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5.1 The Company shall pay to the Consultant a monthly fee of US Dollars 5,000 for each day agreed as worked under this Agreement;

Hi! I have a question on English contratual sentence.

I am not a native English speaker.

The above sentence says "pay to the consultant a monthly fee of US$ 5,000 for each day agreed as worked". Is it a right expression ?

According to what I have agreed with the company, the company pays a monthly fee of US$ 5,000 every month. But, the contract says "for each day agreed as worked under this agreement". I do not understand it. Does it mean I can get US$ 5,000 for a day in a month as long as I work on the day ?

For your reference, the Company is Brithish one.

Please tell me your opinion.

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    Legalese never makes sense. If it did there would be no need for lawyers. – Hot Licks Nov 30 '17 at 1:06
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    The common sense answer is that your monthly fee is $5k, but it's based on the assumption that if you work, say, 20 days out of 22 workable days, then you will be paid 20/22 of $5k. However, this is NOT a legal opinion. In my view, you should get clarification, up to and including qualified legal advice. When a firm is sloppy in its legal drafting, it's often sloppy in other things as well. – Global Charm Nov 30 '17 at 1:10
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    I think there’s a typo. But as written I read it as for each day that both the Company and the Consultant agree that the Consultant worked the Consultant will get paid $5000 payable at monthly intervals. I’m pretty sure that’s not what they meant though. – Jim Nov 30 '17 at 1:14
  • This question may be more appropriate for Law or The Workplace. – Mick Nov 30 '17 at 4:07
  • Edited my answer to clarify: reading it as "5000 USD for each day" as some members seem to have done is not warranted, because the phrase "monthly fee" has been clearly used here. So there can be no ambiguity that 5000 is for the whole month. Moreover, you can earn the full 5000 by working on just one day of the month, only if the company needs your services for that particular day alone. – English Student Nov 30 '17 at 20:15
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This is legal language, which is a type of technical language, and in the wise words of a fellow-member as written in his profile,

Legal writing is a hyper-technical job in that a legal writing cannot be left capable of admitting two or more meanings. It must throw one and only one meaning, even if one reads it in bad faith.

Unfortunately the contractual sentence you quoted here appears to open up space for multiple meanings. You are generally recommended to get a legal opinion of what exactly that sentence means, but looking at it from a logical perspective in conjunction with your statement that your monthly fee is going to be 5000 dollars, I would suggest that the important phrase in the sentence is

a monthly fee of US Dollars 5,000

which can be clearly read, based on the additional information you supplied, as specifying, guaranteeing and limiting your monthly salary. That is not ambiguous, although we are likely at first reading to be confused by the "monthly fee of 5000 USD for each day..." part. The monthly fee part makes it clear you will be paid 5000 USD (and normally no more than 5000 USD) for each month. You also appear to be guaranteed that monthly 5000 as long as you fulfill the terms of your contract. However, reading it as "5000 USD for each day" as some members seem to have done is not warranted, because the phrase "monthly fee" has been clearly used here. So there can be no ambiguity that 5000 is for the whole month. Moreover, you can earn the full 5000 by working on just one day of the month only if the company needs your services for that particular day alone.

So what does

"for each day agreed as worked under this Agreement"

mean?

It seems to be concerned with what constitutes a day's work and a month's work under this agreement, and implies that for you to be eligible for the "full 5000", both you and your employer must be able to agree that you have 'worked' each 'agreed' day of the month (as specified in the terms and conditions of your employment, which you have not mentioned here.) If you happen to miss 1 or more 'agreed' days there shall be a proportionate cut in the payment. It also seems to lay down the understanding that a 'daily rate' for any odd number of days that may come before/after a full month shall be calculated as a 'fraction' of the monthly 5000 USD. I now see this is the way at least 2 other members have interpreted it in the comments section.

Explanatory, hypothetical example: if you are contractually expected to work 25 days a month, then you might be eligible for the full 5000 USD only if you actually work 25 days in the month. Moreover the 'daily rate' compensation for any number of odd days worked in addition to a completed month, or the 'daily deduction' of salary for any number of days not worked in a month might be calculated as 5000/25 = 200 USD in this particular hypothetical case. That means that if you were to leave the company 6 days after a completed month, your fee for those 6 days would be 6 x 200 = 1200 USD. Maybe you could work only 23 days in a particular month? If so, you shall be paid 2 × 200 = 400 USD less than the monthly 5000. Some countries and companies would even calculate that "nominal daily wage rate" as 5000/30 = 166.67 USD, assuming 30 days to every month, even if you are expected to work only 25 days per month according to your contract, because the employee is considered "under contract" for all 30 days of the month in such cases.

So you can see that so much of the meaning depends on how exactly your job responsibilities, nature of work, hours of work, allowed leave and days off, calculation of daily wage rate, etc are defined in your job contract.

Note too that "for each day agreed as worked under this Agreement" might even be simply a fancy legal writing convention that means "for the duration of this contract" ("for as long as this contract exists and you fulfill this contract, however many days that may be.") Again, that basic assessment is just based on my reading of the isolated sentence you quoted in your question. You would definitely need to take the help of a lawyer to interpret the whole document in context, from the correct legal point of view.

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The clause as stated seems to be grammatically correct to my eyes:

5.1 The Company shall pay to the Consultant a monthly fee of US Dollars 5,000 for each day agreed as worked under this Agreement;

The real problem is that it is imprecise, and therefore open to interpretation. The following questions occur to me:

  • Are you being paid a fixed monthly rate, or a pro rata daily rate? From the wording, it would appear to be a pro rata rate, but the term pro rata is not used.
  • Will the daily rate change according to the number of days in a calendar month?
  • Will you be paid the full daily rate even if you work only part of a day?
  • What happens if your turn up for work, but you are told that your services are not required that day?
  • When in each month will you be paid? Will it be at the end of the month, or in the middle of the month? If in the middle of the month, how is this defined? If at the end of the month, how is this defined? What happens if the last day of the month is a non-working day?

The best thing that you can do is to establish the good faith of your employers. If they are acting in good faith, and your contract is a short one, then you may decide that no further action need be taken. If however, you are on a long-term contract and you feel that the company is not acting in good faith, then you may want to ask for a change to the contract to make the terms of payment more clear. We cannot really help with this. If the total amount being paid is substantial, it may be advisable to talk to a contract lawyer.

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That’s the kind of Question which makes lawyers rich, although on the face of it, yes, it does mean you can get US$ 5,000 for a day in a month as long as you work on that day. Was that what you expected, or not, please?

Either way, did you notice how Does it mean I can get US$ 5,000 for a day in a month as long as I work on the day? in fact introduces more queries?

Broadly there seem to three factors:

Payment will be monthly.

A day’s work is worth $5,000.

How many days qualify as worked is defined somewhere else in the agreement.

I suggest a contract like that could make the consultant either rather well off or right out of pocket, depending first on how much trust and good-will there is between consultant and company and then on how good either's lawyers are. The simple fact that a British company is specifying payment in US Dollars might set the whole thing up for an extended argument about which jurisdiction governed any dispute. Further, that this is 5.1 of the agreement suggests there is a great deal more to consider. You need to ask a lawyer who’s familiar with contract law in Britain and every other relevant jurisdiction.

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