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ground_star
16th Mar 2008, 20:09
M'learned friends of PPRuNe, it be not often that I ask favours but in this case I could really do with your opinion on a situation.

I landed a new job (contract) recently & things have been going swimmingly!

I begun the contract 2 weeks ago through an agency, we discussed an initial ballpark rate, they got a go ahread from their client & sent over a contract (I work through an umbrella company - which basically means they do all the tax for me for a modest fee) - this contract had a higher rate than first discussed, but as it was more the rate I was thinking the job should be & indeed was the rate ADVERTISED on the recruiters own website, I accepted, everyone signed & away we went.

The agency emailled me the other day saying that they were charging the client what they wanted to pay me & paying me what the client should be paying them. The difference? About 40 quid a day.

Now, as a contract is a contract & I am honouring my side by turning up & keeping the client happy, I have told them I wont take a rate drop for their mess & they will have to sort it out with their client as really, their admin isn't my problem & I'm too busy doing my job to worry about how they do theirs.

I think I'm worth the cash & to be honest, from my point of view, if someone makes a contract they stick to it - thats the whole point, right?

Now, there are those who say that one should compromise, but then there are the camp who will say stick to my guns. Given I'm actually being paid the *advertised* rate rather than the lower "I'll take no less than" rate I discussed with the agency, what do you think? Lets face it, the Agency & Their client have more cash than I & as it's the agency who made the cockup, they should take the hit - right? As the agency have to go back to their client & change the charge rate anyway, they might as well work it in my favour.

I have spoken to a couple of friends of mine in recruitment & they say "stick to your guns" but unbiased opinions of the learned folk of PPRuNe would be valued! Especially as I keep all the computers behaving nicely for some of you ;)

I stand to be doing the same job, working silly hours, for less money & that can't be sensible, can it?!

Blimey - why the heck can't people do their jobs these days?!!

Blues&twos
16th Mar 2008, 21:30
No argument, if they''ve signed a contract (which presumably they prepared themselves), they are legally obliged to honour it. That is the whole pioint of a signed contract, as youm rightly mentioned.

If they couldn't be bothered to double check it, why is that your problem?

Stick to your guns, don't forget this is your living. They're buying your expertise, not doing you a favour by employing you.

ground_star
16th Mar 2008, 21:50
Cheers Blues&Twos - I'm glad I'm not the only one who sees it that way :)

Of course, as always with agencies, the job is a whole lot more than they mentioned at the outset anyway, so it's not like everyone isn't getting value for money.

Yep - they did prepare & sign the contract themselves...realising only at the end of the 2nd week of me being on site that they'd got their numbers in the wrong boxes - guess they need to learn in business, mistakes can be damn costly & you just have to learn not to make them or to check more carefully so you can correct them before you sign on the dotted line - Doh!
:ugh:

helimutt
16th Mar 2008, 21:53
As Blues and Twos says, stick to your guns. Unless of course you only think you're worth the lower rate? Hmm? Thought not.

A contract is signed. Stick to it. Employment tribunals, legal action etc etc is going to cost them a lot more in the long run and if you do have a contract with the figures in it you say, then they will lose.

It's a no brainer!:ok:



ps, you can send my commision for this advice to the PDSA.

HILF
16th Mar 2008, 22:00
ground_star,

I agree with a principled stand - but you will doubtless have considered whether you want or need a long term relationship with this Agency and whether this approach is likely to impede it.

It might be that a small amount of compromise on your part, so that they do not completely lose face might pay dividends if you might need a "favour" from them in the future.

Just a thought.


HILF

You want it when?
17th Mar 2008, 00:57
Stick to your guns, but be prepared to take a bath at renewal. It's a legal document so make hay etc....

Don't worry about "you will never work this town again"

Heard it a million times and every time - re-hired.


:ugh:

hellsbrink
17th Mar 2008, 03:06
Hilf

If an agency did that to me, I certainly would not be working for them and neither would anyone else once I'd let lawyers loose AND informed the client of the way I was being treated. The client would hardly like this sort of news coming out, would they.

The agency is TOTALLY in the wrong and may have actually breached employment law. This is more than "standing your ground" or "principles", this is protecting your rights as an employee. You let them get away with it once, then you'll find that they'll vary your wage at a moment's notice to suit them. Nail the :mad: to the wall.

G-CPTN
17th Mar 2008, 03:45
It's absolutely simple.
Read your contract of employment wherein you will find the agreed terms endorsed by yourself and your employer.
It's no excuse to suggest that the parties 'didn't read the contract properly'.
Of course the employer can cancel your contract (though there may be a minimum period embodied in the contract so they would have to compensate you accordingly). If you consider yourself to be 'good' and able to find an alternative contract elsewhere, make it clear that you'll 'see them in court' for breach of contract if they try to alter the terms without your agreement (although are you sure that you are the contracted person rather than the agency?).
If the situation persists, ask that ACAS be involved to adjudicate.

ground_star
17th Mar 2008, 08:21
are you sure that you are the contracted person rather than the agency?

I'm contracted to provide services to <insert large airline & their huge travel agency group> via <insert agency name> - so in that respect, my contract is with the agency not the end client, but, still no excuse for trying to renague on a contract?

you can send my commision for this advice to the PDSA.

Glad to Helimutt :)

Ah well, off to fight the good fight & make this silly :mad: see sense! :) I'll let you know how I get on when I get back tonight.

Krystal n chips
17th Mar 2008, 13:06
I would suggest a couple of options here.

First, give them the chance to explain their actions.....in writing.

Second....have a word with an employment law solicitor for advice.

If the agency proceed as expected, i.e. continue to bluster and attempt to bully....then launch the above....worth the cost of one letter and a consultation which may well be free anyway.

As I am sure you are already aware, you are not dealing with rational, intelligent people here.....you are dealing with social garbage that make drug dealers and paedophiles look respectable.....and who have but one objective...their commission....forget all the rest of the superflous garbage they trot out.....most are so thick they make a block of granite look pervious.

So hit them where it hurts the most.......'s. They do understand this sort of pain.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!
17th Mar 2008, 13:41
whether you want or need a long term relationship with this Agency Ha ha ha. That's a good one. There are millions of agencies in my game (computers). You can use 'em up at an alarming rate and ther'll always be another one ready to take you ... just so long as your resume has the required skill set: warm body and pulse.

The funny thing is that most of the agencies are run by Indians now :hmm:

ground_star
17th Mar 2008, 15:33
Funny thing is Aaaaaaa...rgh... I'm in your game too & there's hundreds of agencies (pimps!) you're right

Still in the process of being a better businessperson than the agency & so far, winning :)

More soon...

helimutt
17th Mar 2008, 15:56
ground star, we look forward to the result of your quest. :)

ps, anyone know of an agency hiring man-gina's? lol:ok:

ShyTorque
17th Mar 2008, 17:35
The funny thing is that most of the agencies are run by Indians now

......but there's obviously a few cowboys out there, too. :hmm:

Dushan
17th Mar 2008, 23:30
Ground Star,

just so I understand:

They said they will pay you 500/day and charge the client 540/day, but when they drew up the contract, with you, they wrote that you get 540/day and they get 500/day from the client.

Now first of all it puzzles me why would they be writing in YOUR contract what they get from THEIR client. That should be confidential, between them. In my neck of the woods that information is kept extremely secret. When I did contract work I never knew what the client paid for me to the agency, nor did the client know what I was getting paid. I hire contractors now, and make sure that they do not know what I pay for them.

Even if they did, for some reason, it does not mean that they made the same error with the contact between them and the client. If they wrote it correctly it would say you get 500/day and they get 540/day. In that case they break even. It's tough but at least they keep the client and the resource. At re-newal time they will correct it, but I would expect them to correct it at the other end, i.e. between them and the client. Try to get 580/day while still paying you 540. Don't expect a raise!

Let us know.

ground_star
18th Mar 2008, 08:32
Turns out what had happened is the bloke who was dealing with the gig got his figures in the wrong box - charged the client 225 (which was the lowest fee I said I'd take, certainly not one negotiated!!) & paid me 264 which he should have charged his client.

Anyway, they were insisting that I take the hit for their mistake or they would find a way out of the contract - however, with my penalty clause that would;ve cost them the entire value of the 3 months of the contract for no work - bad decision.

I played hardball with the idiots, told them that I wasnt going to budge as legally I wasnt obliged to & as they had insisted so much that I take the hit, I wasn't going to - I might've done if they hadn't tried to pressure & threaten.

Result - They went back to their client who told them yes, he would pay a higher rate but not until the new tax year (I cooked this up with the client just prior!) so they're going to just have to absorb the loss for their cockup.

So yup, success against the pimps :) Wooo. Thanks guys for all the advice & support - appreciate it :)

(Any of you who work for TCX or MYT, I promise I'll not break your systems!)

Elwood Senese
19th Mar 2008, 14:54
Was was waiting to hear how this went.

Sounds like you got a 'victory'. Though having been freelance for many years in this sector, there are a couple of points I noted and wondered...

A termination clause the length of a contract is rare (in my experience), especially for a new assignment. Indeed, the most lucrative contracts I have had have been a week (at best!). That's the nature of the job.

You seem to use a lot of emotive words. Is someone who makes a mistake, by definition, an idiot?

Also, I'm not sure what your skill-set is, though judging by your rate you're in the early days of your career. Do you really want to being playing hardball at this stage?

'Cooking up' private deals with the client (and then naming them) is asking for trouble. Loyalty works both ways; don't expect it if you don't live it.

Anyway the unwritten rules of working with agents :)

You work very odd hours

You are paid a lot of money to keep your client happy

You are paid well but your pimp gets most of the money

You spend a majority of your time in a hotel room.

You charge by the hour but your time can be extended.

You are not proud of what you do.

Creating fantasies for your clients is rewarded

It's difficult to have a family

You have no job satisfaction

If a client beats you up, the pimp just sends you to another client

You are embarrassed to tell people what you do for a living

Your client pays for your hotel room plus your hourly rate

Your client always wants to know how much you charge and what they get for the money

Your pimp drives nice cars like Mercedes or Jaguars

Your pimp encourages drinking and you become addicted to drugs to ease the pain of it all

You know the pimp is charging more than you are worth, but if the client is foolish enough to pay, it's not your problem

When you leave to go see a client, you look great, but return looking like hell (compare your appearance on Monday A.M. to Friday P.M.)

You are rated on your "performance" in an excruciating ordeal

Even though you get paid the big bucks, it's the client who walks away smiling

The client always thinks your "cut" of your billing rate is higher than it actually is, and in turn, expects miracles from you

When you deduct your "take" from your billing rate, you constantly wonder if you could get a better deal with another pimp

heli-cal
20th Mar 2008, 03:39
Errors and Omissions Excepted!

Make sure that E&OE does not appear in any contract you get offered.

You may include it into contracts which you offer!

Surprising how many people miss it's significance.

Glad to hear that it worked out for you.