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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 Smouldering Stoat » Sat Jan 14, 2017 11:27 am

Southy, I've merged your new thread with the old one on the same subject. Please refrain from creating multiple threads on the same topic.
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Re: Breach of contract in a 'zero hours contract'

Postby atticus » Sat Jan 14, 2017 12:35 pm

If your post is essay length and cannot be made shorter, then perhaps you need professional advice. Sorry, but I am not going to read all that.
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Re: Breach of contract in a 'zero hours contract'

Postby south1 » Sat Jan 14, 2017 3:05 pm

I opened a new thread because it concerns a new employer and a new zero hours contract and raises new legal issues

I have reduced the length of this thread and split it into two parts so that you can read and consider one of the two parts only if you wish

I have new a contract called a ‘zero hours contract’ with a new firm. I was offered a two-week project. Unfortunately my supervisor did not like something on me and I was removed from the project at the end of the first day but without providing me with any good justification that I frustrate the performance of the contract.

Issue number 1 is that my contract does contain a clause which says that my employer reserve the right to withdraw any work offered to me and already accepted by me

1.
I would like to know if I can claim for breach of contract for the remainder of the two weeks because I heard that ‘zero-hours contract’ do not have a specific meaning in law because there is no statutory definition of them and all depends of the terms of our contract. However my contract contrary to other zero hours contracts does not contain a clause where it is stated that my employer reserves the right to cancel the work that he has offered and has already been accepted by the casual worker

So what could be the difference between a zero hours contract which has such a clause and one which does not have it. The issue is what happens to the zero hours contracts which do not have such a clause? Does this mean that the employer can remove the work that he has offered to the casual worker and which has already been accepted by the casual worker only if he has good reasons which frustrate the contract and make impossible the performance of the assignment for example the assignment is completed earlier than expected or the casual worker performs very badly his work and is in breach of contract himself for this reason?

2.
Terms in my contract require me to confirm my availability to do an assignment and to notify immediately if I am unable to work hours agreed if I have accepted an offer of work. However my contract does not set out the terms that will apply where work has been offered by the employer, accepted by the casual worker and them withdrawn by the employer. I would like to know if these terms are not missing in my contract and give me rights to compensation for breach of contract for having been removed from the project the first day without any proper justification

3.
I would like to know if there is not also a problem of basic contract law about offer and acceptance because one term of my contract says my employer is under no obligation to offer me work and me I am under no obligation to accept work. However the issue is what happened when work has been offered and has already been accepted by the casual worker because I heard that according to contract law when an offer is made and it has been accepted there is a binding contract?

4.
In these circumstances I would like to know if my employer has not understood the difference between the right to offer work and the right to refuse it and the right to withdraw work which has already been offered and has already been accepted by the casual worker?

ISSUE NUMBER 2 is to know if I was offered one day work only by my employer or the entire project in order to determine if he has complied with his promise to offer me the work that he promised me before removing me from the project to determine whether or not he is in breach of contract

5.
My employer in my contract uses several times the work ‘assignment’ to describe the work offered to me. The issue is what in my contract is meant by the word ‘assignment’? Does it mean a ‘specific task like a project’ or it could be only one hour work during a shift?

If my employer could remove me from a project when he wishes it would mean that each separate hour of work is a separate assignment and because in my contract it is stated that a normal shift is seven hours and I am paid by hours this would mean that I perform seven different assignments during a shift

My employer in his email makes reference to the duration of the project and he told me that it will be two weeks. My employer asks me if I would be available for the entire project.

My employer could says that he does not have any obligation to provide me with a minimum number of hours of work but I was entirely removed from the project after the first day what is a different matter that cancelling shifts occasionally for operational reasons. Moreover the other casual workers remained in the project because the project was not terminated.

By removing me from the project my employer made impossible the performance of the contract i.e. the possibility of giving me work even if he wishes. Once I was removed from the project this issue of giving me work only if he wishes is redundant.

When at the end of the first day I was removed from the project my employer told me that he has to cancel all my shifts for this project

6.
Another issue is what could be the intended meaning of ‘work or hours of work’ used in a term of my contract. I have googgled this expression but I found nothing. I would like to know if ‘work’ means a specific task like a project and ‘hours of work’ means that a project is not given to me to do but I can be asked to work on it occasionally

7.
I would like to know if what matter is the expectation of the parties to a contract because I could have refused to work for another company to work for this company because my employer causes me to believe that I will do a two-week project because there is no clause in our contract which says that he can remove me from a project at his discretion without any good reasons after I have already accepted the work offered to me.
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Re: Breach of contract in a 'zero hours contract'

Postby south1 » Sat Jan 14, 2017 4:40 pm

I am currently negotiating with my employer. I would like to prove him that he is wrong and to convince him to pay me the remainder of the two weeks or better to take me back and it is why I need your help.

I would like to convince him also that it is better for him to amend his zero hours contract by adding a clause giving him the right to withdraw offer of work which have already been accepted by the casual worker

I think that my thread raises interesting issues about employment law
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Re: Breach of contract in a 'zero hours contract'

Postby atticus » Sat Jan 14, 2017 6:37 pm

probation period?
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Re: Breach of contract in a 'zero hours contract'

Postby south1 » Sat Jan 14, 2017 8:41 pm

There is no probation period contrary to my previous thread concerning my previous case what is further evidence that they are different matters and it is why I posted a different thread

This issue of work being cancelled often without notice is very important for people on zero hours contract. Therefore this issue of whether or not an employer needs to have a clause in the zero hours contract which says that he reserves the right to withdraw work which has been offered even if it has already been accepted by the casual worker is an important, unexplored and interesting issue. Some zero hours contract have such a clause and other have not it so what could be the difference?

There are so many people on zero hours contract so this issue could be important for many users of this forum
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Re: Breach of contract in a 'zero hours contract'

Postby south1 » Sun Jan 15, 2017 9:46 am

The first part of my thread is about the issue of whether or not an employer needs to have in the zero hours contract a clause which says that he reserves the right to withdraw any offer of work if he wants to withdraw an offer of work even if it has already been accepted by the casual worker.
However another issue comes before to which I make reference in the second part of my thread which is about the issue of ‘offer’ and of ‘acceptance’. For the reason that it is important to know what has exactly been offered to me by my employer and has been accepted by me? Is it one hour of work, one day of work or two weeks of work i.e. the entire project because if it is one hour or one day of work my employer is not in breach of contract because he removed me at the end of the first day?
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Re: Breach of contract in a 'zero hours contract'

Postby atticus » Sun Jan 15, 2017 10:09 am

Lightning can strike twice in the same place, it appears.
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Re: Breach of contract in a 'zero hours contract'

Postby south1 » Sun Jan 15, 2017 1:21 pm

What do you mean by this?
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Re: Breach of contract in a 'zero hours contract'

Postby south1 » Sun Jan 15, 2017 2:44 pm

It is regrettable that none of you have replied to the two legal issues that Part 1 and 2 of my new thread raise. I invite all of you to try to reply to both or to one of them because they are very interesting and challenging and could be very useful for me who are working on zero hours contracts
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