Jump to content


  • Tweets

  • Posts

    • The talks come weeks after a controversial visit to Taiwan by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.View the full article
    • The government's tax agency has launched a programme to encourage a new generation of sake drinkers.View the full article
    • In the autumn of 2020, I decided to change energy supplier from British Gas to EDF. This went through with no apparent problem but after approximately two weeks, I received a letter from EDF saying "Sorry you're leaving us". I contacted EDF to say that I was not leaving and was told not to worry about it, that they would resolve it and to carry on with monthly payments to EDF.    Approximately 2 weeks later, I received a text message from EDF to say, "Sorry you're leaving us". I contacted EDF again to say I was not leaving and was again told not to worry and that they would sort it out. Two weeks later I had a third message, "Sorry you're leaving us...". I contacted EDF again, but this time raised a complaint because it was becoming stressful and annoying. I asked them to explain why this kept happening. After some investigation by EDF, I was told that Scottish Power was trying to "erroneously take over" my gas supply. I confirmed that I wanted to remain with EDF and did not want to move to Scottish Power. I was advised to forward any bill sent by Scottish Power to EDF so that they could deal with it, and not pay it. However, I have never received any bill from Scottish Power until July 2022.   I was then contacted again by EDF to say that Scottish Power was trying to take over my supply because my gas meter was registered at my neighbour's address, on the energy suppliers' national database. I requested that EDF change the details for me so that I could remain an EDF customer but was told that only the existing supplier could change the details and that I would have to contact Scottish Power and request that they change the details. I reminded EDF that I had never asked Scottish Power to supply me and that as my current provider, EDF should take on this responsibility, but I was told on a number of occasions that EDF could not do this and that I would have to contact Scottish Power myself.   I have since learned that I should never have been told this. Ofgem states that if a supplier tries to erroneously transfer a supply, the two suppliers involved should communicate with each other to resolve the problem as soon as possible, and not involve the consumer. However, this is where the real problems started. I contacted Scottish Power at least 20 times over the course of 2 months, by email, online chat and telephone and spent a considerable amount of time trying to resolve this issue. The main problem was that Scottish Power refused to discuss it with me because "I did not have an account with Scottish Power". I explained on numerous occasions that I did not want an account with Scottish Power and that I just wanted them to change the location of my gas meter on the national database, but they persistently refused. Scottish Power was generally very poor at contacting me, I was doing most of the running. My neighbour, who is supplied by Scottish Power and has been for many years, said that this has been an issue in the past but Scottish Power has never resolved it. He said that when I asked EDF to take the supply back from Scottish Power, his supply was also erroneously transferred to EDF against his wishes, causing even more problems. During this occasion, Scottish Power compensated my neighbour but still refused to assist me.   I have evidence of some of the correspondence between me and Scottish Power but not all because much was over the phone and on online chat. Each time I contacted Scottish Power a new member of staff dealt with it and so they had to record the same notes each time, considerably lengthening the process. I asked if Scottish Power could allocate someone to own the complaint but because I did not have an account with Scottish Power, this was not an option. After numerous emails to Scottish Power from my neighbour, who was trying to assist with the situation - sending his meter details, my meter details and asking that the database be updated with my address - he was asked to send photos of my meter to Scottish Power. I had already been asked this by Scottish Power and had duly sent them but received no response. My neighbour then forwarded the photos by his email to Scottish Power and they replied asking him to ask me to re-send the photos directly, which I did for a second time. This was the last correspondence I had with Scottish Power about the matter. They did not contact me again.   EDF contacted me to say that they had concluded the matter from their end and requested that they close the complaint, to which I agreed. A meter reader visited sometime after to read both meters and I (naively) assured myself that the details had been changed and that EDF had resumed supply. My bill increased, and my meters were then routinely read by a visiting meter reader every quarter. My last correspondence with Scottish Power was on 9th November 2020, when I emailed the photos of my meter for the second time.   Twenty months later, towards the end of July 2022, I was on holiday with my family. I came home on 13th August to find 6 letters on the doormat from Scottish Power demanding £2134.89 for gas supply. They are addressed to "The Occupier" so they have obviously not referred to my previous correspondence or attempted to ever resolve the initial request to change my details. This is contrary to recommendations made by Ofgem's "Erroneous Transfers" paper produced in 2016. One of the letters even says, "Welcome to your new home" as though they have no knowledge of the correspondence 2 years ago. I have received another bill from Scottish Power today demanding payment and threatening referral to a debt collection agency if it is not paid. The above Ofgem paper states that erroneous takeovers should be dealt with by the two companies concerned and not by the consumer at any stage. But in my case, it has been me doing all the running, all the phoning, emailing, talking online, etc. Neither supplier has really done that much and I believe that EDF should never have told me that I should try and resolve this with Scottish Power; and when I contacted Scottish Power, they should also have taken ownership of the problem jointly with EDF and resolved it directly with EDF.   I have taken legal advice and been advised that as this is a dispute between two energy suppliers rather than between myself and a supplier, it is more appropriate for me to contact both suppliers, summarise past actions undertaken by all parties, and request that the supply be transferred back to my original supplier. This sounds hunky dory but doesn't actually help. Two questions arise in my mind... 1. Do i have to pay the bill at all given that it is addressed to "The occupier"?  2. Should I provide my name in my complaint (not yet sent) or simply refer to myself as "The Occupier"? 2. I know I can refer to back-billing guidance but my instinct tells me I shouldn't have to pay any of this bill because the supply was taken over without my consent, I tried numerous times to resolve it to no effect, and was led to believe that I was then paying for the gas due to the actions of both companies. Does anybody think I have a case here and any suggestions about how to pursue it?   Many thanks if you have managed to read this far. Even more thanks if you have any advice :-)  
    • several other threads here too they will give up  just retail loss scammers, nothing ever goes back to the retailers anyway straight in their pocket straight down the pub!!   just like DCA's.   dont forget your cars v5c!! too   you MUST write to anyone one your credit file or banks etc, esp if you have debts that dont show that you might have last used/paid within say 7 yrs esle you'll get backdoor CCJ's.
    • Our produce is likely to be smaller, odd-looking, or even leathery after the hot, dry weather.View the full article
  • Recommended Topics

  • Our picks

  • Recommended Topics

Contractor working as Ltd company - problem with employment agency Ts & Cs


 Share

style="text-align: center;">  

Thread Locked

because no one has posted on it for the last 2929 days.

If you need to add something to this thread then

 

Please click the "Report " link

 

at the bottom of one of the posts.

 

If you want to post a new story then

Please

Start your own new thread

That way you will attract more attention to your story and get more visitors and more help 

 

Thanks

Recommended Posts

Hello everyone, I wonder if anyone has any advice. I have been offered a contract with a client via an agency. The agency terms and conditions are very heavily weighted in their direction. The specific term that I wish to have removed is that they or the client can cancel the contract without any notice and not owe me any money. The client can cancel without any notice period and the agency will not owe me any money. The client can claim my work is not suitable and cancel without any notice and give no evidence as to why the work is unsatisfactory.

 

 

I am a Ltd business but it's just me and my hubby who does the admin and I do the work. I am going to ask for these clauses to be removed but have already been advised that these are their standard terms and if we don't accept them I cant have the work.

 

 

My argument is that they are forcing us to agree to the terms under duress - ie: agree or loose out on the work. No other agency is currently recruiting for the job so I cant go to someone else to get the contract.

 

 

the terms are heavily and unfairly weighted in their favour. I have to give notice and if I don't work the notice I am liable for all their loses

 

 

They are an established million pound company and we are two man band.

 

 

This is the standard terms and we cant afford to get every contract reviewed by a lawyer.

 

 

I have suggested to my hubby that we ask for the relevant clauses to be removed and if they refuse write an email to say we are signing to accept the terms and conditions but only under duress and if any dispute occurs we will use the unfair terms act of 1977 to claim that they forced us to agree to an unfair contract.

 

 

would that be OK?

 

 

also if they say we cant have the contract if we do not sign without that caveat can we go to the client directly and ask them to agree the contract between us directly and cut out the agency altogether?

 

 

any advice very much appreciated.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello everyone, I wonder if anyone has any advice. I have been offered a contract with a client via an agency. The agency terms and conditions are very heavily weighted in their direction. The specific term that I wish to have removed is that they or the client can cancel the contract without any notice and not owe me any money. The client can cancel without any notice period and the agency will not owe me any money. The client can claim my work is not suitable and cancel without any notice and give no evidence as to why the work is unsatisfactory.

 

 

I am a Ltd business but it's just me and my hubby who does the admin and I do the work. I am going to ask for these clauses to be removed but have already been advised that these are their standard terms and if we don't accept them I cant have the work.

 

 

My argument is that they are forcing us to agree to the terms under duress - ie: agree or loose out on the work. No other agency is currently recruiting for the job so I cant go to someone else to get the contract.

 

 

the terms are heavily and unfairly weighted in their favour. I have to give notice and if I don't work the notice I am liable for all their loses

 

 

They are an established million pound company and we are two man band.

 

 

This is the standard terms and we cant afford to get every contract reviewed by a lawyer.

 

 

I have suggested to my hubby that we ask for the relevant clauses to be removed and if they refuse write an email to say we are signing to accept the terms and conditions but only under duress and if any dispute occurs we will use the unfair terms act of 1977 to claim that they forced us to agree to an unfair contract.

 

 

would that be OK?

 

 

also if they say we cant have the contract if we do not sign without that caveat can we go to the client directly and ask them to agree the contract between us directly and cut out the agency altogether?

 

 

any advice very much appreciated.

 

 

By discussing the terms, you are showing that you have had actual notice of them, so you can't later claim they weren't incorporated into the contract, unless they get removed from the final version.

 

I'm assuming the 'construction' of the way the clause is phrased means it is clear and covers the area they wish?

 

UCTA 1977 is often considered in the respect of 'exclusion clauses' or 'limitation of liability' clauses.

 

Your situation appears to refer instead to an "express term of contract", so S3(1) of UCTA applies, (not because you are a 'consumer' as you are a limited co., but you note they are the other's "standard terms of business")

You can claim the term is unfair, and let a court decide if it is reasonable .....

 

There is guidance in schedule 2 as to what is reasonable in terms of S6(3), S7(3) and S7(4) but note that this doesn't mean it is the guideline for what is "reasonable" under s3.

 

UCTA is about unfair terms. UCTA isn't about duress.

 

You need to separate out economic duress and UCTA.

 

Duress would make the contract voidable.

To be duress it would have to be "an illegitimate threat or pressure ". "Which left you with no practical choice" and was "a significant factor in inducing you to enter into the contract"

(Case law : Carillion Construction Ltd v Felix (UK) Ltd)

 

http://www.nadr.co.uk/articles/published/AdrLawR/Carillion%20v%20Felix%202000.pdf In particular para's 24, 25, 39 and 40.

 

 

Is there a pressure? Do you face penalties for breaching a different contract if you don't sign on the dotted line?

If there is,

a) is it illegitimate? (see Carillion ) and

B) is it a pressure inducing you into entering the contract?.

(This has to be more than : getting the contract is good for your company)

If they knew you had to go to them for "left-handed widgets" to complete another contract you were already in, and they hiked the price to "scalp you" - there is pressure to enter the contract at the higher price : they'd be acting in bad faith (another of the 'Carillion' criteria).

 

Duress has to be more than "the rough and tumble of commercial life", which is the defence I'd expect them to mount if you tried to claim duress.

 

I hope this is useful information, but I need to stress : I'm not a lawyer.

It is also information, and you shouldn't use it as advice (it might be good to help formulate questions for a professional legal adviser, though?)

 

If this is vital to your company, or might lead to you getting bogged down in litigation with a mammoth company : do you really want to rely on advice from a self-confessed non-lawyer on the Internet?

 

It may be worth walking away, or if you really can't afford that: getting advice from a qualified lawyer.

 

As for cutting out the agency : is there a clause in your current agreement with the agency where they can come after you if you cut them out?

They may have such with the client firm even if they don't have with you, so even if you are able to cut them out, you'll need to factor that in.

Link to post
Share on other sites

My argument is that they are forcing us to agree to the terms under duress - ie: agree or loose out on the work. No other agency is currently recruiting for the job so I cant go to someone else to get the contract.

 

Unfortunately this is not 'duress' within the legal meaning of the word. The key point is that the agency/employer have no obligation to give you any work. They can choose the terms which they wish to offer.

 

In the law of duress, there has to be 'illegitimate' pressure. The pressure is only considered 'illegitimate' if the person in question is responsible for it. It is not the agency's fault that no other agency is recruiting for the job, hence there is no duress. Legally it is very clear that you cannot use general economic circumstances as a basis for claiming duress.

 

I have suggested to my hubby that we ask for the relevant clauses to be removed and if they refuse write an email to say we are signing to accept the terms and conditions but only under duress and if any dispute occurs we will use the unfair terms act of 1977 to claim that they forced us to agree to an unfair contract.
It is actually extremely common for people to say 'these are my standard terms, take it or leave it' and then agree to specific amendments. I agree with asking to have the relevant clause removed.

 

It would be a good idea to suggest a more reasonable replacement, such as a notice period. This will sound better from their perspective than a straight removal.

 

If your concern is really about not getting paid for work you have done, amend the clause to say they can cancel at anytime but provided you will get paid for work which has been completed. Please do check you have read the clause correctly - normally the intention would be that the employer does not have to pay for any work completed in future after the termination notice has been given, not that they wouldn't pay money for work already completed. Post up the clause here if you are unsure.

 

Unfortunately UCTA1977 won't protect you here. UCTA only really covers 'exclusion clauses' which try to limit legal liability and this is not an exclusion clause. You may be thinking of the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 which has more general provisions about unfair terms, but you are not protected by those regulations because you and your company will not be treated as a 'consumer'.

 

also if they say we cant have the contract if we do not sign without that caveat can we go to the client directly and ask them to agree the contract between us directly and cut out the agency altogether?
You can, provided that there is nothing in your contract with the agency (or agency T&Cs you agreed to) which restrict you from doing this. Note also that the client will probably have its own T&Cs with the agency which provide that the client has to pay for any introductions coming through the agency.

 

If you did this I imagine the agency would refuse to deal with you in future.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING

EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

thanks to you all for the info. I knew the company and about the vacancy before the agency contacted me. Not sure why the client didn't come direct to me - but they didn't sadly. I guess they will have signed the contact which I assume will restrict their ability to deal with me directly as you say. I already had them remove a clause that restricts my dealing with the company after the contract is over - again something that they are not really allowed to do but most agencies have it in the t&cs. The worry is not that they wouldn't pay for work done - this is illegal, but that they can terminate the contract without any notice period and without any reason - leaving me suddenly with no income. whereas I have to give notice to terminate and if I fail to work the notice period I am liable for all the agencies' loses (lost income from the client).

 

 

We have suggested that they amend the clause to say that the client (and they) can terminate without any notice period only if the work is unsatisfactory and reasonable evidence must be provided as to why the work to below the required standard. I am happy to be held responsible for working my notice as long as they have to play by the same rules. Seems like a fair deal to me. Also happy to be held to provide satisfactory work but there should be a reasonable requirement on the client to provide some proof of why the work is not acceptable before they just turf me out. Currently the terms state that the client can terminate without any reason and give me no notice. Also they can terminate immediately if they deem the work to be unsatisfactory and give no proof or reason as to why it is such. Basically they can end the contract without any notice period, give no reason and owe me nothing -- whereas I cannot.

 

 

I just want a deal that puts both parties on an equal footing in terms of a reasonable notice period. Guess if they wont budge I have to take the work and suck it up or pass up the contract. Guess that's contracting!

Link to post
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 Caggers

    • No registered users viewing this page.

  • Have we helped you ...?


×
×
  • Create New...