I am in the following scenario:
- I have been contracting, through my limited company, for 2.5 years through same Agency, for the same Employer
- I sign a rolling 3 month contract every 3 months.
- My employer is now happy for me to contract direct to them, meaning the Agency will be cut out of the situation, and my employer and I can meet in the middle of the Agency commission, both being better off.
- My employer has no contractual obligations to the agency, i.e. they will happily stop dealing with the Agency and deal with my limited company direct.
However I have the following obligation:
- My most recent 3 month contract has just ended, but has a services clause stating that I cannot now provide "similar services" aka, my job, to my employer for a restricted period of 6 months.
- My employer will not pay any form of break fee to the Agency that effectively releases me, and my employer wants me to negotiate myself out of any obligation to the Agency for the next contract.
The situation now is that the Agency does not want to give me a new contract without the restricted services clause, which effectively binds me to the Agency, having them as a middle man in my career ad infinitum.
My question is, what are my options now?
- Is there some way I can opt out of the services restriction element of the next contract in any way when I sign?
- Do I have any rights that mean I break this 6 month restricted services clause?
- The Agency seems to pay my bills regardless of having the contract signed or not - could I just continue, without signing, then in 6 months tell the agency the 6 month period from when I last signed has passed so I am leaving them?
Any constructive advice is most greatly appreciated!