Company asking for retainer back otherwise Legal Action

(15 Posts)
justaweeone Wed 24-Jun-20 17:21:17

My Dh started a job as a contractor( no contract at this point) just before lockdown. He therefore wasn't eligible for furlough but they said that they would pay him a retainer. He was verbally told he could go and get a job ( was never asked to inform them if he did) which he did ( part time temp position).
The company has now found out he has this job and has said they are no longer employing him and want the retainer fees back or they are threatening legal action
They say he has ' not told the truth' or done enough work whilst being paid the retainer and these are their grounds.
This was following a meeting yesterday when he was returning some company IT equipment that wasn't working correctly. The atmosphere turned very threatening, they were trying to get him to sign a contract at the same time which he refused as he had not had the opportunity to read it and was then handed a letter terminating his employment and an invoice!
I personally feel they have no grounds. Advice welcome please.

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flowery Wed 24-Jun-20 18:39:17

What was there in writing about this ‘retainer’- anything?

justaweeone Wed 24-Jun-20 19:03:32

No not a thing! All very informal, have the phones and keep in touch with clients, no targets, expectations -all verbal
One man band-

"We are issuing you with Invoice xx for the amount of £ xx to compensate us for your lack of work and for being unable to tell both Xx and I the truth.
We want this paid in full by Thursday 25th June 2020 to the following bank account"
Truth being relating to having a PT temp job but had never been challenged re this!

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flowery Wed 24-Jun-20 20:18:40

And does he have anything in writing from them in terms of an original contract/offer of employment, salary or anything?

justaweeone Wed 24-Jun-20 20:26:59

No nothing
Went to drop some IT stuff off. He had a funny feeling about it all.
Very threatening atmosphere, was presented with documents, asked what am I signing was told ' sign then and then I will tell your' and decided to get out of there!
Guy followed him to the car, stuffed invoice and letter into his hand then told him to ' f off'
Was later sent said letter and contract by email
All very odd

Sent by the 'accountant'
Wording from letter
'Further to you coming to the office today and meeting xx, I have been asked to send you the attached invoice (x ) together with the paperwork that is still required to be signed. Please be aware that the content is legally binding whether signed or not.'

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justaweeone Wed 24-Jun-20 20:27:30


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flowery Wed 24-Jun-20 20:38:20

Don’t sign anything. Ignore. They’re not going to try and take him to small claims court based on absolutely nothing in writing whatsoever giving any indication that he owes them this money. They would get nowhere if they did. They are trying it on.

justaweeone Wed 24-Jun-20 21:08:06

Thanks so muchthanks
That's is exactly what I though but I'm not an expert
So, would you literally blank or reply saying xxx
I'm thinking it's best ignore

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flowery Wed 24-Jun-20 21:22:08

I wouldn’t get dragged into any kind of debate so I would just ignore I think. They’ll probably give up and go away.

justaweeone Wed 24-Jun-20 21:23:31

Dh very keen to respond saying 'I'm not going to pay you this money'hmm

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dontdisturbmenow Thu 25-Jun-20 08:35:22

The issue is that it sounds they are accusing him of not having delivered the work he was expected to do to justify the retainer and finding out head another job confirmed their concern.

Could they have evidence of the work he was expected to do during that time and that it wasn't conveyed?

justaweeone Thu 25-Jun-20 09:25:40

The other job did not have any impact on the retained position. While retained there was not anything actually happening in the industry( hospitality)
Data base was updated, calls to clients to touch 'base', mail shots sent and phones manned. Almost had to be mindful not to bombard clients whilst industry was closed. The amount of monies they say is' owed' is less than £1000. We could pay it but it's the principle that no lies were told and work was carried out as much as it could be in the current circumstances. It was very odd that they tried to get him to sign a contract and they had a letter ready and invoice that they were obviously going to be given either way. No mention in contract re not bring able to have another job during the retained period and was verbally told repeatedly ' feel free to get another job' and no mention that if you get one you need to tell us! But l think this is the issue.
Regular contact with the company during the six week retainer period and nothing mentioned during this period with concerns about work being done. It was more a babysitting of the effectively closed business until the industry reopened.

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CloudsCanLookLikeSheep Thu 25-Jun-20 13:05:52

Ignore. Or alternatively send them an invoice for cleaning urine from your husbands pants when he pused himself laughing at their ridiculous demands, equal to the amount they say he owes.

CloudsCanLookLikeSheep Thu 25-Jun-20 13:06:20


justaweeone Thu 25-Jun-20 15:48:22

Thanks for the advice so far guys
especially Clouds grin

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