Ok, I'm currently a contractor, working at a company where I'm employed through an agency. Basically I submit my timesheets each week to the agency, and they pay my umbrella company each month, who then pay me. (And they say Contracting is complicated. What's cimplicated about it? )
Basically though, my current Umbrella company has decided to cease trading so I need to find another one.
However, the agency I'm employed through have decided that they will only allow Umbrella companies that are on a list that they specify (one of the companies on this list is, surprisingly, run by the agency themselves), and they are adamant that they will not allow any other umbrella companies to be used.
Now, there's a guy in our office with his own limited company who has offered to do PAYE for some of us in the office, but the agency have stamped their feet and said No. Only allowed with someone on the list or through your own limited company, nothing else is allowed.
Basically what I'm wondering is, are they allowed to do that? Can they dictate who I can and can't use?
My contract says nothing about having to use only someone that they nominate onto a list, and my previous umbrella company was actually someone else in the office, who wasn't on any list, and there's been no changes to my terms and conditions since then. The agency however are threatening to not give me a contract if I refuse to use someone on their list, who all charge at least twice as much per month as the person I want to use. (And I have strong suspiscions that these 'nominated' companies are paying a commission to the agency for every employee they get from said agency)
I argued that my contract said nothing about having to use their own preferred companies, their response was that nothing in my contract says I can use whatever company I like. However it's certainly implied that I can, since I've used whatever company I like in the past.
Any advice would be very much appreciated!