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to think I should have been paid by now?

(21 Posts)
debs40 Tue 20-Oct-09 16:00:55

I'm a PhD student and freelance researcher with two kids.

My PhD supervisor asked me to help out with a project in May/June of this year which was being funded by the EU. He told me I would be paid and how much and I'm owed about £1300

It's nearly five months on and I haven't received a penny. I have asked him four times. He has told me he has been paid. He told me he would send a cheque. That was three weeks ago and it hasn't arrived.

I asked him last week to transfer it electronically into my account. He ignored my email.

I sent a further email on Saturday to check. Likewise ignored.

What do I do?

Morloth Tue 20-Oct-09 16:03:11

Got a contract? Verbal contracts are not worth the paper they are written on.

llaregguBOO Tue 20-Oct-09 16:04:27

Email again, copying in his line manager.

debs40 Tue 20-Oct-09 16:07:30

Verbal contracts are not worth the paper they are written on..

Not necessarily true. It is a question of evidence which is why a written contract is easier to prove than a verbal. However, I can prove he promised to pay me and at what rate as this was agreed by email. He has also acknowledged that I am owed this money and that he needs to pay me. He just hasn't.

As a University prof, he doesn't really have a line manager.

Morloth Tue 20-Oct-09 16:12:41

Email isn't a verbal contract though. I think email is legally binding now? Is there someone above him in the uni you can bring this too?

mazzystartled Tue 20-Oct-09 16:15:21

take it up with payroll/department admin

Northernlurker Tue 20-Oct-09 16:15:23

what about a colleague of his - would copying them in embarass him enough to get his cheque book out?

llaregguBOO Tue 20-Oct-09 16:15:54

He must be accountable to someone.

slug Tue 20-Oct-09 16:19:30

Threaten him with the small claims court?

Broke Tue 20-Oct-09 16:19:55

Send an email stating you expect payment with 7 days otherwise you'll take it further you always have to prove you've given warning before you proceed to the small claims court which would be my next step.

llaregguBOO Tue 20-Oct-09 16:22:06

Were you employed by him personally or the university? If the university then contact someone in the accounts team.

alarkaspree Tue 20-Oct-09 16:25:34

Go and sit in his office and refuse to leave until he gives you a cheque?

Your contract is with him, so it is irrelevant if he hasn't yet been paid (unfortunate for him, of course, if true, but not your problem). He owes you the money. Unless the EU are supposed to be paying the university of course but then I would have thought he would have told you to invoice them.

debs40 Tue 20-Oct-09 16:28:09

Not to get too technical, but a contract is any exchange of promises for the breach of which the law will provide a remedy (i.e. certain legal conditions have to be met about acting for consideration etc etc). The existence of a contract can be evidenced in a variety of ways and obviously a written formal contract is the best form of evidence.

The existence of a contract is not the issue here at all.

He is my PhD supervisor and I have not yet completed so it is difficult to threaten the small claims court.

The project was funded directly by the EU so is nothing to do with the university.

I just wanted to see if people agreed that this was unreasonable!

debs40 Tue 20-Oct-09 16:28:48

He has been paid - two months ago. angry

debs40 Tue 20-Oct-09 16:30:01

sorry DS just wanted me to add the blue one too sad

Morloth Tue 20-Oct-09 16:31:49

He is being unreasonable, but if you don't want to rock the boat then there isn't much you can do really.

debs40 Tue 20-Oct-09 16:39:37

Thanks. I think I will send an email again after another few days in which I'll suggest that I will ring him if I don't hear from him. He hates talking to anyone

annh Tue 20-Oct-09 17:25:32

Debs, you are being too nice to him. Why bother sending another email? Why suggest talking to him? If he hates talking on the phone, surely he won't bother picking it up - problem solved as far as he is concerned! You have to decide if you need the money badly enough at this moment to play hard ball - if so, can you hand-deliver a letter outlining how much overdue the payment is and perhaps copying someone else in authority at the university?

mazzystartled Tue 20-Oct-09 17:32:47

ask him for a meeting
hard to refuse to pay you face to face

debs40 Tue 20-Oct-09 18:32:38

Maybe he's been reading mumsnet. Just got an email saying he will pop to the bank on Wed/Thurs.

I suggested he could do this electronically but he says he doesn't have online banking.....mmmmm unlikely hmm. We'll see

slug Thu 22-Oct-09 12:24:05

If he does not like talking direct, email him again. Explain that you feel you have been put in a difficulty position re: him being your supervisor, but you had a contract and you need to be paid etc. Copy the email to the associate Dean for research (or the equivalent position in your university) This way you have flagged up the issue with the authorities should he become difficult in the future.

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