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hi..need some advice please..my wife has her own business as a trade embalmer..this job entails travelling between funeral directors to embalm the deceased..my wife has a part time embalmer who works 3 hours a day for her in the afternoon..this part time employee also works part time for another trade embalmer and works from 9.00am to 1.00pm...they share this employee because neither employer can offer her full time employment..they have a verbal agreement that this part time employee covers for each embalmer for holidays and sick cover.....last week my wifes father was taken into hospital very ill and given only hours to live and not days, so obviously my wife was by his bedside...this however has turned into a week long vigil at the hospital with other family members by his side..he has surprised all the doctors lasting so long...this has caused a major issue with the other trade embalmer who is not happy because the part time employee is covering all my wifes work and not working for the other embalmer..she is also not happy because she says my wife never contacted her directly but used the part time employee to relay the message...my wife is saying this other trade embalmer is now refusing to let the part time employee cover her for holidays and sick cover..

she can only have her for the 3 hours a day...this is not the original arrangement they came to

is this a breach of contract?

we can't believe she is doing this to her at such stressful time

can she sue for breach of contract

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Do both have seperate contracts of employment with the part time employee, paying tax, insurance, pension etc? Or is the part timer actually self employed/ zero hours contract something else?

 

What contract do you think has been breached?


Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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yes..they both have separate contracts, tax, insurance...the contract is the verbal agreement between the 2 employers that they would both cover each others work when sick or on holiday i.e. the part time employee would then work full time for whoever is on holiday or sick...but the other trade embalmer has now said the part time employee has to work part time for her all the time from now on and not work for my wife when she needs cover for sickness or holidays...

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That seems legal to me. An undocumented "gentleman's agreement" if you will, which your wife has breached (under trying cirumstances, but she has breached it) will be unenforcable in law. She may well have dropped the other business right in it! this will seem trivial to her at this point, but will matter to the other business.

 

Finding proper holiday cover from another person seems like a logical next step.


Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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i don't understand how my wife has breached any contract.... puzzled....this verbal agreement has stood for 4 years that each embalmer would cover each others work for holidays or sickness or family members being ill which has always happened

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It's a gentleman's (persons) agreement; no statement of how many dates, what consitutes a sufficient crisis - it's unenforceable. You also said at the beginning holidays and sick cover - extending to "anyone sick in my family" is too vague to be a contract. How many days? When? Who can predict!

 

I get that you are upset for your wife, but she's no grounds to sue for anything. Let it go, winding her up with it will not help.


Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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thanks for the reply....understood...just feel sorry for employee who is now piggy in the middle who has been basically threatened to work for one or the other...my wife has told me the part time employee does not want to work for the other person for much longer and is seeking other work but this does not help my wife as either way she now has no cover for holidays etc...embalmers are hard to come by and expensive

thanks for your advice

regards

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the part-timer may well jump to one side of the fence or the other depending on how they are treated. The agreement between both businesses requires the co-operation of the part timer so beware of doing or saying anything that could be taken as a restraint of trade.

What does the employment contracts offered by both companies say other then hours, days etc? Anything to stop the part-timer covering holidays if they wanted or force them to if they dont agree?

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hi ericsbrother, the part time employee is a good friend of my wifes, but today it appears the hatchet has been buried by the other embalmer and my wife, they have spoken and offered each other apologies...it was an extremely heated argument which came at the worst possible time for both with a few misunderstandings and previous miscommunication...hopefully all sorted now...thankyou for your input and thoughts on the matter.

regards

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glad to hear it is sorted!


Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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still might be worth considering whether the employment contract the P/T person has suits both the business needs and the reality of the situation.

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cheers emmzzi..nice one......hi ericsbrother, i know ..still could be fragile at a future date...things a very raw and stressful at the minute...i will address the issue when appropriate...thanks for everyones input

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