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New Contract dilemma - need some urgent advice please?

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    New Contract dilemma - need some urgent advice please?

    This is the first time I been on a forum so apologies I am a newbie to this. I have been contracting for a while, but during Covid took a perm job for some security. I have ventured back into the contracting world, and found an exciting job through Agent A (they approached me initially). Having attended the interviews with the client, then been offered the job, I signed a contract with the Agent to start in several weeks time. I resigned from my perm role.

    Now I have been approached by Agent B who has said that the client has issues with Agent A and wants to use Agent B exclusively and wants to secure my services through Agent B (who have offered my a slightly lower rate). I have tried to find out from Agent A what is going on, but they insist there is nothing wrong, though they can't get hold of the client!

    All sorts of alarm bells are ringing, and I have seen an email from the client to Agent B confirming the exclusivity request. I have no loyalty to either Agent, and both are blaming the other for poor form. I have signed a contract with Agent A though, but am concerned that they don't actually have the client on board anymore. My suspicion is that once this got to HR the client realised they had an exclusive deal with Agent B, and could not use Agent A?

    What should I do? Can I walk away from Agent A even though I have signed a contract with them? I have been threatened by Agent B that I will lose this opportunity if I don't sign with them soon, and the client is very keen to secure my services.

    Any advice is appreciated!

    As you'd know if you had been contracting a while:
    Rule 1 - agents lie
    Rule 2 - see rule 1.

    You really can't do anything but let the client sort it out. You cannot renege your contract with A and go with B on B's say so. That'd be silly.
    Down with racism. Long live miscegenation!


      At first glance sounds like Agent B is undercutting Agent A to steal the business, both in your rate and most probably the margin the Agent B will take compared to Agent A.

      The client can see they will save a lot if they go with B.

      Whatever you do don't sign another contract with Agent B until this mess is all sorted out.


        The client needs to tell agency A that their services are no longer required, which sounds like that hasn't happened.

        I would try to stick to your guns over rate with agency B, especially if you have paperwork showing that was all agreed.

        Having worked with a client who changed agencies four times in a the 13 months I was with them, I can say that this isn't uncommon.

        Make sure, in the agency B contract, you get any handcuff clause removed as they can't lay claim to an introductory relationship with you as you were already known to the client.


          Client will get fed up with this hassle, and get next in line via agent B - start looking for another contract

          why on earth did you not wait until a week before contract start date and resign ? (Bet your permie contract has no Penelty for not working notice period)


            Thanks for comments, it's alas as I thought too.

            I have the client's contact details in an email, is it worth contacting them directly to find out which Agent they actually have the contractual relationship with?

            What recourse will Agent A have with me if I go with Agent B? Can I just serve my notice on them (3 weeks) and then start with Agent B if that is the preferred Agent of the client? Surely if the client does not have a deal with Agent A then they have no work for me regardless of whether there is a signed contract or not?


              Originally posted by Itsalljustagame View Post
              Can I just serve my notice on them (3 weeks) and then start with Agent B if that is the preferred Agent of the client?
              Read the contract you signed!

              My current one has a six month clause in it, contractor staff cant go direct/use another company/agent for six months even after giving notice.
              Last edited by Fraidycat; 13 June 2021, 15:31.


                You have signed a contract. Until you hear otherwise that is what is happening.


                  I'd get searching again if I were you. Wouldn't be a surprise if this gig went south with this going on.
                  'CUK forum personality of 2011 - Winner - Yes really!!!!


                    Your age and future career aspirations (and whether there's headroom for promotion in the perm role) would be a deciding factor for me, but on the face of it from what you've said, I'd take the perm option all day long.