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Guaranteed work contract -amount of days reduced from last year

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by giddyG2001, Dec 21, 2015.

  1. giddyG2001

    giddyG2001 New commenter

    I've been working on supply with the same agency for approx a year and a half. For the past two terms, I've been on a guaranteed work agreement with them and it's worked really well for me....until now.

    I got sent my new contract today starting in Jan and the dates it covers means I will be contracted to working 17 days less with them compared to the same time last year, this means a fall in income of nearly £2000.

    I have emailed them and asked if I could have the dates adjusted (eg - at the moment the contract starts 2 weeks after the Summer team starts in April and finishes 2 weeks before the end of term) but being Christmas, they've either decided not to reply or are too busy.

    I'm really quite worried about this, I'm the sole earner in a single parent household and was relying on that money - perhaps I shouldn't have been so naive to think the dates would be the same but the 2 contracts I've had have covered me for the majority of the term so I really didn't think it would be different come Jan.

    I now face the quandary of what to do if this agency comes back and says the dates are unmoveable. Do I then move onto another agency with the hope that they can offer me work enough work? Or say I won't sign it and work with more than 1 agency and hope between them I get enough? Or go back to full time teaching - something I really don't want to do but at the moment see it as a viable option I may have to take.

    I know many people haven't had great experiences with agencies, but mine has generally been hassle free, until now.

    Any advice welcome.
  2. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    There's nothing to stop you working for another agency.

    Well done on making your GWA work - people generally hate them on here.

    I was working for a (good) agency who were getting me lots of work but I still signed on with another and they found me a long term contract within a few days so shop around.
  3. giddyG2001

    giddyG2001 New commenter

    I'm pretty certain that under the terms of my contract, it says I can't work for another agency, but will check.

    My friend has said that there is nothing to stop you working for another agency on those 17 days, and I think she's right, it just means then I'll be emergency taxed and the uncertainty would worry me. It's frustrating as well as for the past years things have been fine with this agency, I don't really know why it's changed
  4. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Don't ever worry about your tax situation with two agencies; at the end of the tax year, you simply fill in a self assessment tax return or get a bookkeeper to do if for you ( not expensive) and the government will refund any overpaid tax to you. You can also always call your local tax office to give you tax codes in connection with working for two agencies, but the point is that if you ever over pay tax, if you fill in an assessment form, the government will refund any over paid tax. YAY!
  5. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Self assessment tax forms seem intimidating but they really are not. I fill out one every year now because of my tutoring and marking activities and it takes me about half a day to do it.
  6. sirspamalotless

    sirspamalotless Occasional commenter

    Tax forms are easy these days. You fill the current one in by calling up the previous year's one and making any changes. The trick is to write notes to yourself and keep them safe about what any confusing section means, and then refer to them each year. And I've always found a quick phone call to the tax office clears up any problems, as long as you don't mind being on hold for an hour and have free daytime phone calls.
  7. educ80

    educ80 Occasional commenter

    Firstly I think its great that you have secured work at a time when most are struggling, especially if they are committing to gove you work in 5 months time!! This may be of little comfort if your own financial requirements arent being met, but hopefully you feel a little fortunate considering the vast majority of people posting here seem to have had little to no work.
    I agree with any comments saying you should shop around to find other agencies, absolutley, but be aware that to them (a new agency) you are an unknown quantity and they may be very wary of offering GP and/or matching your current pay or prioritising you above other more established teachers on their books at what it is a quiet time of year - this depends on what sector you work in.
    From my experience as a Recruitment Manager at an agency for over ten years the patterns are relatively predictable. In Secondary, after exam season in May/June, it is a ghost town for supply. Some schools even finish Long Term contracts early due to lack of requirements as yrs 11 & 13 go on study leave etc.
    In Primary there is a good consistent flow of work up until the last two weeks of term. Those last two weeks tend to fall quite rapidly so although it doesnt help, it may well be difficult for an agency to find you work in those weeks. Perhaps you could ask them/offer that you are on a reduced Guaranteed Pay Scheme for those 17 days - for example, pledge your loyalty and availability for them in those 17 days in return for say, 12 of the days to be guaranteed? This does mean that you may only end up with 12 of 17 days (effectively you are saying you will be available for 17 days exclusively to them, but are only guaranteed 12 of them) but if you arent on it and roll the dice with other agencies, you may get none at all (you may get all of them!!)
    From your loss of income at £2000 I assume you are on approximately £115 per day, which is in effect the same pay as an NQT (slightly less in fact) - Are you an NQT? And if not could you negotiate your wage up to cover some of the shortfall? - try and remember that you are actually an asset to the agency and they should treat you as such - they wouldnt put you on guranteed work if they didnt rate you as a teacher, and thus, if they rate you they should be in a position to pay you properly and reward you accordingly for the calibre of your work.
  8. giddyG2001

    giddyG2001 New commenter

    Thanks for all your replies.

    I completely agree with you Educ80 that I am very fortunate to be in this position to be offered guaranteed work. I have been keeping an eye on this forum this term and count myself as very fortunate. Hence the dilemma yesterday - I didn't want to cut my nose off to spite my face, go to a new agency who don't know me, I don't know the schools, the distances they may send me. I was also aware that most people seemed to be viewing supply as a dire situation and was wondering if this was a factor in the reduction of days.

    The good news is that today the agency offered me 12 days back which now means I only have 5 less than last year, so that's great. They have also said they will look after me, so fingers crossed those 5 days will be filled with work one way or another. I have called another agency and checked my contract which stated I only have to work exclusively for them on the dates mentioned. So I will be calling a few other agencies to let them know my availability the other days.

    I am an NQT and am on £110 a day, which includes holiday pay. I was thinking about asking for a pay rise to £115 before all this happens but now I'm a bit scared to rock the boat, but at the same time, don't want to be taken advantage of. What would you advise now that I have my 12 days back? Leave it or hedge my bets and ask for a payrise to £115?

    Thanks again
  9. educ80

    educ80 Occasional commenter

    Well thats a happy Christmas story if nothing else. Good news.

    In terms of the pay, it depends on how well you get on with and respect your consultant. I would at the very least have a chat with them about it. You dont want to appear ungrateful and difficult, but equally if you were paid to scale you would get about £118 per day so it may be worth a polite enquiry. Some agencies tend to force a pay cut when entering a guaranteed scheme so watch out for that too.

    On another note, be aware that as long as you are on supply on GP you will also never be in a position to complete your induction (without taking a Long term post and negating the need for GP) and thus will not
    be in a position to be entitled to increments both whilst on supply, and if/when you decide to take a contract post. You have 5 years from graduation but it soon ticks away.
  10. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    Just to clarify: the '5 year clock' applies to the time limit for an NQT working as a short term supply teacher. This time limit does not apply to an NQT who does not undertake supply teaching assignments. Although it's prudent to begin induction fairly quickly after achieving NQT status.

    From Induction for Newly Qualified Teachers (England) Sept 2015


    A qualified teacher who gained QTS on or after 1 September 2007 and who has not completed an induction period, can undertake short-term supply work of less than one term in a relevant school for a maximum period of 5 years from the point of award of QTS. This is a fixed time limit with no discretion to extend. Short-term supply placements of less than one term, or equivalent, cannot count towards induction, as such posts will not provide an NQT with the breadth of experience, support and assessment necessary to enable them to demonstrate that their performance against the relevant standards is satisfactory (see paras 1.5 and 2.17–2.18). 2.14

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