Agency rules

Does anyone know if the new agency law applies to when an agency deducts money from you without telling you? The agency that I work for has deducted 1 days pay from me when I sat my exam! They claim they can do this. I have contacted the ACCA who were just completely unhelpful and they told me that they can't help so I want to know if I can pursue action against the agency for deducting wages without permmission.


  • Steve Collings
    Steve Collings Registered Posts: 997

    Why did you think ACCA would be able to do anything about your wages?

    I don't know much about the Agency Workers legislation, but wouldn't you be better getting in touch with ACAS, or better still looking at the terms and conditions of your contract with the agency.
  • Glynis
    Glynis Registered Posts: 488
    Steve I expected the ACCA to advise me on this issue because I am one of there students and also think that an accountancy body should protect it's members. They did nothing of the sort.

    I cannot find my contract so can't look at that. I'll speak to ACAS

    I find it completely unfair that an agency can just do this. They have no regard to there employees situation and I think to just deduct money from you like that is astonishingly ridiculous.
  • mark057
    mark057 Registered Posts: 354
    ACCA will have no interest or involvement in your contract of employment.

    The only time they will intervene, with respect to your employment, is in a situation where you have been
    involved in malpractice or wrongdoing professionally.

    My advice would be to wait until Monday morning and ring your contact at the agency and give them an opportunity to explain what they have done.

    If your still not happy then get a copy of your employment contract, read it carefully and if you still feel you have a
    case then explain this in writing and complain to the agency.

    Failing that you could look at ACAS or a solicitor but that really would be the last resort for me.

  • uknitty
    uknitty Registered Posts: 591
    Am I correct in thinking that you didn't go to work one day and you are questioning why the agency didn't pay you ? If so the answer is in the question. They didn't pay you because you didn't go to work that day.

    I don't think it is a case of the agency deducting money from your wages, rather they have paid you for the hours you actually worked.

    Even permanant employees don't have a legal right to paid time off - other than their contractual holidays.

    If you wanted to be paid for time off you should have booked a days holiday.
  • Gem7321
    Gem7321 MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,438
    Exactly what uknitty said. From what you've said, they haven't made any deductions from your pay. They have paid you for the hours worked. Nobody is automatically entitled to time off for exams unless it says so in your contract. If you have lost your contract that is your own silly fault. You should have arranged a days holiday if you wanted to be paid. If you ask the agency politely they may be able to put it in your next pay.

    The legislation you need to look at is the Agency Workers Directive and Regulations (AWDR).
  • blobbyh
    blobbyh Registered Posts: 2,415
    Fancy having pay "deducted" for pay you didn't earn in the first place. How terrible...
  • Glynis
    Glynis Registered Posts: 488
    Thank you to those that have offered constructive advice. I would not expect some people to understand what it's like to lose a days wages.

    I have written to PQ Magazine to express my anxieties in the hope I get some more constructive feedback.
  • janwal
    janwal Registered Posts: 1,189

    The feedback you have received is constructive, the agency are not appliged to pay you for taking time off to do exams unless it has been arranged in advance. My firm pay me as they are paying for the course on day release, but some of the others I study with have to take holiday or rearrange their working week.

    I would think twice about sending that letter if I was you, as having read other threads you have wrote I would say you have a downer on agencies, and if you may want to read a copy of their contract first befor bad mouthing them you will only do yourself harm.

  • uknitty
    uknitty Registered Posts: 591
    Wise words Jan.
  • Bookworm55
    Bookworm55 Registered Posts: 479
    Glynis wrote: »
    Thank you to those that have offered constructive advice. I would not expect some people to understand what it's like to lose a days wages.

    I have written to PQ Magazine to express my anxieties in the hope I get some more constructive feedback.

    Before you do that, take a moment to check exactly what happened when you say they deducted a day's pay.

    It sounded like on the week of your exam you worked four days and took the exam dayas holiday. And when you were paid for that week the agency only paid you for the four days you worked and didn't give you your holiday pay?

    That could have an error on the agency's part, but going in with "I didn't receive my holiday pay - please explain or correct it" is likely to generate a better response than "I want to know if I can pursue action against the agency for deducting wages without permmission". It could have been a mistake with filling in the timesheet, you may not have accrued enough holiday pay, it may have been an oversight.

    Obviously I don't know the details of what happened, but an issue with you not getting the holiday pay you were expecting seems more likely than the agency just deducting money without reason.
  • JodieR
    JodieR Registered Posts: 1,002
    Glynis: Chill. everyone who's responded is spot on here. and anyway, look at the big picture, missing a day's pay to be one step closer to a qualification has got to be worth it, doesn't it?
  • deanshepherd
    deanshepherd Registered Posts: 1,809
    Don't listen to the nay-sayers Glynis. You need to take those dirty rotten scoundrels to court. I suggest you hot foot it to your local Citizens Advice Bureau and make sure you get legal aid. Good luck!
  • Monsoon
    Monsoon FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 4,071 ? ? ?
    Why is this in the members in practice forum? :confused1:

    Also, good practical advice already on this thread, in particular Gem, Jan, Bookworm.
  • mc25
    mc25 Registered Posts: 232 ? ? ?
    Monsoon wrote: »
    Why is this in the members in practice forum? :confused1:

    Also, good practical advice already on this thread, in particular Gem, Jan, Bookworm.

    Mhh!! not sure what to say here? Good Luck
  • payrollpro
    payrollpro Registered, FMAAT Posts: 427 Dedicated contributor ? ? ?
    Just to muddy the waters a bit, the legal definition of a deduction is any difference between the expected and received pay. It does not have to be a physical deduction to qualify. What an ET will do is determine if the shortfall is lawful and if not it is technically an "unlawful deduction from wages".

    I would have to say that what has taken place is a deduction but the advice given by others is very relevant, is there a clause in the agency agreement which allows for it to take place, what are the rules for taking time off (the fact it was an exam is actually irrelevant) and the timescales for that?

    In my experience agencies, unless it is one of the high street ones, are very poor at paperwork and clear, unambiguous terms and conditions.

    Another pointless technical point, agency workers have no employer because there is no employment contract but the agency fulfils many of the functions of an employer, PAYE, statutory payments etc. Sounds pedantic but actually can have serious implications in a case like this.

    Whilst I can sympathise with many of the views expressed here I would add some caution regarding the approach to the agency, remember a reasonable complaint pursued reasonably stands a good chance of success, but often fails whereas an unreasonable complaint pursued unreasonably should never succeed, but unfortunately often does.

  • uknitty
    uknitty Registered Posts: 591
    I worked for an agency for 2 and a half years only to be "let go" due to "no business need"1 week before I would have qualified for SMP.

    The agency advertised the job 2 days later, when pulled up on it by my local MP they claimed it was "an admin oversight" posting the job advert.....
  • blobbyh
    blobbyh Registered Posts: 2,415
    Okay a serious answer. I think some are missing the big picture here.

    1) Agencies pay out their workers time based on authorised time sheets received from the client. If the time off won't be paid by the client then it's unlikely to be paid by the agency. In Glynis's case I assume that while the client may have agreed to the day off, they almost certainly didn't agree to pay for it. Likewise, I can't imagine any for-profit agency being charitable enough to pay one of their workers money for time off that they can't recover from their clients.

    2) Did Glynis book the day off as holiday with the agency or just only her current employer? If the latter, then the agency will only consider the time actually worked and (usually) not question the missing hours unless they were specifically advised in advance it was to be taken as holiday.

    3) As someone else has noted, did Glynis have enough hours accrued? If booked as holiday, she may not have accrued a full days holiday and simply exhausted the few hours she has accrued, especially if she has taken other days off or only worked there for a very short period.

    4) Agency workers are almost always aware that if they take time off they're not going to get paid for it unless they've notified their agency it's holiday and they have enough hours to receive a full days pay. Temping wasn't invented last week and I find it very difficult to believe experienced agency workers would think unworked time works any other way.

    The killer here is that if the client closes down for Christmas and Glynis doesn't have enough accrued holiday, then she's going to lose even more workable time over the next two to three weeks. Going hard into the agency or client without being aware of certain facts will most likely result in your dismissal and immediate replacement.
  • PGM
    PGM Registered Posts: 1,954
    I work for an employer, but I only get paid for study / exam leave if I've got a "learning contract" for that course.

    I'd imagine this will be the same with whatever agency or company you are are with.
  • Louise89
    Louise89 MAAT Posts: 296
    I have a study agreement contract for CIMA with my employer which states;

    "For first attempts, two days study leave will be given per exam, which is to be used for revision and the date of the examination. These days must be matched by two days leave from your annual holiday entitlement in order to study for the examination, however it is not required that they are taken back to back.

    Any second attempts are to be funded by you. Half Day Study Leave for second attempts will be granted if the results of the first attempt are within 10% of the pass mark. Where results are outside 10% of the pass mark, you will be required to use your annual leave for the re-take of an examination."

    Good to know where I stand!
  • Gem7321
    Gem7321 MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,438
    This is a really old thread...
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