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awr + increased agency fee = expensive supply teacher loses work

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by peterpan0, Mar 29, 2012.

  1. I have worked as a supply teacher for a school regularly through an agency. Sadly, due to AWR and the increase to my daily fee, the school can no longer afford my services as regularly. I am hoping to register with EPM so that the school can contact me directly. I have not yet discovered anything in my contract with the agency which prevents me from doing this. I do not intend to take a permanent job with the school so I think the school has no obligation to pay an introuduction fee to the agency. Am I right? Has anybody else been in this situation, and did you leave your agency before going it alone?
     
  2. Check your contract with the agency. If I leave the agency I cannot work as a supply at any of the schools I have worked at through them for many weeks, months I think. They have me by the short and curlies!
     
  3. Track down the head. Explain the situation, explain that they want you and you want them. The means in which you have to do this will be via a limited company which makes it's services available to more than one LEA (employer). You will charge them a rate which is cheaper than the agency and AWR will not apply. If the head agrees to this, come back on here and we'll advise.
     
  4. The agency shouldn't have any hold over you contractually. They will do over the school though.
    Having said that, if you approach the school directly the agency may never know, and if you get on with the school it may be the best course of action.
    Have you thought of working there via an agency on a Swedish Derogation contract? (thereby giving up your right to equal pay and solving the problem).
    Teacher's can't work via a Ltd company. This is because you are caught via IR35, which specifically named teaching as a profession that can't be self employed because you are undoiubtedly under the direction, supervision and control of the Hirer and therefore can't be carrying out business from a tax perspective.
    The closest you should get to that is working for an Umbrella. Very few Umbrella companies will deal with schools directly because it interferes with the agency/ school relationship.
     
  5. I thought you couldn't work as unlimited liability, as PAYE applied anyway.
    You can work "the rules" so your limited company does not break IR35.
    At least, that's how I read the regs.
    Select Education wanted to take me on as Limited, I assume due to the fact any IR35 transgression would be down to me. Whereas if I wasn't, it would be down to them.
    Over to you.
     
  6. Thanks so much for your advice- 'gave it all good thought.
    I checked my contract carefully - sure enough the agency have no contractual hold over me but they do over the school. The school cannot employ my services through EPM (human resource management services to schools and colleges in Cambridgeshire) until an 8 week period (following my last assignment through my agency) is up.
    I decided I would leave the agency who gave me the regular supply work at the school who can no longer afford the daily rate (£330 per day I discovered). This agency only supplied me with work at this school. Because I am an honest soul I explained the situation to them, that their fee was too high and I was going to seek my own work etc.. I was surprised by how keen they were for me to stay. They have offered to go to the school to see if they can negotiate a ''dramatic cut'' to their agency fee (without affecting my AWR fee. (How can they do this I wonder?). It has been left a bit 'up in the air' now as the Easter holidays are upon us and I had asked them to send me in writing the 8 week rule. When signing to an agency you don't think you need to read the contract for schools too do you?
    I would always encourage prospective enthusiastic supply teachers to organise their own supply by approaching Heads in the locality directly. I have phoned two Heads (having already sent them my CV), had a couple of interview type meetings and both agreed to take me on as a supply once my registration with EPM is complete. I will approach more Heads now and remain with one agency and see how it goes.
     
  7. -Peterpan, good for you. The agency sound shocking if those figures are correct, assuming you're paid anywhere near a normal supply rate.
    -Stuart, that's not my reading of it. It's all down to whether you are ever investigated, of course -though that wouldn't be enough for me, if I were a supply teacher.
    The best tax break is via an umbrella, for the reasons I pointed out above.
    One of the main benefits of working work via a Ltd Co, is to avoid paying NI. HMRC have categorised teaching specially, stating the earnings of a teacher (whether working via "Ltd Co" or not) should be treated as employment income and therefore subject to normal tax and NI.

    Can't comment re Randstad/ Select, but agencies often refer to any sort of Umbrella as a "Ltd Company", because for all intents and purposes of the agency/ Umbrella company relationship, they are.
     

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