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    Default How to Find Out What Agency is Charging Client

    Could someone please let me know how I can find out how much the agency is charging the client? I know in other posts people say just ask the agency but they may not tell me (or they may not be honest!) I am on a day rate of 200 but it appears there was some mix up with invoices and my umbrella company received an invoice from the agency which was intended for the client - at a day rate of 500! I want to know if the agency is charging a 60% fee as I understand the going rate is 20% to 25%. I know for this particular role they had a lot of difficulty getting someone with the IT skills required and the agency kept asking me if I was happy with the 200 day rate which with hindsight I now realise was a little suspicious.

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    Oh dear, the agent tried to prompt you into asking for more money and you didn't take the bait? Oh dear, not quite cut out for this are we? It is quite possible the agency is charging 500 a day for you. Armed with the info you now have you can ask the agency directly.

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    The going rate is whatever they can get and if it is twice what you are being paid they won't lose any sleep over it. Also what the agent charges the client isn't any of your business techincally but it would be good information to have when piling in for a renewal.

    Being devils advocate I would say it might not be an area you want to be going in to. If you find that this is the case, you argue and they still won't up your rate you are going to get seriously pissed off and may affect your role. It often happens when people find a colleague is on more than them. One day they are happy with rate and with job, next they are livid and can't do the job knowing what they know now. Knowing what other people's rates are and what the agents rate to the client isn't always somewhere you want to go. I can see how you want to know you have got a sniff but becareful it doesn't eat you alive when you find out.
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    How long left on contract?
    And are you willing to walk?

    If less than a month, wait and at renewal ask them outright and if not forthcoming then walk.

    If more than a month, tell them you have another offer @ 400 and what can they do to match it?

    Also read the threads about agencies and understand in this business you need to be ruthless or you WILL be exploited by agents. You aint a permie anymore, fight like a madman with an axe is stood over you in a urinal
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    Default I'll Ask The Agent

    I think I'll ask the agent. It's not that I would be "eaten up" or anything if I discover that they really are getting 500 and only giving me 200. The market has been quite tough for the past couple of months and 200 was as good as I could get. Agents keep calling me with jobs paying 400 but they never materialise. If the client really is being charged 500 then I'll probably leave as I had been offered a couple of other roles paying 200.

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    If the client really is being charged 500, then presumably they are prepared to pay that much for your skills.

    How well do you get on with the client? If the agency doesn't budge, how comfortable would you be discussing the rates with the client?

    Although a lot on here would say that the charge rate to the client is none of your business, if the client is paying 500pd then they're expecting a 500pd contractor, not a 200pd contractor. If you're confident that your skill level and current work supports a 500pd contractor level, and the client is happy with your work and wants to retain you for an extension, then they may put pressure on the agency themselves to increase your rate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by meridian View Post
    If the client really is being charged 500, then presumably they are prepared to pay that much for your skills.

    How well do you get on with the client? If the agency doesn't budge, how comfortable would you be discussing the rates with the client?

    Although a lot on here would say that the charge rate to the client is none of your business, if the client is paying 500pd then they're expecting a 500pd contractor, not a 200pd contractor. If you're confident that your skill level and current work supports a 500pd contractor level, and the client is happy with your work and wants to retain you for an extension, then they may put pressure on the agency themselves to increase your rate.
    Go careful with this - some contracts contain clauses that specifically prohibit you from discussing your rate with the client. If the agent loses 300 a day they won't be happy and, if there is such a clause, you could end up in Court. I have actually seen this happen too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clare@InTouch View Post
    Go careful with this - some contracts contain clauses that specifically prohibit you from discussing your rate with the client.
    Yes, and I wonder why that may be there? Certainly not to protect the contractor....

    Quote Originally Posted by Clare@InTouch View Post
    If the agent loses 300 a day they won't be happy and, if there is such a clause, you could end up in Court. I have actually seen this happen too.
    Good luck to an agent trying to recover 300pd from a contractor he's only paying 200pd.

    A reasonable client and agent would hopefully come to some agreement so that everybody's happy. The agent might not be happy about not receiving 300pd, but less is better than nothing. Of course, worst case scenario is the client negotiates the agent's share down but the contractor gets nothing more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by meridian View Post
    Yes, and I wonder why that may be there? Certainly not to protect the contractor....



    Good luck to an agent trying to recover 300pd from a contractor he's only paying 200pd.

    A reasonable client and agent would hopefully come to some agreement so that everybody's happy. The agent might not be happy about not receiving 300pd, but less is better than nothing. Of course, worst case scenario is the client negotiates the agent's share down but the contractor gets nothing more.

    I'm not defending the agent's cut or saying it's right or fair - purely that if the clause is there the agent can legal steps to enforce it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by meridian View Post
    Although a lot on here would say that the charge rate to the client is none of your business, if the client is paying 500pd then they're expecting a 500pd contractor, not a 200pd contractor. If you're confident that your skill level and current work supports a 500pd contractor level, and the client is happy with your work and wants to retain you for an extension, then they may put pressure on the agency themselves to increase your rate.
    Absolutely right. Some contractors don't care about how much the client is paying but I always find out, one way or the other. I think clients and contractors should demand that agencies reveal their margins as a condition of doing business so no one is getting ripped off. I know that this makes some agents squeal like a stuck pig but those are my terms of business. I've always said that I don't grudge the agent their fee, but if it's not transparent then it's wide open to abuse and this impacts clients and contractors alike.

    If an agent recruits a permie then they get a fixed fee for doing the job. Why shouldn't it be the same for contracts? OK, some contracts are short, some are long. How about the agent takes a margin, up to a capped amount or for the first 6 months. After that, they have made their money and the contractor and client should be free to do as they please.

    I don't see why we should be locked in to these agencies for the entire time we work for a client, it's a restraint of trade

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