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Adamcourtney
23rd January 2004, 10:30
Hi all,

I'm sure this has been asked before but i'm after some advice.

My contract has a 6 month retention clause, the company i'm performing services for, for this country is remoing the agency my current contract is through from their preferred supplier list.

The agency won't release me from the clause.

The company want to renew me directly.

What is the likelihood/viability of the agency taking me to court and suceeding in claiming monies due under the 6 month clause?

Isn't this illegal under the EU ant competitive laws now?

Thanks for any advice

Adam

ChevyChase
23rd January 2004, 12:06
It's unlikely that the agency will sue you (though not unheard of) but not unlikely that they'll actually sue the client for this.

If you've got more than one LTD company then I'd use the other one - that absolves you as their contract is tied down to that LTD - not you personally.....

If not, and you pay IR35, how about moving into an umberella for the duration of the contract?

Adamcourtney
23rd January 2004, 12:12
they wouldn't dare sue the company as they have another 100+ contractors through them in ireland, the company only wants uk based contractors to go direct.

JS
26th January 2004, 00:12
I am assuming you mean a clause that says you can;t go direct.
First -SEE A LAWYER, it is the only way to know exactly where you stand.

However, in a similar case some years ago I engaged a solictor who looked at the contract and stated that this clause was to prevent you competing, since they were no longer permitted to supply to the cliet then I would not be competing. He backed this up with a letter to the agency, requesting arbitration if they disagreed. Nothing was heard from the agency again on this point.

Mordac
26th January 2004, 13:43
It's not an illegal clause, however very difficult to enforce. In 11 years I have never heard of another contractor being pursued in these circumstances, although MSB threatened to do so.
It is a dodgy area to say the least, I'd like to know how an agency could use an expired contract in court, without paying a retainer (as happens in 'Garden Leave' arrangements.)
As long as you leave a short gap between working through the agency and going direct, to demonstrate you weren't impacting on the agents business, you should be OK. If in doubt, talk to a lawyer.

rebeccaloos
5th May 2004, 18:15
Mordac,

Is this still true (I mean, with the Conduct of Agencies act and the opt in/opt out thing)?

I will have exactly the same problem in a couple of months time, and would like to know what I can do.

If you are right, I can stop working for a few weeks once I have finished to work through the contract that I have through the agency - and then work again for the same client, through their own preferred agency?

And my existing agency will not protest, even if I have "opted out" of the act?

Thanks