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  1. #11
    eek
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    Quote Originally Posted by malvolio View Post
    Yes - and note my final comment...
    Any agent doing that is opening themselves up for an entertaining court case if unlucky. I doubt any lawyer would allow them to do it
    merely at clientco for the entertainment

  2. #12

    Double Godlike!

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    Quote Originally Posted by eek View Post
    Any agent doing that is opening themselves up for an entertaining court case if unlucky. I doubt any lawyer would allow them to do it
    I don't agree. It's commercial reasons around risk and credit management that stop the agencies considering alternative solutions. However the question has been asked and I was told that the opt out covers the whole of the regs, including the fee-charging bit and who pays for the services. I've also been through the advantages and issues with a couple of agencies and they could see the benefits (especially going to the client with a zero margin...).

    As I said, it will never happen (unless someone like S3 has a fit of heroics) so it's purely an academic point.
    Blog? What blog...?

  3. #13

    Some things in Moderation

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    Yes, but for newbies out there - ignore Malvolio's post - it's just a 'What if' exercise.

    It's the current law that counts here.

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonasa View Post
    Hi. I am new to contracting and have been invited to register with an agency called Allen Lane in London. I went to Google them and found that they have loads of negative reviews and people said to stay away from them and that they had hidden fees, charged you for finding you a job, treated people badly and the worst agency they ever used. As this is my first contract I don't want to be taken for a ride. Has anyone used them and are they as bad as the reviews say? Thanks Jo

    Hi Jo,

    I would not recommend them to anyone. They are a horrible horrible company. They said they would pay me x amount in salary, but then when I started the job I found out that not only did I not get paid what I was due, but I was also paying something called contractor plus for £30/day. This was not explained to me when I signed up for the job. On top of this they made me pay both employers and employees NI. If that wasn't enough, I also had to pay the umbrella company just to process my pay too.

    The result of all this? I was earning significantly less than I should have been. The agency would not let me come of the contractor plus scheme because apparently it was only economically viable to offer the job to me if I was on the scheme. So the options are, either you suck up the £150/wk loss, and take the job, or you decline the job and save yourself a lot of wasted time and money in the long run.

    If this isn't enough, as you will see on google, they threaten anyone who leaves a 1* review with legal proceedings. This agency doesn't care about how they treat the people that work through them. I wouldn't be surprised if the agency reads this review and asks the site admins for my details so they can sue me for "malicious and slanderous intent" and try to have this review edited/removed. They are that kind of agency.

    You have been warned!
    Last edited by kristen330; 8th August 2017 at 11:54.

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by tomtomagain View Post
    It's against the law for an agency to charge you for finding work in the UK.

    That's why they take a %age of the income and do not charge an upfront fee.
    It may be against the law but what Allen lane do is they put it into the small print of the contract when you agree to the job. They don't tell you verbally when you agree, "oh btw, you have to pay contractor plus". It's just thrown onto you after you agree the job, and even then it's hidden deep in the small print. When I got my first pay check and asked them about this deduction of £30/day, they told me I couldn't come off it and had to be on it for the job. I needed the money so I stayed in the job, but I was losing out on £150/wk.

    When I asked why I was being charged employers ni, they said it was normal and everyone did this. I later found out that this wasn't normal and my colleagues working through other agencies actually had an uplifted rate to factor in the employers ni. This didn't happen for me and so it was coming out of my rate.

    There is a google review for this agency by someone called "A C". It is spot on.
    Last edited by kristen330; 8th August 2017 at 12:02.

  6. #16

    I live on CUK

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    Quote Originally Posted by kristen330 View Post
    It may be against the law but what Allen lane do is they sign it into the small print of the contract.
    Just because it's written in contract it doesn't make it legal.

    HMRC are useless in enforcing anything, if you want to make a public issue of something like that you are better of looking for news stories on abuse of umbrella companies and writing to the reporter. You should also write to your MP. Some will do SFA, some will forward your complaint to HMRC while others will talk to another MP who they know is into these issues.
    "You’re just a bad memory who doesn’t know when to go away" JR

  7. #17
    eek
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    Quote Originally Posted by SueEllen View Post
    Just because it's written in contract it doesn't make it legal.

    HMRC are useless in enforcing anything, if you want to make a public issue of something like that you are better of looking for news stories on abuse of umbrella companies and writing to the reporter. You should also write to your MP. Some will do SFA, some will forward your complaint to HMRC while others will talk to another MP who they know is into these issues.
    Or phone up the GMB (other unions are available) and ask them what you can do.

    Ideally I would say speak to IPSE but sadly they would probably see this as a good thing rather than as something that needs to be stamped down on
    merely at clientco for the entertainment

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    I live on CUK

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    Quote Originally Posted by eek View Post
    Or phone up the GMB (other unions are available) and ask them what you can do.
    Forgot about unions - I found this https://www.theguardian.com/politics...ts-freelancers.

    Though all the big unions will be interested in abuses.
    "You’re just a bad memory who doesn’t know when to go away" JR

  9. #19
    eek
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    Quote Originally Posted by SueEllen View Post
    Forgot about unions - I found this https://www.theguardian.com/politics...ts-freelancers.

    Though all the big unions will be interested in abuses.
    Joining link is at https://www.indycube.community/join-us and it’s only £10 a month with shred desks in many locations.
    Last edited by eek; 6th August 2017 at 17:23.
    merely at clientco for the entertainment

  10. #20

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    You might also like to report them at https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/forms...omplaint/new#1. This goes to the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate who are supposed to police agencies.

    Also try reporting them to the Recruitment and Employment Confederation.

    The more contractors who report them, the more chance there is that they will be investigated.

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