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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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I run a healthcare recruitment agency. I recently won a

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Hi, I run a healthcare recruitment agency.
I recently won a client where my competitor also supplies temp staff.
As I am getting more work here, my competitor's temp staff want to join my agency so they can continue working there, they also say that contracts employment contracts were signed.
What do I do? and what are the implications?

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

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
thank you

Who have the temp staff signed contracts with exactly? Please can you also tell me what concerns you about this situation so that I can look into it and advise. Thank you

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
temps from the other agency who want to join me haven't signed contracts with that agency
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Would i face a law-suit by effectively poaching their staff?

OK thank you, ***** ***** it with me. I am in court today so will prepare my advice during the day and 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. Thank you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

No problem at all

Hi there I just need some more clarification before answering please. So the competitor used to supply agency staff there but after you won that client they stopped doing so? You now supply temp staff there but the other agency's staff want to continue working for that client and now want to join your agency in order to do so?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The competitor is still supplying but I have been made preferred supplier. This is why these competitors temps want to join me.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
the temps want to carry on working for this client though me as I am getting more work hence preferred supplier.

OK thanks. There is nothing illegal with taking on staff of other agencies, whether through them approaching you first or you enticing them to join you. This is basic competition which is not illegal. What would be a potential issue is if you had some sort of agreement with the other agency but that does not appear to be the case. Another consideration is if the workers you are trying to employ had any restrictions themselves with their employer which may prevent them from working for another competitor. But that is nothing to do with you – these restrictions would not directly affect you because it is a matter for the workers and their employer, so if they breach them then they will be the ones who are going to potentially be in trouble. If you were to employ someone who is under a restriction with their employer then you will not be the one who the employer could sue – they can only sue a party with which they have a contractual agreement and as you have nothing at all in that respect, they cannot sue you. At worse you will not be able to employ these people because they would not want to move to you as they are restricted by a contract with their employer, however if they join you regardless of that, it is them that will have potential issues, not you.

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

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Many thanks.
Would the agency have some sort of clause with the client that doesn't allow this?

That could also be a possibility but less likely as the clauses they are more likely to have are to do with the client directly engaging the agency's staff, not prevention of them moving to another agency, but still worth checking.

If your original question has been answered I would be grateful if you could please quickly rate my answer by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page - it only takes a second to do and is an important part of our process. I can still answer follow up questions afterwards if needed. Thank you

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you very much Ben Jones!

You are most welcome, all the best

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
HI Bwn, I gope youre well. I've looked in the above furhter and found that if I recruit workers already being supplied by the other agency, I will be liable to pay what's called either a temp to temp or a third party fee?

that could indeed be the case if such fees are specifically provided for in any agreement but it is a contractual matter, rather than a legal one so it depends on what terms are already in existence - it does not mean it will apply to every case