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AWR: salary divided by 195, 190 or 232 days?

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by Foggyday, May 28, 2018.

  1. Foggyday

    Foggyday New commenter

    Back in January I started working as a supply teacher for a SEN school. The assistant head tells me after a couple of weeks that they have a vacancy and that I should apply for it. I am initially reluctant to do so, for a variety of reasons including long commute and not wanting to be tied to a given agency once more. I tells the AH as much and he tells me not to worry about the agency, that they will sort it out. So I applied. There were two posts available and I got one of them. The other job was given to an NQT who was put on a contract immediately. I was told that because of the agency fee, I had to work through the agency for 20 more weeks and that in July I would be given a contract. In the meantime I had to work for £140/day not be paid over the holidays and still be expected to produce some Medium Term Planning during those. Needless to say I wasn't too happy about this arrangement, but I liked the school and staff and kind of understood why the school wouldn't be willing to pay 5 grands for my "release", so I went along with it. Now, I put in way more hours that are required as a regular supply, I rarely leave the school before 5pm, and also often doubles as a T.A. because the place is chronically short-staffed. But I did all this willingly on the understanding that in July I would have a contract and be paid over the holidays.

    Last week I found out that the agency is making a fuss about the actual start of the twenty weeks, and is telling the school I will have to work through them until November. Then HR tells me they wanted to give me a contract in September and that they are going to try and negotiate this.

    I tell them clearly that I am not happy with this as I was expecting to be paid over the summer. HR tells me their year contract go from September to the following August.

    So basically, I'm expected to work until the end of July, and do all the planning work required for September over the summer without pay.

    Two days ago, I got a "confirmation of booking extension" from the agency saying my booking is extended from the 30th of July until the end of September. I didn't agree to any of this, and the agency nor the school has called to discuss this.

    Then, there is the small issue of the AWR. I've had several long term positions with this agency and they have NEVER paid me more after 12 weeks. But this time I'm decided to stand my ground, so I have a few questions.

    Are the 12 weeks working weeks? I assume the agency wouldn't include the holidays in that count?

    Reading other posts on the matter I see that AWR is the yearly salary divided by 195 days. I've also seen 190. But I think the agency divides by 232 days, which is the right number? Because a yearly salary divided by 195 is very different from one divided by 232.

    Right now, I'm thinking "thanks but no thanks". I'm going to work at whatever rate I can get until the end of July, and then the school can find someone else. I'm tired of being taken for a fool.
    SaminaSheikh likes this.
  2. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    I don’t think you have tired of being taken for a fool at all. Everyone is shafting you. Congratulations. Keep up the good work.
  3. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Ignore Mr Miserable

    Have you got a more permanent contract for next year ?
    gingerhobo48, pepper5 and Foggyday like this.
  4. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    I think this may be where the 'confusion' arose initially.
    The school were expecting to provide a contract in the July, but as they say
    So you would be paid for next year's summer holidays , but not this one.

    It might be worth seeing if you can get a contract to run from the start of Sept, as opposed to the end, but I fear there's little likelihood of being paid for this summer. unless you stay with the agency and they provide you with some holiday pay?
    peakster, pepper5 and Foggyday like this.
  5. Foggyday

    Foggyday New commenter

    Well the school wants to give me a year contract once the agency finally lets go of me. The issue is that I was told this would be done by July at the latest. I'm a popular supply though, so I never have trouble finding work, so turning down this job is not the end of the world if I have to.
    Landofla, gingerhobo48 and pepper5 like this.
  6. Lucilla90

    Lucilla90 Occasional commenter

    According to this document, it is the salary divided by 195 days. Holidays pause the clock, but do not stop the clock. I.e. working weeks count towards the twelve weeks.

    However, the school is at liberty to say that the post would only have been advertised at M2-3 or something.

    @Lara mfl 05 ...if the OP has already worked more than twelve weeks for the setting and is now being asked to continue, surely AWR means the OP should be paid this summer...the problem being, they haven’t pushed the AWR issue immediately when the twelve weeks passed.

    So sorry to read that you are being treated like this. I really think finders’ fees are a massive problem in getting back into contracted work.
  7. Foggyday

    Foggyday New commenter

    Yes, you're right, this is where the confusion lies, and the lesson I should learn from this is: always ask for things to be written down. I very much doubt the agency would pay me over the summer, but I can ask. Cheers.
    pepper5 and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  8. Foggyday

    Foggyday New commenter

    Thank you very much for the link! Yes, I just KNOW the agency is going to try to pull off the "we'll pay you like the NQT then" However the school already told me how much they would pay me on a contract and that's M6 scale + SEN.
    agathamorse and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  9. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Hi Foggyday

    Welcome to the forum.
  10. Lucilla90

    Lucilla90 Occasional commenter

    Just realised my own slight error, above...if you are paid scale divided by 195 that actually covers the amount you would get in the holidays,within your weekly pay...as you are getting your pay scale ( which would include holidays) divided by the working days.

    Sorry, hope that makes sense...the document I linked in explains this.

    Most importantly, make sure AWR are implemented.
    Foggyday, pepper5 and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  11. Foggyday

    Foggyday New commenter

    I see, yes that makes sense. So it comes down to: the agency either pay me the right amount for the AWR or it's bye-bye at the end of July. Thank you for all the help! :)
    gingerhobo48 and pepper5 like this.
  12. Foggyday

    Foggyday New commenter

    Forgot to say the AWR haven't started yet. Even though I started in January the 12 week period was started between the school and agency at the end of February, so technically skipping the holidays, I'm on week 10.
  13. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    You wouldn't have got paid over Summer anyway.

    If you really want a permanent contract at this school starting on September then push HR to sort it - tell them if they can't then no dice.

    Otherwise you will be on a supply contract for most of next year as well.
    Lara mfl 05 and pepper5 like this.
  14. Foggyday

    Foggyday New commenter

    I suspect this is what the agency is trying to push me into.

    How long after you stop working for a school can an agency claim this "finder's fee"? I have read in my agency's terms and conditions reference to a "relevant period" of 8 weeks. Is that the "cooling off period"? Does it mean that if I were to not work for the school for 8 weeks, say 6 weeks of holidays plus another 2 weeks, then the agency would no longer have the power to claim anything?
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  15. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Usually the school can "do a deal" with the agency if they want you.
    gingerhobo48 and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  16. nearmiss

    nearmiss Lead commenter

    OK. The agency doesn't have a leg to stand on if you have a standard contract and you have worked for more than 12 weeks through the agency for the same hirer. AWR is the law, and it would be pointless for the agency to plead against it.
    The weeks do not necessarily have to be consecutive weeks or even full weeks.
    The regulations allow for gaps of up to 6 weeks.
    Hirer is classed as the LEA not just the school, so if you have been in several schools under the same local authority, the time still accrues, even if you change from one school to another. The same applies to academy chains and multi acdemy trusts, so you could in fact have a much bigger claim.
    The clock adding up the weeks stops at school holidays and continues afterwards as there can be no offer of work during those times.
    You are not paid for the periods of school closure such as school holidays.
    You have up to three months to claim back AWR owed.
    I would urge you very strongly to contact your union if you are a member, or if not, Citizens Advice.
    You have a prima facie case of AWR avoidance and the agency will have to make up back pay and pay you to scale for any subsequent days worked. It is the law.
    Whether you are a member or not, there are template letters on the NEU/NUT pages linked at the top of this forum under the title "useful Union advice". Find the members section and link to supply teacher toolkit.
    There is a letter that you can send to your agency.
    There is no need to involve the school in this, yet. Just contact the agency, stating the start date, which you can easily prove by pay slips. Stand your ground.

    Many of the people who staff agency offices have little or no training, so they could be completely ignorant of your rights and their responsibilities, so accept no excuses. The onus is on them.
  17. Landofla

    Landofla Established commenter

    I’ve never heard of the agency and school agreeing when to start the 12 week period for AWR.

    If I were you, I would state what I want:
    • to be back paid the money owed under AWR once I had done 12 weeks
    • to receive summer pay/July contract, as initially discussed

    I would make clear that if I didn’t get what I asked for that I would not return to school. Give whatever notice you need to and just work that. My notice was only one week at all agencies I worked for. You know you are in demand so make sure you get what you are worth. You already stated several reasons why you don’t particularly want this job anyway.

    I remember once telling a school I loved being at that I wasn’t able to continue due to the agency not paying my scale and the school argued the toss with the agency. It was all sorted by the end of the week. If the school want you, they will have you.

    Edit: £140 a day works out at just above M3 but not quite M4 on the pay scale when divided by 195 days. It is 195 days as it is the number of days worked.
    Foggyday likes this.
  18. MissSnack

    MissSnack New commenter

    Hi All,I'm getting close to my 12 weeks at my current school.I will be permanent from September but would be great if I would be paid to scale sooner.Do I just contact my agency regarding this?Any suggestions?
  19. nearmiss

    nearmiss Lead commenter

    The school can't make up its pay policy as it goes along. If the school has an official standing policy of no pay portability for employees and recent appointments beat that out, then and only then can the school insist that the pay scale for the post is lower than the the scale the incumbent supply teachers would ordinarily be entitled to. Otherwise when 12 weeks is up, they must pay your MPS pay scale point.
    Foggyday likes this.
  20. MissSnack

    MissSnack New commenter

    Does it mean when the 12 weeks is up,I should be on a pay scale and this would continue in September?

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