Double agency cock up screws me up – IT Contractor

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1989
Double agency Cock Up
Double agency Cock Up of Contractors chances

Double Agency Cock Up

I has to suffer a double agency cock up.

I went through the usual route of sending in my CV after seeing an ad on a job board.

The agency contacted me and asked if they could send in my CV.

They duly sent it in and I was called for interview.

New Agency Dirty Trick
New Agency Dirty Trick on IT Contractor

I thought I did pretty well and there were a lot of smiles and handshakes at the end of it.

Got The Contract

By the time I got home there was already a message on my Answerphone telling me I‘d got the job (I don‘t give agencies my cellphone number).

I got the contract, sent it back and told my current client that I would not be taking the renewal that they were offering.

I was to start on Monday at the new client.

So far so good – and as normal.

Agency PSL at Client’s

Imagine my surprise then when my agency called me up on the Friday and told me that I shouldn‘t start on the Monday as the agency I was dealing with told me that they couldn‘t agree terms with the agency who had the PSL there.

Stung by an Agency
IT Contractor Stung by an Agency

I had no idea that there was another agency involved.

Now I‘m out of work and out of pocket due to this agency cock up.

Any advice Dr McLaughlin?

Dr McLaughlin‘s IT Contractor Surgery Reply

Yes I have.

There are several things here as regards this agency cock up.

First of all this agency may be in contravention of the Agency Workers Directive, the one that came out a few years ago.

Under that they have to tell you what client they are putting you forward to before sending your CV there.

However, their client is not the end client but the other agency.

Dumping the Agency and Going Direct to Clients
Dumping the Agency and Going Direct to Clients for uK contractors

They probably don‘t even have any contact with the end client.

Agency Workers Directive Breached

Therefore if they didn‘t tell you that your CV was being sent to their ‘client‘ then they have breached the Directive and put themselves on the wrong side of the law.

That alone should make it easy to bypass them.

Also, you have no contract with the agency you dealt with that gives them rights of sole supplier.

You may have a contract with them but they have terminated it verbally.

Try to get that verbal termination sent to you by email.

Taking IT Contractors Direct

You have a major asset here and that is that the client likes you.

I was pondering whether you should approach the other agency or the client.

On balance I think that the other agency is best.

Agency Dirty Tricks
Agency Dirty Tricks played on IT Contractors

Only approach the client if you don‘t have the contact details of the other agency.

It would be best if the client knows nothing of this as it is just an extra factor that could screw things up for you.

Normally when companies have a preferred supplier they don‘t take people direct anyway.

Agency Terminated Agreement

Your agency has now terminated any agreement with you and they will have done the same with the agency that has the PSL.

The deal is dead.

They are no longer players in this game.

So, as soon as you can, get in touch with this other agency and ask if they could represent you.

There‘s no reason I could see that they wouldn‘t.

If they are not able to agree terms with your agency on this deal then they are unlikely to be able to do so in the future with other contractors they put forward and so would not be worried about any future relationship with them.

Other IT Agency Involved

Ethically, once your agency had refused the deal, perhaps because they genuinely could not make money from it, they should have allowed you to go forward to the other agency and should have even volunteered to pass you on themselves if they had any morals as they know they have screwed you up and didn‘t even tell you there was another agency involved (illegally too).

Agency Dirty Trick on IT Contractor
Agency Dirty Trick played on IT Contractor

There‘s also one thing you can do to put pressure on them and that is to send in an invoice for the notice period.

They may or may not be legally obliged to pay you but at least they would kick up less of a stink if they found out that you were now working at the company for the other agent.

I suspect they would have to pay you for this agency cock up as they didn‘t inform you that there was another agency involved.

Invoice for Notice Period

You should also call up this agent giving him gyp and threatening to report him to the head of the agency, to Rec, to ATSCO and the PCG and you‘ll also post info in it on the various contractor Forums.

Tell him that you will be sending in an invoice for the notice period and that you will also sue for any time you have on the bench.

Back him up a little and you may find he suggests that you contact the other agency.

Give him a nudge if he doesn‘t.

Agency Chancers

I hope you still have their call confirming you had the job on your Answerphone.

Agencies always like to try it on.

However, they are both legally and morally out of order here and you should not be afraid to get in touch with the second agency preferably directly or through the client.

Agency Dirty Trick
Agency dirty trick on IT Contractor

Too many contractors are fearful of upsetting agents and this allows them to get away with murder.

Ahead of Future Candidates

Hurry though, as time does not stand still and they will be looking for a replacement for you.

If it turns out that you are too late, at least leave your contact details with the other agency for next time.

They know they have someone that the client likes and that will give you a plus ahead of any other future candidates.

All is not lost yet!

An agency cock up doesn’t have to screw you up.

Good luck!

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