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View Full Version : How can i be released from my contract with my agency?



terrelljones1
1st October 2012, 20:57
Hi, i have a dilemma as i have just found out that i am might not get renewed at my next contract renewal. However i have approached another team in the same organization as they have a vacancy which i can easily fill.
The issue here is that this new role has to be through the in-house agency and not second tier agencies,as we currently have a headcount freeze .Hence i can only apply for this role if my current agency release me from my contract; as there is a clause in my contract that states that if I leave my current contract then I can't go back to my employer for 6 months unless I go through the same agency.
However my current agency are saying that they cant release me and rather i leave that employment all together............can you please advisse

BrilloPad
2nd October 2012, 08:00
What is the client's take on this? Can they apply pressure? They might even take you on through the other agency.

You could try just signing contract with other agency and hope the current agency don't find out.

Or negotiate with them for a cut?

SimonMac
2nd October 2012, 08:16
What is the client's take on this? Can they apply pressure? They might even take you on through the other agency.

You could try just signing contract with other agency and hope the current agency don't find out.

Or negotiate with them for a cut?

I read this as he wants to end his current contract early, as he can only take the "new contract" when the head count is reduced on his "old contract".

BrilloPad
2nd October 2012, 08:24
I read this as he wants to end his current contract early, as he can only take the "new contract" when the head count is reduced on his "old contract".

Indeed. The first paragraph and last paragraph are contradictory. Maybe the OP can confirm?

Either way, the client might be able to help here.

northernladuk
2nd October 2012, 12:29
Hi, i have a dilemma as i have just found out that i am might not get renewed at my next contract renewal. However i have approached another team in the same organization as they have a vacancy which i can easily fill.
The issue here is that this new role has to be through the in-house agency and not second tier agencies,as we currently have a headcount freeze .Hence i can only apply for this role if my current agency release me from my contract; as there is a clause in my contract that states that if I leave my current contract then I can't go back to my employer for 6 months unless I go through the same agency.
However my current agency are saying that they cant release me and rather i leave that employment all together............can you please advisse

They are not your employer FFS. The quicker you get your head around what you do and how you do it the sooner you will understand your situation better.

The handcuff clause in your contract is what the agent is holding you to. Now I believe these handcuff clauses can only be enforced if there is loss to the agent who can then sue for losses if you leave them and they can prove loss of income. This seems to be the case here. If you leave your contract early to switch agents they will be out of pocket. The whole reason they put these clauses in.

The only way you are going to get out of this is with the agents consent and written notification they won't sue or follow the issue up which obviously is going to be very unlikely. As mentioned you could ask the cilent for help who might bully the agent in to letting you go early in return for not jeopardising any future work with your client. Again pretty unlikely as the client won't want to get in to the legal disputes.

The market is pretty thin so there will be plenty of people who can do the other role so there isn't really any pressure on any party to bend the rules for you here.

I would say you are going to need a whole heap of luck, with the risk you may sour relationships between you and the agent as well as the client.

You also need to know if you Opted in or out at the beginning of the contract which will have a factor on wether they can hold you to 6 months or 8 weeks. I can't remember which way round it is but you need to read the Opt In/Out thread here....

http://forums.contractoruk.com/business-contracts/66965-opt-out-conduct-employment-agencies-2003-act.html

On the scale of things I would say there isn't much you can do with this one. Tread carefully if you do follow it up though, last thing you want to do is to start a tulip storm between the client and the agency.

Wanderer
2nd October 2012, 20:44
The issue here is that this new role has to be through the in-house agency and not second tier agencies,as we currently have a headcount freeze .Hence i can only apply for this role if my current agency release me from my contract; as there is a clause in my contract that states that if I leave my current contract then I can't go back to my employer for 6 months unless I go through the same agency.

As NLUK says, did you sign the opt out (http://forums.contractoruk.com/business-contracts/66965-opt-out-conduct-employment-agencies-2003-act.html#post1332395)? If so, did you sign it before you were introduced to the client? If you didn't sign it before you were introduced then it may not be valid so they can't hold you to the restraint of trade.

Is the client willing to engage you through the new agency? If so, I would be inclined to take the new contract with the client and never speak to the old agency again. Not one word or they will just start a load of bluff and bluster on you.

Another way to play it is be completely open with the client and ask them if there is any restrictive covenant in their contract with the agency. It's possible that there isn't which is why the agency don't want to talk to the new agency. Ask if the new agency will indemnify you against any claim by the old agency.

It's also important to remember that if you are trading through a limited company then the restraint of trade is against your company not you personally so if the tulip hits the fan then you may be able to fold the old company and start a new one, especially if your company doesn't have any assets.

You might want to get some legal advice on this. Have a read of <snip> about restrictive covenants. It suggests that it's reasonable to have a restrictive covenant to protect an agencies business interests but if the client is no longer doing business with the agency then there are no interests to protect, surely?

It's a high stakes game and if it all goes bad then you could get marched off site. Personally, I'd be inclined to take them on and fight it out all the way to court if necessary rather than let a perfectly good contract go.

Good luck and let us know how you get on.

northernladuk
3rd October 2012, 09:49
It's also important to remember that if you are trading through a limited company then the restraint of trade is against your company not you personally so if the tulip hits the fan then you may be able to fold the old company and start a new one, especially if your company doesn't have any assets.

Are you sure about this? I thought someone posted some links once that proved that your personal link to the LTD would include you as a person and this isn't inkeeping with the spirit of the rule so a paperwork change wouldn't cut it. Would be nice to get clarity on this one.

Wanderer
3rd October 2012, 19:52
Are you sure about this? I thought someone posted some links once that proved that your personal link to the LTD would include you as a person and this isn't inkeeping with the spirit of the rule so a paperwork change wouldn't cut it. Would be nice to get clarity on this one.

Actually thinking about it, you are probably right. There was a case where someone pheonixed their company to get around the restraint of trade and failed...

Still, if they take legal action then it's against the company which may have no assets so ultimately they are flogging a dead horse...