I have had to deal with personnel issues from time to time.

I would imagine the verbal agreement wouldn't be binding.

The reason being, unless you can prove this agreement was made, it is your word against theirs, perhaps if there were some other disgruntled "Ex Employees" who had been treated in a similar manner, maybe between you all you could build a case.

But, where I work we have a 3 month "trial period" whereby anytime in the first three months we can dismiss a member of staff, if you were still within that timeframe, my guess is they would probably use that as their plausable excuse, regardless of whether they had verbally made you aware or not, as yet again it would be your word against theirs as to whether they did or did not mention a trial period, I imagine it may hold water because companies can, and do use this type of loophole.

Best advice I can give to you at this point would be to contact the CAB (citizens advice bureau), and see what they say, as they have more resources at their disposal, and the advice you'll get will be watertight.

Hope this helps, and good luck



posted on Oct, 13 2011 @ 02:00 PM
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reply to post by solargeddon
 


Hi, unfortunately i'm self employed. I came on board to make mould tools for them on an ongoing basis, so i would make one then on to the other as they where constantly developing new products.
The 4 week notice period was discussed as I would require time to find another job, he said he understood and agreed to it!!
When it came down to it he didn't deliver so I have invoiced in lieu of this on the basis of him breaching our agreed terms albeit a verbal agreement.



posted on Oct, 13 2011 @ 02:27 PM
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reply to post by waveydavey
 


So technically its freelance ?

Definately look up the CAB, or even the job centre, because they might be able to help, especially if you satrt a claim for jobseekers in the interim before you can begin a new job, because they might well look into it for you.

You might even be able to get some legal advice via the communtiy legal service, or its equivalent for employment law.

Do let us know the outcome, as it would be interesting to follow it through



posted on Oct, 13 2011 @ 03:35 PM
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Consider it a life lesson -- if it isn't on paper or witnessed by people who will not lie - it becomes he said she said. People who are honest in their dealings do not mind written agreements.





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