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Can an Agency ask me to wait to get paid until they get paid

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    Can an Agency ask me to wait to get paid until they get paid

    Hi

    6 weeks into a contract the agency pulled their contractors off because allegedly the client hadn't paid for previous invoices.

    I agreed to give the client a few days to pay rather than cancel the contract. The agency are now asking if I am prepared to go back on site with amended terms of no payment for me until they are paid.

    The agency are already 30 day plus payers.

    Not sure why I should take all the risk and let them have a cut really

    What is the consensus or experience of this in the past

    #2
    Pretty normal to have a no pay unless paid clause. Bit remiss of the agency to not have that in already.

    It's an interesting situation that we've never had before but what are your options. If you say no what will the agency do. They are quite clearly facing a risk that they have to pay you and might not get paid from the client which is pretty unacceptable to any business so needs mitigation. Problem is you are the bottom of the chain with no say in what goes on between the agent and the client.

    If you say no will the agent just bin you in which case you you only have one course of action. This time last year I'd have said get out of this one as soon as possible. Too much risk. With the Covid going on the chance of getting nothing compared to the very real certainty of getting nothing is still more attractive. Beggars can't be chosers.

    Tell them you'll sign it but you want zero days notice, or at worst a week so you can bail when something better comes along?
    'CUK forum personality of 2011 - Winner - Yes really!!!!

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by northernladuk View Post
      Pretty normal to have a no pay unless paid clause. Bit remiss of the agency to not have that in already.

      It's an interesting situation that we've never had before but what are your options. If you say no what will the agency do. They are quite clearly facing a risk that they have to pay you and might not get paid from the client which is pretty unacceptable to any business so needs mitigation. Problem is you are the bottom of the chain with no say in what goes on between the agent and the client.

      If you say no will the agent just bin you in which case you you only have one course of action. This time last year I'd have said get out of this one as soon as possible. Too much risk. With the Covid going on the chance of getting nothing compared to the very real certainty of getting nothing is still more attractive. Beggars can't be chosers.

      Tell them you'll sign it but you want zero days notice, or at worst a week so you can bail when something better comes along?
      I beg to differ.

      It's common when you are direct but not where you are through an agency - one of the services that they provide for their portion is that they're skimming a portion off you to provide the equivalent of invoice factoring by removing some of the risk of you waiting to be paid by paying you at worse mid-month for the previous month's work. Otherwise you'd be waiting until the back end of August for payment for June's work.

      As a flippant answer to the OP, they can ask you to do a handstand while answering the phone but would you? What does your contract say? Would you currently rather escape (i.e. get on the market and look quietly) or is it a great rate and good role? Your other option is to state that you'd take a £20 per day increase in your rate due to the additional risk that you are now taking on. If they want to reissue an amended contract to reflect new payment terms they can amend the rate due to you shouldering more risk.
      The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world that he didn't exist

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by LondonManc View Post
        I beg to differ.

        It's common when you are direct but not where you are through an agency - one of the services that they provide for their portion is that they're skimming a portion off you to provide the equivalent of invoice factoring by removing some of the risk of you waiting to be paid by paying you at worse mid-month for the previous month's work. Otherwise you'd be waiting until the back end of August for payment for June's work.
        That's interesting. When we've discussed this on the forums many times the distinction between direct and agency hasn't been made and in fact most threads are about agency not paying. Hmm, fair enough. What you say about how can they factor makes sense. Dunno then.
        'CUK forum personality of 2011 - Winner - Yes really!!!!

        Comment


          #5
          Are you inside or outside? Are you PSC or Umbrella (or agency)?

          You may have some rights under AWR...

          M

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by mjcp View Post
            Are you inside or outside? Are you PSC or Umbrella (or agency)?

            You may have some rights under AWR...

            M
            PSC Ltd Co and Outside.

            I am enjoying the contract which doesn't help

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by LondonManc View Post
              I beg to differ...
              This. I've never worked through an agency that doesn't do some kind of factoring. I have via a consultancy, and then had to wait until they were paid. But my payment was always a few days after they got paid.

              Anyway, for the OP. The agency can asked for anything. It's your call whether you want to agree.
              Down with racism. Long live miscegenation!

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by northernladuk View Post
                That's interesting. When we've discussed this on the forums many times the distinction between direct and agency hasn't been made and in fact most threads are about agency not paying. Hmm, fair enough. What you say about how can they factor makes sense. Dunno then.
                I'm going off personal experience (including witnessed rather than just my own).

                One client where I was contracting first time had another contractor there on his third visit. They used his skills for project startup tasks if he was available because they didn't have them in house. Based on a chat with him, he was on, iirc, £30 more than when he was via an agency but got paid on the monthly supplier payment cycle as a true B2B arrangement. I was via an agency and had standard timesheet and invoice arrangement, paid at the end of each monthly schedule (the Friday after their month end).

                I guess it depends on the client, their use of contractors, etc.
                The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world that he didn't exist

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by jacquibo View Post

                  6 weeks into a contract the agency pulled their contractors off because allegedly the client hadn't paid for previous invoices.
                  That may well mean that client is done or it does not want to work with that specific agency anymore. Unlikely, that short glitch in payment would cause removal of workers.

                  Originally posted by jacquibo View Post

                  I agreed to give the client a few days to pay rather than cancel the contract. The agency are now asking if I am prepared to go back on site with amended terms of no payment for me until they are paid.

                  The agency are already 30 day plus payers.

                  Not sure why I should take all the risk and let them have a cut really
                  Well I assume that now agency is obliged to pay for work done so far regardless, but going forward they don't want to risk any more money and want push the risk on to yourself. Personally, I never saw link to client payment in agency contract in 8 years, nor I am prepared to sign one. The idea of taking risk of contract between customer and agency without being part of it (applies to any contract really) is seem too bizarre to me - but we all know that this is widespread practice.

                  Stay at home, refuse the amendment and look for a new gig until agency will ask you to get back to client's side. Obviously, that is just my view, tied with my own circumstances - you may opt for taking that tiny chance that few days/weeks later everything will go back to normal. I wouldn't.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    You only have the agency's word that the client is not paying.

                    Personally, I'd be inclined to have a word with the client directly and say that you are considering having to stop your supply until the issue is resolved, as a way of teasing out their point of view. I wouldn't mention the non-payment by the client (as it may not even be true).

                    N.B. This is possibly a bit risky, but so is accepting all the risk by changing payment terms.

                    It all comes down to your risk profile.

                    Comment

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