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Client cancelled your contract?

Thu 15th Oct 2015
Sometimes projects do not run to plan, and this can cause problems with the client and contractor relationship. Should the client decide to cut losses and cancel the contract it is important to understand where you stand. Due to the nature if contract and freelancing work, having the legal right to be reinstated should your client cancel your contract is very rare. However, there are occurrences where you may be entitled to compensation if the contract is cut short.
Understanding contracts
Contracts offer clients and customers clarity in the scope and responsibilities within a project, and as such should always be the preferred method of working.
A contract is any agreement with two or more parties, that can be written (on paper or e-mail), oral, implied or a combination of these. Be aware, that just because you haven’t physically signed a written contract does not mean you are not obliged under its conditions. If you have entered in to work it can be viewed as acceptance of the contract.
The contract for services to be provided by a contractor will usually cover the following -
• The intention to enter into legal relations
• The offer and its acceptance
• Payment - known legally as Consideration
Notice periods
There are no legal minimum notice periods for freelance workers, therefore if you want to enforce a notice period, it is important to have it drawn up in your contract. You may have a clause within the contract for compensation for a lack of notice if the project ends early through no fault of your own. Always consider any termination clauses within a contract and understand what would constitute a reason to terminate – eg unable to complete a project or being deemed unfit.
Your rights as a freelancer
As a freelancer you have the right to a certain level of treatment from your client. These include –
• To not be discriminated against in the workplace.
• To a place of work that complies with relevant health and safety laws.
• To be compensated for any work delivered
Taking action against a contract
If you feel you have been treated unfairly resulting in the termination of a project, you may be able to sue for breach of contract. This will enable you to try to claim back for any losses incurred. Beware though, the same applies in reverse, and if a client doesn’t feel their service has been given to the required standards they too can claim breach of contract and look for compensation from you.
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