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VIC Labour Hire Service With No Contract - How Do I Terminate?

Discussion in 'Commercial Law Forum' started by SNG, 5 March 2015.

  1. SNG

    SNG Member

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    Hi All,

    Through my work, we have had a labour hire company providing staff to our workplace. They have been providing labour every day without any break in service for around 6 or 7 years. They send a roster weekly, invoice us monthly, and this just keeps rolling on.
    We are considering options, and may potentially cease using their service.
    There was never a written contract in place with this service provider, however every year they quote their rates for the year ahead, and request our staffing requirements for the year ahead (i.e public holidays, hours, etc).
    I am wondering if there is some sort of implied contract in place with this service provider (even though nothing was ever signed). If we choose to cease using them, how much notice do we legally need to give them? And what other conditions do we need to comply with (if any)?
    I would be interested to be referred to any Acts or Sections of Contract Law that cover this situation.

    Thank you.
     
  2. Paul Cott

    Paul Cott Well-Known Member

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    SNG,

    A court here would be able to imply terms, particularly ones needed to make the contract workable. A court would also look to see if the necessary terms have been worked out - whether by expressing them or through a course of dealings, which seems likely here.

    Unfortunately if it hasn't been spelled out it may be likely here that there may be a requirement for reasonable notice - which cannot be stated in advance precisely - but it may be somewhere between 1 up to 6 months.

    There may be some paper work that might help to assist in working out what all the terms are but if there isnt, it is a bit uncertain and the above principles may come into play.

    Hope that helps.

    Paul.
     
  3. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    I don't know of any specific notice requirements attaching to this type of contract, however I agree it would be based on what a court considers reasonable, probably having regard to how far in advance they have booked in staff to assist you amongst other things. I think the best way to handle it would be negotiation. Give them 1 months notice and see what they say.
     
  4. DennisD

    DennisD Well-Known Member

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    Hi SNG


    I agree with the earlier comments that in the absence of a written contract exactly where rights and obligations begin and end can indeed be a fuzzy matter!


    Sophea suggests negotiation, which in my opinion is a constructive approach here. Even when there is a written contract under which one party has a clear right to terminate it is 'good form' for someone senior on the terminating side to pick up the phone, explain the decision in greater or lesser detail and try to maintain good relations, especially if the commercial relationship has been a positive, close one over some time, as seems to be the case in your circumstances.


    Good luck with your decision, and please keep us posted with developments.
     

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