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NSW Notice Period of Terminated Contract - Should I Pay?

Discussion in 'Australian Consumer Law Forum' started by rbal, 14 August 2014.

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  1. rbal

    rbal Member

    14 August 2014
    Likes Received:
    I had my child attending childcare and had a contract with that business which stipulated that each party had to give 2 weeks notice if they wanted to terminate the contract.

    The business terminated the contract this week and gave me two weeks notice. I used one day of the notice period then did not take my child back after my relationship with the carer soured. I have already paid for the day I used and have advised the carer I would not be making any further payments.

    The carer is saying that I still need to pay the full two weeks, however it doesn't say anywhere on the contract that I am bound to use the service once the contract has been terminated. I wouldn't leave my child there again, and I don't think I should have to pay for services I have not used. I have also already sourced a new day care with my child starting next week (one week after the previous carer terminated the contract I had with them).

    The business is also registered with the local council and the council say any payment dispute is between me and the childcare business. They will not enforce anything. I have also received an email from the council stating that the childcare business did not seem to be practising within their code of conduct or ethics (based on email correspondence I had with the carer following the termination).

    I'm hoping she just drops it but I'd like to know for my peace of mind if she can make me pay under contract law.

    Thanks for any comments.
  2. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

    16 July 2014
    Likes Received:
    Hi rbal,

    If the agreement specifies that a party should give two weeks notice prior to termination, this means that the date of termination does not occur at the date of the notice, but two weeks later ("Date X"). Therefore, under the contract, you are still in agreement until that Date X. If you refuse to accept the services or pay until Date X, you are essentially terminating the contract yourself, with less than two weeks notice to the other party.

    Having said that, if you have a problem with the way the child care service is treating/handling your child, you can try contacting the NSW Department of Education - Early Childhood Education and Care Directorate here: contact.
    John R likes this.
  3. DennisD

    DennisD Well-Known Member

    11 July 2014
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    Hi rbal

    A termination notice given under a contract should specify the date of termination, which is to be calculated in accordance with any required notice period set out in the contract. Rights and obligations often do continue during the notice period (and can also continue beyond the date of termination, but let's not go there)

    Despite that, and without knowing the full picture, one would hope the child care centre might take a softer stance given the inconvenience its termination presents to you and others at the centre
    John R likes this.

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