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Recruiter stuffed up!

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by Paulstar3, Jul 5, 2010.

  1. Hey guys! Hopefully someone here has some experience or insight and can help me with this problem!!

    So i just signed a one month contract with a company, all the negotiations were done with an agency and so on.

    The agent and I agreed on a daily rate which i was happy with, I signed the contract and started work. Three days in and he's rang me to say he;s very sorry and has made a mistake the daily rate is actually 25% less than what we had agreed. He said it was a breakdown in communications and so on and he just never realised.

    So now, I think he wants me to sign a new contract for the lower rate. The company is good and I might be sticking around for a while longer. The rate we had agreed on was in my mind -exceptional- for the job im doing, the rate he wants me to sign up on is just normal i guess for this kind of job.

    What to do? What can i do? I signed the contract I thought that should be it.

  2. Well I would have thought if you have a signed contract with the rate specified in it then it was binding...but then common sense ad law are often complete opposites. I'm sure somebody here would have an idea.
  3. I believe if both parties signed the contract then you have the right to enforce it.

    It's only a month and agencies make so much money for jam I wouldn't worry about pissing them off too much. They can easily absorb the difference even if the employer only pays them what was agreed.

    If you sign a replacement contract then you wont hav a leg to stand on.

    I had a very similar situation with my last contract renewal.. they accidentally gave me a 30% payrise!! Unfortunately they realised before I received a copy of the contract signed by them!! (They sent me an unsigned one, I signed it and sent it back, then they told me about the change and sent out new corrected contracts for me to sign).

    Had they signed the pages with the higher value on it I would have fought it.
  4. It could be that the agency is trying to scam you. It wouldn't be the first time. I've heard many horror stories over the years about employment agents.

    It's hard to say exactly without seeing the contract but on the face of it, the agent is obliged to pay that rate on the contract.
  5. Well the contract is signed, and assuming no other issues, it is binding. Considering how standardised employment contracts are (and an agency would be using their standard tick-and-flick variety) it would be hard for them to argue that the contract is not valid.

    But really this will depend in part on what sort of you/agent/employer relationship exists here, as there recruitment agencies tend to come in two forms - there is the version where you are directly employed by the recruitment agent (and they pay your wages, take care of your PAYG, etc) and then they enter into a contract with the other company which then pays the recruiter for you to work for them (so you perform services for the company, which pays the recruiting agent, the agent takes its cut, typically 25% to 33% of what the company is paying for you, and you get what’s left in wages). Technically you are not employed by the company you work for, but this path has some interesting pitfalls, so it’s typically not used for high-end professional jobs where the 'employee' tends to respond with lawyers at the first sign of the agent trying to rip you off. The sorts of agencies which set up systems like this are frequently trying to rip you off. As Russ points out, it's money for jam - you can imagine how much they earn off 'temp' jobs that go on for years where they constantly skim 33% of what the client company is paying. I suspect this in what is in place in your case.

    The other system is where the recruiter remains a 3rd party - basically the do the recruitment on the company’s behalf, and at the end, you are employed directly by the company and the agent gets a commission (or similar) for their work. Typically the agent wouldn't care too much if you were being paid too much for the position because you would have actually signed the employing company’s contracts and it is a direct relationship with them (ie. it isn't the agent’s problem if the company failed to check their contract!).

    If it is the first setup I would recommend you go to the company you actually are doing all the work for and tell them that they can cut out the middle man and hire you directly after the month is up (assuming they like your work and want to keep you on). Good for you, good for them. Alternatively if you want to stick with the recruitment agent for some reason you will need to either negotiate with them to keep the current contract in place until it expires soon, or sign the new one - I wouldn't expect them to be keen to keep 'representing' you if you tell them to stick it.

    If it is the second setup you will have to negotiate directly - that the contract is only for a month is a benefit, they may be willing to cop it on the chin for such a short period. After that, expect to have to take the lower pay rate, though you can negotiate a raise based on your good work so far.
  6. Nah mate, I have had agents try and screw me like this before. Don't stand for it. You negotiated that rate, don't let them scam you. How did they agree to the figure initially? The client must have been willing to pay that rate?

    Usually the idiots forget to include GST in the negotiations. Just means they make less of a cut!
  7. Who is the contract with, the employer or the agency?

    I'd say he couldn't get you in at the rate you wanted, so he told the company one thing and you another.

    Talk to the company. If there is a real chance they want you to stay around, then let the agency break the contract and sign directly with the company.

    Normally you can't do this, but if the agent want to terminate the existing contract, in an attempt to screw you then use it to your advantage.
  8. I'd just watch this. I often hire temp workers using the 'first' method described by 'GodsPetMonkey' and in the agency agreements there is often provision for a fee to be paid to the pimp if you actually hire the temp person directly which is why we often don't (we just get another temp worker). On the one occasion I have hired a person we did negotiate the 'finders fee' down considerably though.

  9. It's only a month: call the contract binding and they may renegotiate after the time period is up.

    Anything else results in Department of Fair Trading, etc etc etc
  10. Thanks guys,

    I reckon i'll tell him to lump it. If i had known the rate was lower i would have gone with a 3rd party umbrella company to handle my insurances etc for a small fee. Since the rate was higher i shelled out, registered a company name and took out professional indemnity insurance and my own workers comp.

    I'll let you know how it goes, there is a clause stating 30 days notice to terminate the contract so yeah.

    There is also a clause that the company must use him if they want to keep me on for longer which I think they do.
  11. ive done some contract work where the contract deosnt specify a minimum amount of days / hours work given, and it can be terminated at any time for any reason.

    ie your basically working casual for them, so the contract only states the rate of pay and everything else is irrelevent. (ie they could agree to pay you heaps, but not actuyally give you any work)
  12. Read the contract if it's definitely one month, no less no more, and 30 days termination notice.

    If it's rock solid, they must pay you if you're doing the work
  13. If they wanted to fight it they may say you knew it was a mistake etc..

    for example ,

    If your normal rate is $10 per hour , and the contract says $100 per hour, it could be argued that you knew it was an error and took advantage.
  14. We verbally agreed on the price over the phone, he rang much later saying no no no thats not the case. Been to busy working at that place to get on to him but will do asap.