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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50148
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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Would like to know what kind of restrictions can actually

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Hi, would like to know what kind of restrictions can actually recruitment agencies put on a supply teacher's contract. They asked me to sign a contract where I am liable of paying damage to the recruitment agency if I find a job (and therefore leave them) with a notice less than 4 weeks. But with these terms I will never be able to find a job! They are giving me now 5 hours a week in a school and it cannot be enough.
Hello, my name is***** am a solicitor on this site and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. What notice period would you say is reasonable in the circumstances?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Usually, if you are successful in getting a position after an interview, they tell you with a couple of weeks in advance. I think one week notice to quit supply teaching should be enough. Or you are not able to accept a full time job, if it's offered to you.

It is entirely possible on recruitment agencies to place such restrictions in your contract, however whether they are enforceable is another question. Just because it is in the contract I does not mean they can automatically rely on it. They still have to show it was reasonable and fair. They also have to show that you have caused them damage by leaving early and that they could not have avoided it or reduced it. They cannot just penalise you because penalty clauses are illegal. So they can only pursue you for actual and reasonable losses they have incurred and losses which could not be avoided or reduced by them. They also have to go to court to get these and considering how much they may be for it is uncertain whether they would go that far. Of course, you also do not have to accept the contract if you do not want to and you would not be bound by these terms. I trust this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page). If for any reason you are unhappy with my response or 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
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

thank you for your reply, Ben. I have another question: I can ask it here directly or open a new one, as you prefer. anyway your reply was good, so i will give you a good rate :)

the other question is: is it a valid contract to sign? Can they do this thing, of having you signing another contract with a payroll agency and make it appear that you are an employee of the payroll agency (it is actually "asset services", maybe you heard of it), and THEN, as an employee of the payroll agency, you sign with them as a consultant, AND your performance as a consultant is "science teacher" for the Client, that is the school?

Are you actually legally entitled to sign such a contract? this is what mostly was strange to me, and the fact that at the end of the contract I should confirm the bank details of "asset services", so that money will pass:

1) from the school to the recruitment agency

2) from the recruitment agency to the accountants' company

3) after taxation, from the accountants' company to me.

So, THE QUESTION IS: can I actually sign a contract where I, as an employee of the accountants' company, work as a consultant for the recruitment agency? (and PRACTICALLY teach science in school? )

Such contracts can be valid and are common. I have worked under something similar in the past, were I work as a consultant via what is known 'an umbrella company' or a third party company, which provides my services to a client (in your case the school) and also had accountants which would pay me after tax - so basically the same as you. It is legal
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