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My sister in law requires some advice and I don't really know where to go with it. She was in work and her daughter was in nursery. Out of the blue she was sacked from the small company she worked for as she worked part time and they wanted someone to do full time. Therefore she had to take her daughter out of nursery. Speaking with the manager of the nursery she explained she is in financial hardship and on the verge of losing her house and having just been sacked did not have the finances to keep her daughter in nursery (£300 a month). The manager said that she had to pay and give 4 weeks notice which is in her terms and conditions. Although my SIL appreciates this it was a case of not physically having this money - you can't give what you haven't got. The manager just said, 'tough you have to pay' and then went on to say as it was the 8th of the month not the start of the month that she would have to pay the remainder of the month plus the following month so that it was a full months notice. This is clearly pathetic and cruel having just disclosed problems with finances.


This was 8 weeks ago. My SIL has since been out of work, has had to sell her house and could not afford the home they had moved into to save money and were renting. Her partner does work but they have got other debts looming over their heads due to the tenant at the house they owned stopped paying the rent and then would not move out so they had to pay their mortgage too for 6 months before they could sell it. They have now had to move with their 2 kids into their parents house.


She has had a letter at the old house delivered and it appears to be a court 'claim form' one of these £35 fee ones claiming for the entire month that the daughter was taken out of nursery.


I know that their T&C states need to give 4 weeks notice, but she was not in nursery during this time, they were told that she was going through financial difficulties and yet they were not happy to come to any kind of agreement and want her to pay the full amount. They would not even engage in any other discussion other than 'you have to pay' and 'you might even have to pay 2 months worth' Does she have any rights? does she have to pay this money? Can the nursery enforce their T&C?


Even if my SIL was taken to court and ordered to pay the money, she does not have £300 and it would take her a while to save this up. So what would happen here?


Please someone help

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I think your sister needs to immediately call the Court and find out if the Claimant has applied for a CCJ because she hasn't responded.


If not then she also needs to file an acknowledgment of service form today with the Court, even if the time to do so has strictly speaking expired. With the Claim Form there should be a response pack. It's a very short form but it will give her an extra 14 days to respond properly to the claim. http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/HMCTS/GetForm.do?court_forms_id=647 - this is a downloadable and editable version of the form which she can complete online and save as a pdf to send to the Court by email.


Or she can complete the form on paper and scan it in to send it by email to the Court - if the court is the CCMCC the address is [email protected] or if its the CCBC - its [email protected].


If the claim was issued via Money Claims Online, it may be possible, (although I'm not 100% sure on this), to acknowledge service online using the log in details they provide on the claim form.

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Either way she also needs to review her contract/T&C's with the nursery.


On the face of it, if she has to give 4 weeks notice then it makes sense that she will have to pay the 4 weeks. I'd initially be skeptical about what the manager said about notice having to be at the start of the month - this will be in the T&Cs if it's legit.


Without knowing the wording of the T&Cs its hard to say either way.

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