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AWR and daily rate

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by FreudianSlipper, Feb 21, 2012.

  1. Hi everyone,

    I?ve got a little bit trouble with my agency at the moment regarding AWR and the daily rate and wondering if anyone else has had similar experiences and how they managed to sort it all out.

    I have worked in the same school for almost two years through an agency and obviously passed my qualifying period for AWR and equal pay couple of weeks ago. After my enquiries regarding the pay changes my agency told me that my daily rate wouldn?t change as I am already getting paid according to the teachers? pay scale (I?m M6 in inner London) and the way they calculate is that they divide the annual salary with 260 days, which is how many working days there are in UK. Obviously when using this method, the daily rate is very low, because teachers don?t work 260 days but 195 days. After challenging them with this, I was told that they have had many meetings with their lawyers and they are entitled to do their calculation this way. They also added that I could always seek work outside of the industry during the school holidays??no comments on that ; )

    To cut this story short I have been in touch with my Union, who advised me to take this further and also said that the agency is clearly breaking the law. Now I was wondering if anyone else, who works in a long-term post, has had any difficulties dealing with their agencies and daily rate since the AWR and how did you manage to sort it out.

    Thanks for reading
  2. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    You should be paid the same as an LA paid supply teacher, getting the annual salary for your pay point, divided by 195 (maximum days in school for a teacher) .. actually divided by 194 this year because of the Queen's Jubilee.
    Why isn't the Union taking it further on your behalf? They have legal teams!
    I'd be tempted to tell someone at the school that the agency is not following correct procedures regarding AWR. The school might decide to employ you direct and it would be interesting to see how the agency could hold you in contempt of your contract with them when they'd be shown up for underpaying you according to the new regs.
    As you are f/t at the school, over longer than a school year, you are (after awr) supposed to be earning the same as any other teacher on your pay point, which you clearly can't do on your agency's pay calculation.
    Permanent teachers can also increase their pay by taking work in the holidays. That is irrelevant to what the agency should be paying you for work during term time.
  3. Cheers Jubilee,
    My school is fully aware of this situation, but unfortunately they can't employ me directly as the council is reviewing its' SEN divisions at the moment and they can't give contacts anyone for time being. I'm currently in the process of trying to get into LEA supply pool and if that works I can cut the middle man and continue working in my school.
    I only got in touch with the Union on last Friday so it probably take a while until nothing happens, but they were very interested in this case (I'm sure there are many similar ones out there too)

    I keep you posted how this progress

  4. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    Personally I would proceed with caution if there has been no change in your daily rate and you are still getting work.
    My concern is that if you pressed for a higher salary (which I agree you should get) you might find yourself being replaced by a cheaper option.
    Totally wrong but maybe the lesser of two evils. Its a real disgrace the Teaching profession has come to this and not at all what I expected of it when I left Industry some 14 years ago to join it.
  5. ...the sneeky so and so's...this just about sums up the profession to a tee.
    ...I would fight tooth and nail. Forget what others may say regarding the lesser of 2 evils, they are breaking the law and in fact are falling foul of the anti-avoidance part of the AWR regulations.
    ...your union should be making this clear and getting more involved in this matter as if kind of thing is going to happen to all post AWR teachers then all I can see is a raft of law suits in the offing.
    ...of course that depends entirely on who is prepared to help. Hae a look at your home insurance legal expenses policy. Quite honestly, the union should be taking this up, but if all else fails try to get some redress via your home policy or see an employment lawyer asap.
    ...the agency is NOT entitled to do the calculation this way whatsoever and are pulling the wool over your eyes. They have either found an obscure loophole, which I have never heard of or are simply hoping you will go away with their lame reasoning.
    ...you NEED to take this matter forward and please let us know how you get on
  6. I know my agency would be very happy to see me go and replace me with cheaper one, but luckily my school is great and they want to keep me. But this is a bit tricky situation as the school can't pay higher rate to the agency, so if I ever get the updated rate it will come out from the agency's profit margin and obviously they don't want this to happen. They have been very unpleasant to deal with since the AWR regs and played a quite dirty game not only with me but the school too ( after telling me that my daily rate is correct they tried to charge my school more using AWR as an excuse!!) so I try to find a way getting away from agencies. Had enough!!
  7. emmadrg

    emmadrg New commenter

    Please let us know how you get on. It's a disgrace that this agency think they can abuse the AWR rules.
    Is there any chance of you just working for the school directly? It might save them money in the long run if they avoid agency fees.
    Don't be afraid to shop the agency for abusing the rules and regulations (and you can always name and shame them on here!).
    Hope your union takes it further, after all that's what you pay your subs for. If they won't take it further then name and shame them as well. It could prove once and for all what the unions think of supply teachers :(
  8. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    I went onto AWR-based scale rate two weeks ago. There was no quibble from my agency (large national one), so I'm pretty certain your agency is bullsh*tting you. The school worked out that it was more economical for them to pay a finder's fee to the agency and put me on the LEA payroll until July than it was to continue paying agency fees four days a week. My LEA doesn't operate a supply pool, and this is the second school (and LEA) I've worked in this year that has opted to process my salary through the LEA and not the agency, so the option of being an LEA-paid supply teacher paid to scale still exists. You should ask the school about that.

    Definitely pursue it with your Union's legal team. I suspect some smaller agencies are cacking themselves about the implications of AWR and are trying to wriggle out of it every way they can. It's high time their chickens came home to roost.
  9. ...well, I am due to go onto AWR in the next 2 weeks. Have been assured by the agency I will be placed on my rightful scale point, although, it will be massively higher I am being paid now, so a little unsure how it will all work out.
    ...always get the feeling that something will rear its nasty little head at the last minute to scupper my chances. If it does, oh boy, will I kick up a fuss. Not only will naming/shaming go on but I will take legal advice too boot.
    ...of course, I am hoping it wont come to this as a teacher in the same school via the same agency was placed on AWR recently so should be OK. That said, OP should take all means possible to enure AWR rules are adhered to by his/her agency. They are really taking the rise by adopting such a 'get out of jail' attitude
  10. I've had a similar experience with an agency in the North West. They have said that they also use 260 working days for their calculations as they would be unable to get work for me (M6) otherwise. Again, they claim to have taken extensive legal advice. Other agencies around here have only been recruiting NQTs or M1s- probably at the same cost to schools.
    It seems to boil down to the simple question.. "Do you want to work or not?" I'm getting far less now than I did as an NQT on supply several years ago but it's still preferable to nothing.
  11. I had two lengthy discussions with the union (NUT) and my agency today. Firstly union said that if they take this case to the court it will be their first case regarding AWR and they will use it as a test case. In order to take it onboard it has to be ?waterproof? as they need to win the case. So I have now provided them with all corresponding emails between the agency and me and proof of my previous pay scale etc. I hope to hear back in next few days.

    Agency is still insisting that 260 days is correct, but after spending 50 minutes on the phone discussing the actual role of long term supply teachers compared to permanent teachers (agency says we don?t need to do planning, marking etc), they admitted that if they divide the pay with 195 days, they would lose their business!!

    I?ll keep you posted how is this progressing.
  12. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    Where do they get this idea that daily supply teachers don't do assessment/marking?
    I do it all the time, circulating and checking their work. I've even been known to look back in their books and correct overlooked errors from previous work, with explanations on why I'm correct.
    Supply teachers often have to plan on their feet. I also look at the sketchy plans for later classes and use any spare minutes to gather resources from my bag, pen drives, on-line etc.
    Glad to hear that a test case might be imminent.
    All agency teachers should be holding onto payslips and diaries (detailing times of all bookings and school details) so that they can claim arrears of pay when there is a legal precedent.
    If agencies go out of business, LAs will have to step in an we'll have a return to the fair practices of yesteryear, with their education departments dealing with all education recruitment and pay.
  13. ...it is interesting that a test case maybe imminent and I fully support you in your efforts to seek legal redress and parity with permanent teachers.
    ...I had already mentioned the foul manner in which the OPs agency have hoodwinked him and I will certainly NOT be looking for any kind of dialogue with my agency when I am soon to be post AWR. In fact, the conversation will be brief and to the point. I will be asking for my legal right for pay parity and parity in terms of holiday/sick pay. I have been working at the same school for less than M1 ( well what choice does one have?...apart from saying NO) and if the agency even thinks about messing with calculations, then I will be paying them a VISIT!!
    ...I already have a confirmation email to state my AWR provisions will be met and inclusive of a phone chat with the consultant, my fears have been allayed. Previous payslip of proof of payscale (which happens to be UPS3), in hand and a recent precedent set in the school I work in... my case should be watertight....right?...well, I am not counting any chickens yet...
    ...TBH, I expect the agency NOT to pay me UPS3...sad though it is, but I fear they too will adopt a stalling tactic to prevent my dues...mainly as it will work out at best part of £190 a day...thats not to say I am not worth that, because I am...well, thats what the AWR rules say at least
  14. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    AWR doesn't grant parity with sick pay or pension access, I'm afraid. It will continue to be the case that agency workers will only be paid for the days that they are at work.
  15. Hi FreudianSlipper

    You are 100% correct when it comes to your salary being split over 195 days and not 260. We used the lawyers that advised the government and they say like for like would be 195 days for teachers.

    We have a number of teachers who are now paid to scale and we moved them over without any issues. It will be interesting to see what comes of your legal issue as I think that many people are waiting to see the results of test cases before deciding on their view on awr.

    I know you have spoken to the school but one thing you need to bear in mind is that the school are equally responsible to ensure awr legislation is met. In my opinion the school need to at least make a request to the agency to up your pay to fall in line with other contracted members of staff. If the agency refuse or give the 260 days excuse to the school then I believe the schools liability would then pass to the agency.
  16. spiderwomen

    spiderwomen New commenter

    Agents are actually the worst people in the profession! Considering the economic climate, there doesn't seem to be a reduction of them. I've had problems in the past with agencies. They are completely ripping you off! You need to play them at their own game. Threaten to leave if they do not pay you correctly. Speak to your head about your situation as well. I was in a long term contract and the agency refused to pay me anything other than a daily supply rate. The escuses they came up with! I handed in my notice and due to the school's intervention, the agency paid up! They can pay you but choose not to as it comes out their profit. Remember you work around the clock and though they put you in the job, it's your skills which have sustained you there. There is no reason for them to earn the amount they do!
  17. Spiderwomen please don't tie all agency's with the same brush. A fair agency will charge a fair rate to schools and pay a fair rate to teachers. You may find that the reason the agency agreed to pay you more once the school got involved is because the school agreed to pay more to the agency to cover the costs. Good agency's add value to schools staffing structures and budgets.
  18. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    'tar with the same brush'.
    I doubt it. Agencies agree rates with schools that allow for still making a profit even if paying staff on teacher rates. AWR simply means that they can only make larger profits from the worker for a limited time.
    I think that agencies will need to consider the position of their consultants and perhaps decide that they only need CS style 'CopyCat Consultants(CCC)',rather than those with experience, at greatly reduced rates of pay. I'm sure that they could allow experienced consultants to carry on doing the job as long as they accept less than half their usual rate of pay!
    They could axe consultant contracts too and only pay on a daily basis, giving Cover CopyCat Consultants (CCCC) 24 hours' notice of being needed in the office to man the phones. That will save the business having to fork out for sick pay and maternity pay etc and their holiday pay bill will also reduce.
  19. Georgia99

    Georgia99 New commenter

    I am part time at my school and was asked to go in on my day off to cover. It wasn't until I got there that I found out it was just for a 1 hr lesson but that is a different story...
    I am M1 and was paid £17 for the 1 hr overtime. No matter how I work it out, I can't see how this rate is calculated.
    If I worked the whole day I would have got paid £85. But my salary divided by 195 is £110. The school can't give me a calculation for the £17, they just tell me that this is the going rate.
  20. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    When you work extra days or hours they are supposed to pay you the supply daily/hourly rate that has a pro-rata holiday pay element. They can't pay you a standard day based on the usual contracted monthly pay divided by 30 or 31.
    For the daily rate you divide the f/t equivalent annual salary by 195 and for hourly, you divide the daily rate by 5.
    Some schools pay hourly by dividing annual salary by 1265 DT hours.
    Ask your LA how they calculate a supply day/hour.

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