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Hourly pay cut for teaching online

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by Iulbahar, Oct 1, 2020.

  1. Iulbahar

    Iulbahar New commenter

    I had a long term contract teaching English as a Foreign Language for 2 hours a week in a school for most of last year. At the end of the academic year the agency told me the school wanted me to continue and I was sent an email, stating the hours and pay (£30 per hour) for this year. The school then asked if I would be prepared to carry out the tuition on line, which I agreed to. I was due to start tomorrow and had already prepared the first lesson, when I received a phone call from the agency, saying the pay would only be £20-25 per hour as 'you don't have to travel'. I have told them I can't continue unless I get the previously agreed rate. Is this the shape of things to come? Would it be worth getting union advice? Frankly, for the extra work and stress of teaching on line it simply isn't worth it, even though I've got no other work at the moment.
  2. lizziescat

    lizziescat Star commenter

    I don’t know much about supply pay and responsibility for paying tax and NI but these thoughts......

    Who has set the new rate? School or agency?

    The logic, here, is that pay includes an element of ‘travel allowance’
    Do you get paid more if the school is further away?’

    Did your previous supply rate include a travel allowance? Is your pay usually itemised as pay and expenses for tax purposes.. Aren’t expenses such as travel allowance non taxable or non NI payable?

    Does the agency think you’ve been wrongly taxed on this in the past?
    Perhaps these are questions you can raise with the agency because of tax /NI implications .

    edit: yup someone (school or agency) is trying it on but what you can do about it is dependent on your circumstances, relationship with agency and who made the decision.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2020
  3. Iulbahar

    Iulbahar New commenter

  4. Iulbahar

    Iulbahar New commenter

    I don't think it's got anything to do with tax. There's an informal agreement (nothing in writing) that you might be able to negotiate a higher rate if the school is further away. The agency claims it's the school who want to pay less. I was just furious that this has been arranged since July, with the hourly rate stated in an email, then 24 hours before I'm due to start, I get this phone call.
    Someone is definitely trying to pull a fast one.
  5. lizziescat

    lizziescat Star commenter

    So the school has just lowered its pay. That has nothing to do with how far away you are. My point was that if the agency was giving you travel as an excuse for the lower pay then that could apply to schools further away. If it’s the schools excuse, how would the school know what your travel arrangement and costs are. ( travel expenses aren’t taxed )
    I didn’t think that was the real reason just some made up justification. by agency? (less likely to be the school Id have thought)

    The school has decided to pay less so, I m sorry that you have to decide whether it’s worth it.
    Its pretty poor practice and shameful if the agency is being less than honest with you.

    Here’s hoping you get a better offer closer to home
    agathamorse likes this.
  6. BenjaminBoxer

    BenjaminBoxer New commenter

    Agree with lizziescat. Essentially, how important are these 2 hours a week to you? Is the school that prestigious that it's a privilege to work for them for less? Can the income be replaced from elsewhere?

    I am supply but only work direct for schools now. When I worked for an agency direct, the promised extra money for doing long distance supply never materialised. On the one hand, hold the line on behalf of yourself and all of us - if you don't further cuts could result. On the other, how desperate are you in the moment?

    The tax laws for claiming for transport are complex. The over- riding precept is that you can't claim tax relief for your basic journey to work unless you then go on to other places. If HMRC disregards your journey to work, I think the agency has a bloomin cheek trying to take it into account! For most supply teachers, any extra payments for long journeys come from the agency's budget (hence they don't usually pay unless desperate) rather than any recognition by HMRC.
    lizziescat and agathamorse like this.

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