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Fees to an agency....

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by alicepurcell7, Oct 7, 2020.

  1. mrsowens7

    mrsowens7 New commenter

    I wonder if anyone can help me understand my position. I have been doing Primary School Supply for a few years now but my circumstances have changed and I want to look for a part time role. I have read my very confusing contract and cannot tell if I have to let the agency know if I want to apply for a job at a school I have visited through them in the past? I would be applying directly for the roles on a County Council website. I havn't been asked to by the school or agency.
    Would the school have to pay a fee to the agency because they have 'met' me through the agency in the past?
    The agnecy I work through have not had my best interests in mind on several occasions in the past and I'm looking to move on and find myself a part time role.
    Thanks for any advice or experiences of this
  2. educ80

    educ80 Occasional commenter

    Hi Alice,

    Regardless of what agencies may say and think, the overriding law is detailed in this link below.


    In summary, if The 'Hirer' (the school) gives you a job within 8 weeks of the end of your last work through the agency, or within 14 weeks since your last role started there (whichever is later) then they can not levy a fee at all.

    That is the law, pure and simple and this overrides any contract you sign with an agency.

    I would normally advocate communicating with the agency but if they have not done right by you over time then dont bother with them, just check the dates and go for it.
    agathamorse likes this.
  3. mrsowens7

    mrsowens7 New commenter

    Thanks for the reply. If I apply to a job advert I see does this change the facts? I haven't been asked to apply by the school. It would be for a Maternity cover.
    I'm trying to think of the future as I was hoping to re-enter the part time work force this year but Covid put a stop to that. It's at a school I really like but I have even covered a day there this week.
  4. mrsowens7

    mrsowens7 New commenter

    Please excuse grammar and spelling above I'm trying to cook dinner for my hungry children and post! :)
  5. educ80

    educ80 Occasional commenter

    If you are a regular supply at that school then it does make it a challenge somewhat. And the fact that you have applied to a job advert doesn't change the definition of an 'Introduction' for the purposes of this situation I'm afraid.

    There are a few choices.

    One, you tell the agency, get them involved and tell the school at the start. Hopefully the school will lean on the agency and use the relationship they have with that agency to lower that fee as much as possible. You never know, that agency could have an agreement in place already with the school that means fees can be waived etc
    Alternatively, you keep everything under wraps and try and wing it without letting the agency know. The risk being that they do find out and two weeks after signing your contact, the agency slap in the biggest fee they can because they've been bypassed in the process. This happens most of the time when agencies are bypassed as they find ways of finding things out and it is why the suggestion above exists. This option is much more expensive for the school if it goes wrong.
    Thirdly, you can simply opt not to go there on supply for the next 8 weeks or so until the 'qualification period' elapses and you can join the school with no fee.

    Ultimately the school may well be fine paying a fee and there doesn't need to be a song and dance, so it may well be worth discussing with the school at the outset.

    Good luck,
    agathamorse likes this.
  6. mrsowens7

    mrsowens7 New commenter

    Thanks for the advice, I appreciate it. The job hasn't been advertised yet so I'll have to wait and see. I am going to express interest to the school and when advert goes up I will discuss with the agency. My fear is they will champion someone else for the role as I am more useful to them as a Supply that will be flexible. I've seen it happen before to others and I would quite like some stability for myself and my family for once.
    Thanks again
  7. bounceback

    bounceback Occasional commenter

    I know of a teacher that used to do supply at a school that I used to work at a lot. We were with the same agency at the time. She wanted a permanent job. They advertised a job, she applied for it directly and told the agency. She got the job and the school didn't pay a fee. As I understand it, if you apply directly for an advertised post the school shouldn't have to pay a fee. You could see an advert whether or not you've worked at the school before.
    By contrast, another school I worked at wanted to keep me on for a year and pay me directly. The job wasn't advertised. The agency, same one as above, wouldn't agree to it without the school paying a finder's fee, £12,000 according to the head. Needless to say I wasn't kept on.
    I also think it might depend on the head of any particular school and how much they use an agency. If the agency has a lot of supply in a school they might be concerned about losing business to another agency if they get too greedy demanding large fees.
    agathamorse likes this.
  8. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    If the agency finds out and slaps on a fee, the school might ask you to pay it, as a condition of your continued employment.
    agathamorse likes this.
  9. bounceback

    bounceback Occasional commenter

    I think the difference is in the way you find out about the job. If a school wants to keep on a supply teacher and offer them a job, then fair enough, the agency has introduced that teacher to the school. However, if a job is advertised through other channels and open for anyone to apply for, then I don't think the agency have any claim for a fee. They don't own you. I know the teacher I mentioned in my previous comment told the agency she was applying for a job at the school where she had done supply. The agency didn't get a fee. I doubt they would have made a fuss either as it is a big school and they use a lot of supply through several agencies. The agency would likely lose business if they started making demands.

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