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Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by sbkrobson, Oct 19, 2019.

  1. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    A very specific question couched in the increasing necessity to bargain your way into the best supply situation.
    If I were to accept a supply assignment which would incur enormous travel costs then I would request my travel costs to be at least part reimbursed.
    Who do I put this to? The supply agency, or the school?
    I am not asking about the likelihood of achieving my request, but about the correct person to put it to.
    thanks in advance for your thoughts
  2. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    I'd have said to the school but I've no experience of this.

    Bear in mind that travel expenses from home to school are likely to be considered taxable by HMRC, wholly or in part (the rules are a bit complex for people like supply teachers who work at different places - union may be able to advise).
  3. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    It would be to the agency who would then negotiate with the school. If you are working at a school through an agency, all rates and expenses are negotiated between the agency and the school.

    If you are being paid PAYE through an agency you cannot claim your travel expenses against your tax liabilities as I tried to do it last tax year and the tax office said I could not.
  4. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    Surely what you want is the agency to increase your daily rate to compensate for the costs. Yes you would have to pay tax and NI etc but there would be more money in your pay packet without extra paperwork.
    sbkrobson and pepper5 like this.
  5. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    Definitely the agency, your contract is with them but consider this......

    During the initial discussions about the post between the school and agency no-one gave a hoot about the supply's travel considerations. They don't care in any event. Maybe the rate can be negotiated up or maybe not and then the supply decides if it's worth the effort.

    Do not fall for the trap of thinking that you shouldn't try to negotiate up if the school is on your doorstep. The agency still doesn't care about your travelling time, just their profit margin.
    agathamorse, sbkrobson and pepper5 like this.
  6. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    I got asked to go to a school in Coventry (I live in South Brum). When I said it was a bit far the agent immediately added £10 to my daily rate to cover petrol costs. That was because (i think) I work for the Brum office and I was doing the Coventry office a favour by filling a spot for them. It turned out to be a PRU but actually quite nice and I went back a couple of times more.
    agathamorse and sbkrobson like this.
  7. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Thank you-all interesting points, and as I suspected a number of takes on it.
    I am tempted to ask the agency for an increased daily rate to cover the additional expense @blazer-good idea.
    I have no qualms about telling an agency "this is what I will do this job for", but they are always able to say no to a request specifically for travel costs as a matter of policy and consistency with others.
    This is a one off thing for a couple of weeks, maybe longer, but really rather hard to get to, and they cannot get anybody else at short notice. The school definitely want me-we met this last week, so I guess that's some bargaining power.

    I hate the way an agency will get all shirty at the fact of you pointing out salient features of your value, as if it's them doing the actual job. As if they have forgotten that if you don't go and do the job then in fact they get nothing. I don't enjoy that lack of respect, not because I want respect, but because it's a bit stupid and transparent. Estate agenty almost.
    If they refuse to up my rate to cover travel then I wont do it.
  8. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    No. I don't blame you. You deserve the extra money to travel to the back of beyond.
    agathamorse and sbkrobson like this.
  9. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    I put my point badly earlier.
    “Don’t we deserve a higher rate anyway?”

    If the agency can throw in an extra tenner for that reason then why not any other? We’re not talking about any educational reasons just a Christmas Bonus for the agent.
    sbkrobson and agathamorse like this.
  10. MissGeorgi

    MissGeorgi Occasional commenter

    My recent long term assignment I was paid an extra £10 a day for a 50 minute commute.
    sbkrobson, pepper5 and agathamorse like this.
  11. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    I get your point, but then augmenting what you ask for becomes infinite.
    I am more than happy with my current rate-I cannot honestly say "I deserve a better rate" because my pleasure has arrived already in making them grumpily concede to what I wanted to get, not what they wanted to give. So I've peaked. It's fine.
    But there really does need to be extra for this potential journey-it's in the middle of nowhere, with only a taxi option if the car fails for some reason or if I cannot bear the thought of aquaplaning through some woods in a hurry. I'm conscious of that when it gets colder. Through bad experience.
    The idea of adding it to the daily rate is not the same as increasing the daily rate- it is simply to streamline the process eg processing an additional claim to a weekly time sheet . If they indicate that a separate payment would for some reason save them a few pence, then I'll go with that too.
    pepper5 and JohnJCazorla like this.
  12. nearmiss

    nearmiss Lead commenter

    Contracted teachers are not entitl5to claim their commuting expenses, so legally it's not a right. As others have said, daily rates are held artificially low by many agencies. Never accept the first offer. You have to bargain for more.
    pepper5, sbkrobson and agathamorse like this.
  13. Deirds

    Deirds Senior commenter

    Just say that you need an extra £10 a day to work in that school...
    I did similar and it turned into my standard rate...

    If they refuse don't go to that school.
    pepper5, sbkrobson and agathamorse like this.
  14. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    It's not illegal, any employer could pay commuting expenses if they wanted to (but very few would do so). But as far as HMRC are concerned that isn't normally a tax-deductible expense and would be taxed in income. Obviously OP could achieve the same increase in net pay by negotiating an increased daily rate rather than expenses re-imbursement, with less hassle with HMRC.
  15. Robfreeman

    Robfreeman Occasional commenter

    It's with the agency expect them to say the school says no because if your getting 130 a day the agency is flogging you at 199 a day typically.

    130 equates to about M2 if you do an entire year.
    sbkrobson likes this.
  16. physicsfanboy

    physicsfanboy Occasional commenter

    It's very simple. You work out what it will cost to get you to do the gig. This must factor in everything (time, how poor the school is, travelling, regularity and reliability of the gig, how dangerous the pupils are). Then tell the agency and don't budge for anything.
    Do them no favours at all ever.
    pepper5 and sbkrobson like this.
  17. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Thank you all for the replies-it's been very interesting to hear all the views on it, which are just about unanimous that a supply ought to only accept a placement if they feel that their costs are covered.
    Just to conclude the story if you're interested, my agency agreed to an exceptionally good rate in deference to my concerns about the extra costs, and I'm actually more than pleased. Surprised even. Probably the stars aligned on this one-hard to get to, difficult timing as many others are already busy, shortage subject, and I think I wowed them with my interview lesson-I made it pens free and still kept them busy..
    I particularly like the post that states that once you're up there, it becomes your normally accepted rate. That's the sort of triumph we deserve. But I'm not too sure that's going to apply here-let's see. But I like the notion that "there's no going back on pay" for an agency.
    Feel slightly sad that this ought to apply to permanently contracted teachers, but that's another thread.
    Thanks again for the responses
    JohnJCazorla likes this.
  18. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Don't do it - get them to find you a school closer to home.
    pepper5 likes this.
  19. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Sorry,have been late to spot your reply.
    Why would you say this specifically?
  20. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Too much time lost, too much money spent and too much energy wasted on the journeys to and from school.

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