Recruitment Agency Dispute - Misrepresentation and Misconduct Recruitment Agency Dispute - Misrepresentation and Misconduct
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  1. #1

    Nervous Newbie

    Join Date
    Sep 2019

    Default Recruitment Agency Dispute - Misrepresentation and Misconduct

    I'm hoping someone on here can assist me and advise my options with the following;

    I applied for a role in which a recruitment agency posted on LinkedIn; I was contacted very quickly and had a telephone interview with their client the following day and a face to face interview a couple of days later.

    The recruitment agency contact me a couple of days after my face to face interview to advise that their client wanted to offer me the role, in which I accepted formally via email.

    The following day the recruitment agency emailed me to advise that they were still finalising the process of on-boarding their client and that once this process had been completed, I would receive contact from the contracts team, who would manage on-boarding me as a candidate.

    Later the same day, I received the required login information to sign into the portals so that I could provide the relevant paperwork - VAT, incorporation & insurance certificates, NI & URT numbers, proof of address & identity etc. - and references to commence the on-boarding process; leading me to believe that their client had successfully been on-boarded.

    The recruitment agency emailed me the following day to advised that their client was expecting financial approval, for the role I was offered, to be completed within the next two working days.

    Approximately seven working days after receiving the offer, the recruitment agency contacted me to advise that their client had withdrawn the role. An email was read out to me in which the client thanked me for my time; this was when I realised the client was not aware that the recruitment agency had offered me the role. I therefore contacted the client directly and was advised by the gentlemen who interviewed me, that he categorically told the recruitment agency not to offer me the role, as funding approval had not been granted by their Chief Finance Officer.

    Throughout the initial process the recruitment agency pushed for me to make myself available to start as early as possible therefore, on accepting the offer, I provided my current employer with two and a half weeks’ notice; meaning my last working day was today. I am now unnecessarily out of employment and suffering a loss of earnings, as my current contract was to continue until Thursday 31 October therefore, I have needlessly resigned 34 working days short of the contract end date.

    Now surely if the client was not officially a client of the recruitment agency when I was interviewed and subsequently offered the role, then there actions can be deemed as misrepresentation and misconduct?

    I have an email from the recruitment agency acknowledging my acceptance of the offer, in which I included my start date, day rate, contract duration and client name and have been advised by other contractors and APSCo that this can be taken as a contract.

    I also have an email from the Director of the recruitment agency, offering me a ‘gesture of goodwill’, made without prejudice payment to the equivalent of five days at my current day rate (which is higher than the rate they were offering), in which I've been advised is an admission of liability.

    I have reported the recruitment agency to APSCo; their governing body. I have also reported the incident to the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate however, they have advised that as I am self employed with my own Limited company that they cannot assist further.

    I've approached a couple of solicitors however, there seems to be some confusion as to whether this is an 'employment' or 'Litigation/Civil' dispute therefore, before I go down the route of paying hundreds for an initial consultation, I thought I'd reach out to other professionals (yourselves) to see if you have any constructive advise you can provide me.

    Thank you!

  2. #2

    My post count is Majestic

    northernladuk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009


    Blimey. You got 5 days for nothing out of an agent. That's quite a result.

    But that's the only good news. Be happy with it and get on applying for new gigs as there is nothing else for you here.

    There will be a clause in your contract stating you get paid upon receipt of a signed time sheet I. E paid when you do work. You've not done any so not entitled to a penny I am afraid.

    Many of us have something like this happen from time to time so remeber the golden rule. You have nothing until you are sitting at the clients desk/got your first invoice in.

    Welcome to contracting. It does get better.
    'CUK forum personality of 2011 - Winner - Yes really!!!!

  3. #3


    ladymuck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005


    Sadly, there is no contract until you've received a contract and I would not give notice until then. Harsh lesson learned but well done on getting the 5 days payment.
    Last edited by ladymuck; 13th September 2019 at 18:29.

  4. #4

    Ddraig Goch

    Join Date
    Apr 2011


    Not unknown for agencies to do this. i.e. Jump the gun a bit and try and get everything sorted so that when the client says "OK go" they can say "sorted contractor starts monday" and the client is well impressed they are so efficient.

    Of course, when it goes wrong like it did here then its not cool. Agency dont care those because its not their ongoing income they've screwed.

    Lucky to get 5 days mind to be fair....
    Rhyddid i lofnod psychocandy!!!!

  5. #5

    Super poster

    Lance's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013


    If the offered payment is ‘without prejudice’ that means that it is irrelevant to any legal case you may or may not have.
    ‘Without prejudice’ information cannot usually be submitted as evidence.
    On that basis take the money.

    I’d not bother chasing them further. It sounds like they’ve been very open and accept they fooked up.
    Whereas you don’t really have much of a case for any legal pursuits.
    See You Next Tuesday

  6. #6

    Nervous Newbie

    Join Date
    Sep 2019

    Default Get a Second Legal Opinion

    What a dirty trick for the agency to do.

    You could speak to a legal representative/company familiar with employment law?

  7. #7

    More time posting than coding

    KinooOrKinog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2019


    Quote Originally Posted by Plonitus View Post
    What a dirty trick for the agency to do.

    You could speak to a legal representative/company familiar with employment law?
    What would be the point of that? She's not an employee..
    If you don't have anything nice to say, say it sarcastically

  8. #8

    Contractor Among Contractors

    GhostofTarbera's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2018


    Take the 5 days before even that is withdrawn then move on

    Sent from my iPhone using Contractor UK Forum

  9. #9

    Respect my authoritah!

    NotAllThere's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Far away from HMRC


    Quote Originally Posted by Carmel84 View Post
    I've approached a couple of solicitors however, there seems to be some confusion as to whether this is an 'employment' or 'Litigation/Civil' dispute
    It's not employment. The only relationship covered by employment law is you as an employee of your own ltd. co. I'm surprised that you're confused about this.

    Personally, I'd take the money offered and concentrate on getting a new contract. Litigation is too uncertain.
    Last edited by administrator; 15th September 2019 at 12:05.
    Boomers tend to believe in “freedom of speech”, which is a fascist concept used to spread hateful ideas.Given that hate speech is not possible without free speech, any defence of free speech is a form of hate speech. - Titania McGrath

  10. #10

    Fingers like lightning

    Join Date
    Jul 2019


    I agree with others - take what you can and learn from it - don't quit an existing gig until a contract is signed. If you're the risky type, i'd be tempted to go back to the agency with a "make it 10 days payment and we'll forget about it", but only you can judge whether you want to take that risk.

    One question, you original said (my bolding)

    "The recruitment agency contact me a couple of days after my face to face interview to advise that their client wanted to offer me the role, in which I accepted formally via email."

    and then another 8 times you referred to this "offer" you had accepted.

    Did you actually have an offer, or were you just told an offer was on its way? What was it you actually "accepted"?
    Last edited by Paralytic; 16th September 2019 at 07:30.

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