I own a small company with 3 employees only been running since April this year I had booked a holiday and 4 days before I went away one of my employees left without warning. I had no choice but to contact my local agency to employ a temp worker to cover the period I was away 10 days in all . It was quite a straightforward process with just a couple of forms to fill in and sign one of which was thier terms of business . All done over the telephone with the forms being emailed back etc . I queried the hourly rate whilst on the telephone as it wasn't written anywhere (I have never used an agency before ) and the administrator put me through to another lady whom I assume was the manager she told me that the hourly rate was £12.80 for a min of 8 hours a day and then after that it was time and a half. The ten days would include 2 saturdays and a bank holiday . The agency asked me to pay up front as apparently they take a line of credit to ensure that each worker is paid but thier credit company wouldn't lend agaginst my company as it had been newly formed . I thought this was a bit strange and said no I'm not prepared to pay upfront but would pay for the first three days after they had been completed and then the remaining 7 days a couple of days after they had been completed which they agreed to . Due to the nature of the work I insisted that I must have the same person for the duration of the contract which again they agreed to.
The agency worker turned up as arranged and I went on holiday.... after the first three days I received an invoice from the agency as promised but to my horror they had charged the whole of sat as time and a half. I queried this by email as I was away and corresponded with the lady who had told me about the hourly rate. When I asked why the whole of sat was charged as overtime her written reponse was sorry I didn't mention it but this practice is common knowledge within the industry everybody pays sat and bank holidays as overtime otherwise they wouldn't get people to work.so I replied that she knew I was a new customer she knew I was having the worker over the weekend and bank holiday so why not mention in the telephone call that sat and bank holidays are classed as overtime ?? To which she apologised again for not telling me but she thought I was not new .
Thier terms of business says hourly rate etc to be agreed in writing I have nothing from them in writing stating what the hourly rate would be just the verbal confirmation during the telephone call backed up by her email apologising for not telling me about the changes on sat and bank holiday .
I'm away on holiday and am panicking that if I kick up about the invoice that she will pull the worker and leave me in the right brown stuff. So against my better judgement I pay it but send an email complaining I'm not happy .To which I get no response
So 4 days later I get a phone call from the agency saying the original worker is leaving today but he is going to be replaced by another worker who will be doing the rest of the week (3 days remaining )....as you can imagine I kick off big time especially after I'd gone to all the effort of insisting that I needed the same worker for the 10'days apparently the worker had been contacted by another employer that he Temps for and wanted to go and work for them apparently the agency can't stop him from doing this which again I was not told about especially as I had lengthy conversations with the agency about this . So I eventually agree to having the replacement guy and then when I speak with the new guy on the telephone in the evening he tells me that he can only do the last two days as he has commitments on the last day which apparently the agency knew about !! That is the final straw so I have cancelled the work for the last day as don't want to use the agency again as too much grief . I will be getting the invoice for the last period of work soon so would like to know if I can deduct the rate increase that I paid originally whilst I was away from the new invoice ,and go down the line I wasn't told it's not written down anywhere etc and can I do anything about having to cancel the last working day and being mucked around etc with different staff etc this company are a joke and I will never use them again
Any thoughts greatly appreciated !!