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Breach of contract in a 'zero hours contract'

Employment and Discrimination Law

Re: Breach of contract in a 'zero hours contract'

Postby south1 » Sun Jan 15, 2017 4:57 pm

The reason why I think that it will be interesting you try to reply to the two legal issues raised by my new thread is because I think that there is a misconception concerning zero hours contract because anyone think that people on these contracts have no right at all and employers can get rid of them when they want. However even if people on zero hours contract have less rights that people on others kinds of contracts they do not have any rights at all and all depends of the terms of the contract and the issues raised by my new thread show this
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Re: Breach of contract in a 'zero hours contract'

Postby dls » Sun Jan 15, 2017 10:42 pm

all depends of the terms of the contract

agreed
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Re: Breach of contract in a 'zero hours contract'

Postby south1 » Mon Jan 16, 2017 9:12 am

Yes and the question is whether the terms of my zero hours contract as I described them in my thread could give the right to my employer to withdraw an offer of work which has already been accepted by the casual worker even though contrary to other contracts there is no clause in my contract which says that the employer reserves the right to withdraw offer of work at his discretion
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Re: Breach of contract in a 'zero hours contract'

Postby south1 » Mon Jan 16, 2017 9:15 am

and the other question is what has been offered to me by my employer and accepted by me one hour work, a day work or a two-week project work
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Re: Breach of contract in a 'zero hours contract'

Postby south1 » Mon Jan 16, 2017 4:34 pm

1.
What is stated in my contract is the same as in any zero hours contract i.e. my employer is not obliged to provide me with a minimum level of work and I am not forced to accept it. It is also stated that I do not have any employement status but contrary to other zero hours contract my contract does not contain any clause concerning the cancellation of shifts or the right of the employer to withdraw offer of work at his discretion

2.
In my case the offer and the acceptance was made by emails so what was offered to me and what I accepted depends of the contents of the emails exchanged
In his email my employer makes reference to a project which will be around two weeks long and ask me if I will be available. The fact that he makes reference to the length of the project what he was not obliged to do and just after asked me if I am available suggests that he offered me a two-week project and not only several hours of work and it is what I have accepted

3.
I heard that what has been offered and accepted depends of the expectation of the parties and because in my contract there is no clause which says that the employer reserves the right to withdraw any offer of work at his discretion and he makes reference to the length of the project I expected that I will do the entire project unless I did something wrong.

4.
Another important point is that in my contract it is made reference to “work or hours of work” what means that my employer himself makes a different between “work” and “hours of work”. And because in the email of my employer it is not made any reference to a specific number of hours I think that what was offered to me was not a limited number of “hours of work” but “work” i.e. a project.

5.
It seems to me what is meant in contract law by ‘an offer’ is something of specific i.e. something that we can count and not a vague promise. Therefore either a number of hours of work or a project and because in the email of my employer it is made reference to a project and not to a specific number of hours I thought that I was offered a project
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Re: Breach of contract in a 'zero hours contract'

Postby south1 » Tue Jan 17, 2017 12:09 pm

1.
Even if my employer would have offered me one day work instead of a project he would not have been able to cancel it because there is not a clause in our contract giving him the right to withdraw offer of work. And it is why other zero hours contract have such a clause and it is why my contract is not a true zero hours contract.

The important point is that whatsoever what my employer has offered me and I have accepted either it is only one day work or a project he cannot withdraw it. Therefore my employer needs to amend his zero hours contract and add such a clause

2.
Some of you told me that my employer did not guarantee me that he will keep me during all the project. However the expectation of the parties could not have been either that I will work only one day on the project

3.
I could have replied to the email of my employer by telling him that I was able to work only one day in the project, In this condition I would have done to him what we called in contract law a ‘counter offer’. And the question is would have my employer accepted to take me in the project only for one day? It is very likely that he would not accepted to brief me into the project only for one day and would have preferred to take another casual worker who would have worked the entire project

4.
In my contract there are several clauses which explain what a casual worker has to do if he wants to cancel work that he has accepted. Therefore a casual worker can cancel work that he has accepted as long as he complied with these clauses. However strangely in my contract there is no clause giving to my employer the right to cancel work that has been offered and accepted by the casual worker. Therefore this clause is missing from my contract and I advise my employer to include it into his zero hours contract as soon as possible
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Re: Breach of contract in a 'zero hours contract'

Postby south1 » Tue Jan 17, 2017 12:53 pm

I have done searches and I have found out that an offer has three elements such as certainty of offer, invitation to treat and termination of offer. Therefore what is in offer and has been accepted by me should be certain so in my case it should be either a specific number of hours of work or a project and in my case it could have been only a project which was offered to me because it was made reference in my employer’s email to a project but not to a specific number of hours of work
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Re: Breach of contract in a 'zero hours contract'

Postby south1 » Tue Jan 17, 2017 2:50 pm

It is true that in my case what has been offered to me and accepted by me either one day work or a project is debatable. However if we imagine a situation where my employer would have offered me to come and to work one day or for example during only two hours. And my employer wanted to withdraw this offer of work like it happens very often in zero hours contracts. The question will be whether or not he has the right to withdraw this offer of work because according to basic contract law on offer and acceptance when he offered me these two hours work and I accepted them a legal relationship would have been created which could have been annulled only by a term in the contract? However in my zero hours contract contrary to other zero hours contract there is not any clause which says that the employer reserves the right to withdraw offers of work.

Therefore first conclusion is that as a matter of fact my contract was not a true zero hours contract for this reason. And if it was not a true zero hours contract in the case of the two hours work being offered was it a true zero hours contract in other situations for example when my employer proposed me to work on a project instead of doing a limited number of hours?

Furthermore a second conclusion is that if my employer want to have a true zero hours contract he needs to add a clause in it which says that he reserves the right to withdraw offer of works
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Re: Breach of contract in a 'zero hours contract'

Postby Millbrook2 » Tue Jan 17, 2017 6:15 pm

It may be more relevant to look at what was actually said in the documentation when you were taken on.
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Re: Breach of contract in a 'zero hours contract'

Postby south1 » Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:18 am

What is stated in our contract is the same as in any zero hours contract i.e. my employer is not obliged to provide me with a minimum level of work and I am not forced to accept it. It is also stated that I do not have any employment status but contrary to other zero hours contracts my contract does not contain any clauses concerning the cancellation of shifts or the right of the employer to withdraw offer of work at his discretion. It is why I have some doubts on my contract being a true zero hours contract
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