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Agency - Working woutout a Contract/IR35 backlog?

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    Agency - Working woutout a Contract/IR35 backlog?

    I've had a look on the forum and people's view are largely down to opinion, but from a legal perspective what would you reccomend:

    An agency wants me to start working on a 4 week contract starting from tomorrow. They are unable to issue a contract for me to sign, because they are facing a backlog of contracts which are going through their internal compliance checks with IR35.

    I've asked the Agency for a confirmation email that work is going to begin with the client (who don't seem to know I'm starting and havn't reached out to me, I'm guessing because there is no contract).They also can't provide me with a Plan B or a written provision to cover this situation.

    Should I go through and just start tomorrow if a contract isn't issued to me by tonight?
    Should I reach out to the end client and say that work would be starting tomorrow but nothing has been signed so they're aware?
    Or should I push back and say I'd be more comortable with an issued contract before beginning? The dayrate is low AF but the team and project are nice enough.

    #2
    If the agency dont event know about you starting.
    DO NOT START TOMORROW

    How long have they had to get it sorted?


    In the past I have taken on a role with no contract, due to it being such a short turn around time from interview to starting ( less than a day). They didn't have time to get a contract together.
    The agency sent me an email confirming the role, rate etc and I made it clear if I dont have a contract in 2 days I walk. They were able sort the contract out the day after.

    In your case, the fact the agency are not even aware is very worrying

    Comment


      #3
      Personally I wouldn't go in until I have a contract signed but it is possible to do so. Just be very aware of the risks which can materialise leaving you in potentially some bad situations.

      For a start you cannot change anything on the contract. If it has a 200 day payment schedule then you've accepted it, if it says they want to pay you half what you agreed then you are stuck. You could get in to legal trouble if they've got a long notice period and hold you to it and so on and so on. You will not be able to check it and amend so you are stuffed with whatever they give you. Question is, do you feel lucky punk. If you do have issues and come back explaining you started without a contract you'll not get any sympathy. You've got to weigh up how desperate you are for a few more days billing. Tied with this is the IR35 safe aspects if it's an outside gig. The SDS should be the key doc but if they've worded the RoS wrong (if it's even there at all) you've just shafted yourself.

      One thing I'm more concerned about is it sounds like you won't have an SDS either so you don't know if you are inside or outside or not? They may have told you in email but without the SDS you have nothing. It's gonna cost your 30 to 35% more if there has been a mistake and the SDS comes inside when you are expecting outside. Contract be sorted later as long as you don't mind being stuck with it but I wouldn't be touching it without and SDS is which now the law.

      The agency might have a backlog but their priority is income. If you say you aren't going in without a contract and they believe you they will pull every stop to get you a contract so you can start earning money. Tell them you won't and their commission is at risk and you'll get a lot more attention.
      Last edited by northernladuk; 7 April 2021, 14:57.
      'CUK forum personality of 2011 - Winner - Yes really!!!!

      Comment


        #4
        So the Agency are sorting the contract, its a tight turnaround from Thursday and Easter meant they couldn't do much and also IR35 came into place today. The client know about me, but haven\t emailed me about anything.

        Thanks northernladuk for taking the time to reply. I'm going to just email the agency back and say I'd be more comfortable with starting when a contract is in place.

        I suspect they don't know whether what they're issuing to me is inside or outside IR35.


        If the agency dont event know about you starting.
        DO NOT START TOMORROW

        How long have they had to get it sorted?


        In the past I have taken on a role with no contract, due to it being such a short turn around time from interview to starting ( less than a day). They didn't have time to get a contract together.
        The agency sent me an email confirming the role, rate etc and I made it clear if I dont have a contract in 2 days I walk. They were able sort the contract out the day after.

        In your case, the fact the agency are not even aware is very worrying

        Comment


          #5
          I would only consider working 'at risk' if I trusted the client and the agent. From what you've described that trust doesn't exist.
          If a contract is not forthcoming, and someone is desperate for me to start I will provide them with my own contract and Ts&Cs.
          At a bare minimum you should have:
          - an agreement to buy services. This could be an email, a PO, or a contract. It should be from the agency though
          - agreed terms and conditions. Doesn't matter if its yours or theirs.

          But I have got £100 that says you cannot get both of those from the agency anyway. They will only deal with a contract so why should you do any different?
          If you start this you stand a high chance of not getting paid. If you're feeling charitable then go for it.


          See You Next Tuesday

          Comment


            #6
            Lance , MonkeysUncle Thanks both for taking the time to write a reply. Agency tried to strongarm me tonight by looping me into their client to liase ahead of tomorrow.

            I've pushed back and said I'm not starting without a SDS and contract in hand These big digital recruiters are shocking, but not surprising anymore.

            Comment


              #7
              An update and a question, maybe for someome who is dealing with it live also :-\

              The Recruiters are unaable to provide me with an SDS, however, there are just two lines in teh contract which statees SDS- YES, Determined by: CEST TOOL.

              Does the SDS have to be a seperate document?

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by GalContractor2873 View Post
                An update and a question, maybe for someome who is dealing with it live also :-\

                The Recruiters are unaable to provide me with an SDS, however, there are just two lines in teh contract which statees SDS- YES, Determined by: CEST TOOL.

                Does the SDS have to be a seperate document?
                Is the contract inside or outside? Is it clear in the contract? If they unable to provide you with an SDS how the can they put SDS - YES in the contract. Sounds like a right crock to me.
                'CUK forum personality of 2011 - Winner - Yes really!!!!

                Comment


                  #9
                  northernlad It embedded within the main contract simple saying:

                  'Status: Outside of IR35', Determined by: 'CEST TOOL' and 'SDS Supplied?: YES'

                  I've signed one part of the contract, but not the service agreement. Are they under a legal obligation to provide me with the SDS as a standalone doc?

                  Thanks

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I've got advice from QDOS also, in case this helps anyone else:

                    'Yes, the client has to issue the SDS down the chain, and similarly they should give an indication of IR35 status when advertising the role so you are entitled to confirm whether the engagement will be Inside or Outside - I would recommend double checking with the agency if you can expect an SDS but if you do not receive one this wouldn't be your liability'

                    Also from Qdos:

                    'I think they are warning that the status is still subject to change without a valid SDS and so it may cost you in terms of the PAYE/NIC deductions if it was founds Inside IR35

                    but the liability is not with you as a contractor after the 6th april'
                    Last edited by GalContractor2873; 8 April 2021, 16:21.

                    Comment

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