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Supply teacher pay after 12 weeks

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Tanyashi, Dec 7, 2017.

  1. Tanyashi

    Tanyashi New commenter

    Hi. I have been working at a school for 13 weeks, and they are more than happy with my work and have asked me to stay till end of school year - thats great. My agency are not upping my money to what I should be paid on the MPS as they say 'When we ask the 12 week question its worded as : What scale would you employ a teacher on if they were carrying out the same roles and responsibilities as candidate x

    The school then can come back to us with whatever pay scale they would advertise at.

    In this instance they have given a pay scale that is lower than your current rate of pay.

    Therefore your pay will not change.' If this is correct then theres nothing I can do, but when I've looked into this online it says they have to pay you the rate you are on the teaching pay scale. Anyone know what the actual facts of this are please?
  2. thekillers1

    thekillers1 Lead commenter

    Sorry to say this, yet the agency will not increase your pay. For example, I was paid £110 per day (before tax) - even though the school had paid the agency over £180 - at a school with a long term supply role; having to take on a longer school day and running a booster club (teachers were paid an additional lump sum per month, whilst I wasn't!), resulted me leaving and joining another organisation. End result? The school lost out. My advice? Get a reference from the school and move on to a contracted position without the agency's involvement.
  3. Tanyashi

    Tanyashi New commenter

    Thanks for reply. This is what I expected to be the case. I am so annoyed at the greed of the agency, and the smug smarminess of my agents reply! I'm doing 55 -60hrs a week for basically NQT money or less. Its a shame as its te first school I would actually like to work for permanently.I already thought perhaps I should just apply for a contracted position.
    catbefriender and phlogiston like this.

    SEBREGIS Lead commenter

    Agencies decide how much they pay their employees out of what the school gives them. Its nothing to do with the school, school policy or whatever. If they receive £180 per day from the school, they will pay you £110 and pocket the rest. They will not be able to get any more from the employer, but that's their problem. Their business model works on getting as much as they can from the employer and giving as little as they can to the employee.

    Basically, If you are confident that the school likes you and would prefer you to stay on, threaten to find another agency. They will then either have to find someone else or fork out a bit more from their end. So they might make £50 a day for nothing rather than £70.They may go for it, they may not. long term supply contracts can be better paid because they are no hassle for the agency who have to do little more than cash a cheque. But don't let them pass the blame on to the school.

    If you really like the place and would consider staying, there's no harm in asking if they have a permanent role coming up.
  5. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    This advice is too late for you (unless you up sticks and go to another school) but the 12 week deal is essentially a con to get you to keep going for longer. If it didn't exist then you'd start getting stroppy after about 5 weeks and that is more inconvenient for both agency and school.

    My practise is to only be cheap for 2 weeks and then go for it. So my current gig paid £150 a day for 7 days and then £195 currently thereafter. But I was already agitating in the form of "Well I'll do until ....... while we work out if we are suitable for each other but after that I need a serious pay rise." This pressure was passed on to the agency and presumably on to the school.
    Of course as I am in a shortage subject I haven't been observed or assessed apart from. "Mr Cazorla appears to be better than nobody".

    There is a downside, of course, I have already suffered being released early at least once because somebody (cheaper) turned up but I can cope both financially and mentally with that uncertainty for the bonus of being able to drift along under the SLT radar.
    Tanyashi and bounceback like this.
  6. Tanyashi

    Tanyashi New commenter

    Hi, thanks for your reply. I am suspicious that the school hasn't said that. I doubt he's even asked for any extra money for me. I'd love to know what theyre charging the school! I know the school will be advertising the post and I want to apply. Would the school have to pay an introduction fee even if I responded to an advert for the post?
  7. thekillers1

    thekillers1 Lead commenter

    Finding that agency staff are less likely to hold qualifications and have the nastiness to say **** you to all professionals for **** pay. What I do know is that after 12 or 18 weeks, you can be paid directly by the school. Look at the agency’s contract and find when the school has completed its payment trail (finder’s fee).

    Personally, one agency that many people have complained have been known as T.P. Agency staff from certain organisations can be potentially useless for the teacher, eg phone if there’s a problem - then they’ll suggest talking to the school.
    Tanyashi and bounceback like this.
  8. thekillers1

    thekillers1 Lead commenter

    No! Because the school has paid the agency over a period of time. Potentially, this could be up to 18 weeks; however, check the terms and conditions which you have signed to.
    bounceback likes this.
  9. thekillers1

    thekillers1 Lead commenter

  10. bounceback

    bounceback Occasional commenter

    The 12 week rule is actually law and I believe the agency have to pay you to scale. As others have stated the school will be paying far more than you are getting. I think you should contact your union for advice. There are cases where unions have recovered back pay for teachers who haven't been paid to scale after 12 weeks. Of course the agency may terminate your work at this school now you have gone past 12 weeks, but this is also covered by AWR I believe. Also, I can't imagine the school would be very happy to lose you now. I personally believe that you should fight for what you are entitled to.

    If the school takes you on a contract they may have to pay a finder's fee to the agency. It probably depends on the contract the school has with the agency. I'm not sure if they have to pay a fee if you apply for the job in response to an advert placed independently of the agency though. I can't imagine that they would. The agency don't own you! Definitely speak to your union.

    There is an Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate, and while I don't think they deal with AWR (as far as i'm aware), it might be worth talking to them for advice.

    It infuriates me the way that agencies are manipulating supply teachers and schools for profit - for what? Roll on the day when all supply teachers are employed directly by schools again - as they used to be.

    Good Luck and please let us know how you get on.
  11. Landofla

    Landofla Established commenter

    I have been in your situation. I spoke to the sch and told them, in an informal way, that I wasn’t paid to scale so didn’t know if I would be able to carry on the placement. The sch were horrified - at least to my face. I then rang my agency and told them that because of the money, I wasn’t able to continue the placement.

    Guess what? They upped my pay and paid me to scale. The sch were requesting me and would go to another agency if they couldn’t have me.

    If you are in a position where you can risk no pay, then go for it! Make sure you tell the sch it is because of the agency and tell them how much you love it there and want to apply for the post though.
  12. bounceback

    bounceback Occasional commenter

    YAY!! Good for you and well done the school!!
    Landofla likes this.
  13. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Absolutely. That's exactly how you do it.

    wanet likes this.
  14. Jessaki

    Jessaki Occasional commenter

    This what I hate about agency work. Before teaching I did many years of temp work through agencies. I worked for about 5 agencies in total and only two of them I would describe as excellent, the rest were just out to get as much out of the employers and the workers. The agents are all on commission too, so they will tell you anything to ensure they still get the money off of your work. What is even more infuriating with supply agencies for schools, is that it is public money being paid directly into private hands. Tax money used for schools being paid to private companies, often at a higher rate. This is another thing adding to under funding in schools!
  15. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Ah, yes.

    Don't forget agencies for staff working in hospitals and social care! @Jessaki

    Just an excuse for "entrepreneurs" to make a few bob for doing not a lot.
    wyonamason and bounceback like this.
  16. Jessaki

    Jessaki Occasional commenter

    @grumpydogwoman Oh yes know. I worked in the NHS and the county council in my temping days. I remember years ago, I was told the rate was £5 p/h rising to £5.50 after 6 weeks. The 6 weeks came and went, without my 50p pay rise, I called the agency and asked what had happened, they said the pay had not been increased by the employer. I queried this with them, they said it had (and had in fact been paying the higher rate from the beginning) and the agent had lied to keep an extra 50p per hour! I never worked for that agency again!

    As for the OPs problem, we had a colleague doing long term supply (because my school would not advertise for a proper maternity cover). The lady we had working with us was dedicated and hard working. As she was long term, the school expected her to plan and mark, attend meetings and parents evenings, provide cover work in her absence and do the odd cover lesson. After about 2 months with us, she asked should she not be being paid more, because she is long term and doing all the duties a full time permanent teacher would and I said yes. She said she was being paid the same as she was always paid when she had done day supply work. I queried this with our cover supervisor and she told me she was on the higher pay for long term supply, she showed me the rate difference between day and long term and the school were paying the agency £70 more per day, yet the agency were still paying there the same! The agency tried to fob her off, with some excuse, she ended up getting a little more, but not much. It is appalling.
    Landofla likes this.
  17. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    Some agencies actually expect teachers to accept a lower rate for long-term supply, in exchange for a more regular income!
  18. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Star commenter

    Glad to see they have changed their stance. Don't forget that the 12 week rule (law) means you are treated as if you were directly employed by the school, such that you are entitled to pay over the holidays. So make sure the uplift in pay covers this (on M1 outside London/fringe) I calculate that roughly as £118 for each teaching day (or just over £18 an hour). Plus they should pay you even if you are ill.
  19. bounceback

    bounceback Occasional commenter

    Yes, it's absolutely infuriating. They are just out to get as much money as they can on the backs of the supply teachers and the taxpayer. They are so devious in the way they operate. The last agency I worked for had conditions written into their agreement about not discussing pay rates with the schools or any third party. That makes it so much easier for them to rip teachers and schools off. That particular agency were very dishonest. The most galling thing was that they acted as though they had my best interests at heart. Words can't express how disgusted I was with their behaviour.

    The waste of public money is shameful.
    wyonamason likes this.
  20. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    This is going back to around 2011, but my final teaching post started in much the same way. I took on a long term sickness cover as a supply and was paid agency rate for the first 12 weeks, ending around January. The teacher I was covering left and I was asked to stay for the rest of the school year. The school's Supply Manager did some sums and worked out that it would be cheaper for the school to pay the agency's release fee and employ me directly, so that's what they did, and not only was I paid to scale (UPS3) but it was pensionable too. The following school year the school offered me a 12 month part time contract in the same post, which I saw through to the end then decided to leave the profession.

    The 12 week rule is due to the EU's Agency Workers' Regulations (AWR), which I suspect may have been twisted by the employer in the OP's case to pretend that the post isn't worth the teacher's existing scale pay. However, with Academies anything goes pay-wise, so that might be the problem.

    I'd suggest that a direct approach to the school's supply manager might be worth your while as they may save money by employing you directly and cutting out the middle man.
    Landofla likes this.

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