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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 44903
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I was off by a recruitment agency, for cancelling a couple

Customer Question

I was laid off by a recruitment agency, for cancelling a couple of jobs , because of this they weren't able to cover the jobs. I have now been approached by one the employers that I worked for through the recruitment agency and they would like to employ me. Is this allowed under employment law and am I allowed to work for them ? Reason why I ask is agency can file a lawsuit if I go and work for one of their clients within a certain time frame (usually 3 months) or without the client paying a finder's fee. Is this still the case in the event i was laid off by a recruitment agency, does this rule still apply?
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 months ago.

How long ago did you cease working for the agency? Also, is there anything in the contract you had with them that would suggest any such restriction?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
The agency laid me off about 2 weeks ago, I haven't done anymore work for them since then . There is a 3 month period in the contract, but that is if I'm still employed by the agency, I am not employed by the agency anymore.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 months ago.

OK, thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and laws and will get back to you at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Also, please do not responded to this message as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 months ago.

Many thanks for your patience. Employment agencies have traditionally been eager to protect the revenue they get from supplying temporary workers to end user clients. They normally do so by including certain "restrictive covenants" or clauses within their contracts to either prevent a contractor from taking up direct employment with an end user, usually for the duration of the contract plus an extended period after termination, or which imposes a substantial fee if they do. The civil courts have on many occasions deliberated whether such "restrictive covenants" are fair and reasonable and there is still no single definitive answer.

Under UK and EU legislation there have been attempts to allow workers to seek employment wherever they choose, without restriction, thus removing any restraint of trade prohibitions. The most relevant piece of legislation in this respect is Regulation 10 of The Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations 2003.

Where a temporary contract between an agency and an end user contains provisions to charge fees in a situation where the worker is taken on by the end user, it must now also provide the option of an "extended period of hire" where the end user client continues to pay the agency margin while engaging the worker directly (or through another agency).

Where there are provisions for the payment of a fee and/or an extended hire period, the Regulations state that they are unenforceable beyond 8 weeks from the termination of the contract (or, if longer, 14 weeks from the start of the contract).

So effectively this creates a situation where an end user client who wishes to employ a contractor directly (or transfer the contractor to another agency) AND where there is a contract preventing the hiring of the agency worker by the end user, will have 3 options:

1. Pay the transfer fee stipulated in the contract.

2. Pay the extended hire fee stipulated in the contract.

3. Terminate the contract (presumably with due notice) and wait for the specified 8 or 14 week period to end.

If no restrictions existed in any contract then you are free to do as you wish and work for whoever you want.

I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 months ago.

Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. If this has answered your question please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars from the top of the page. I spend a lot of time and effort answering individual queries and I am not credited for my time until you leave your rating. If you still need further help please get back to me on here and I will assist as best as I can. Many thanks.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 months ago.

Hello, do you need any further assistance or are you happy with the above response? Look forward to hearing from you.

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