Gaslighting on verbal agreements... who is legally "right"?
Suppose that a party A agrees to hire party B for a job, and at the moment party B seems like the most viable candidate available, so they meet and discuss the job, and party B expresses enthusiasm and proposes a weekly pay rate, which she says she saw advertised on party A's advertisement which she had originally responded to. In fact the advertisement didn't specify such a weekly rate of pay, but upon reflection it seemed perfectly acceptable to party A, so he agrees.
They meet on Friday evening, and agree, informally, in a verbal but explicit agreement, all in terms reassuringly proposed by party B based ostensibly on what she'd read in the ad, to a weekly rate of pay, and of working hours.
They start work the following two weekend days, with the explicit mutual understanding that the particular days to be worked could be flexible but would amount to a certain number of weekly hours, and that while B had already prior commitments for the coming Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, she would then be available full time on an ongoing basis, and that she would work Thursday and Friday, and then one of the weekend days to make up a full first "week".
Both parties on Thursday have a late start, and B decides it is then too late to bother at all, suspiciously as if in fact she had other things to do, and they resume on Friday.
After first becoming exposed to some sensitive materials in the morning, B decides midway, rather disruptively, through work on Friday afternoon, that as she is not yet sure if she would be available on Saturday, she would like to be paid right then as it was agreed that she would be paid on a weekly basis. She abruptly declares that as the cleaner in her building gets paid
£X/hour, and she had worked
23 hours in the prior 3 working days, that she should be paid, then and there,
A was quite confused, because 23 was barely more than half of the agreed 40 hour work week as proposed by B, and reasoned that they should be paid a pro-rata
W was the explicitly (if verbally) agreed weekly rate of pay.
B retorts that that is "only £Y/hour, do you really think that I would work for so little?"
A conversation about what was actually said then ensues between A and B wherein B tries in various convoluted ways to distort what had actually been said, before pressuring A, quite taken aback and put on the spot by the exercise, to agree then to a new hourly rate of pay,
£Z/hour which is 60% of the way from
£X, closer to B's demanded
They then settle the 23 hours on this basis due to A not having any suitable replacements for B and being caught on the spot, and schedule another subsequent short day of work, which is performed by B, albeit not with very much gusto. Further, it seems that scheduling has now become a great challenge, and that B is no longer effectively available "full time" as many of her days now seem to be "already booked".
B now wants to be paid for the last (fourth) day of work at the newly agreed rate. In A's opinion, B has already been overpaid on the basis of the old agreement's rate of
£Y/hour (derived from
£W/week), at the rate of
£Z/hour, even factoring in the subsequent 4th day worked. A further feels that their trust in the verbal contract had been quite violated, in addition to the distortions of what had and hadn't been said.
Has B in fact been overpaid when insisting so inappropriately to renegotiate the contract post-facto? In such case, which verbal contract actually prevails?