Working through Recruitment Agency and Accepting The Job Offer from Client

I need some help for the following :

I am currently working in a department through a recruitment agency (a casual staff member). The same role which I am doing, it was also advertised on department's website for permanent basis. I applied for the job and got selected for the role. Can I accept the job offer? It will mean that I have to ask my recruitment agency that I can't continue the assignment and they will know that I will be working directly with the department. Does that can cause an issue for me?

I have signed the following contract with the agency :
Notification of Offer of Employment
For a period of 6 months from the cessation of your last Assignment, you agree that you will not accept a
direct offer of employment whether temporary, contract or permanent from any Client or former Client of
XXX (recruitment agency) for whom you performed an Assignment without first notifying XXX(recruitment agency).

your help will be really appreciated. thanks.


  • +3

    I think the hr that accepted you on that role should know that you are currently working through an agency and they should take care of the process (contacting the agency, buy you out, etc)

  • +2

    I'm not a lawyer so could be wrong, but looks like it says "without first notifying xxx" it doesn't say anything about them having to "agree or disagree about it?".

    • +1

      I think notifying means , telling them so they can contact the employer directly and either ask for their lum sum fees. But I am not sure it may affect their decision of offering me a job.

    • I'm with this comment. Agencies know restraint of trade clauses aren't worth the paper they're written with. It will depend on the contract that your agency has with the company you work for. In either case, it's not going to cost you any more coins to move from contract to permanent.

  • +2

    Years ago same happened to me with a gov job. The agency didn't enforce any contract i signed as they still had staff with the department and didn't want to kill the Golden Goose.

    • How would you notify the agency? should i first accept the job and then notify them that I no longer want to finish current casual assignment?

  • +2

    I have been in a similar situation previously.

    My advice would be to talk with your agent and explain that you are after a permanent role vs casual.

    The agent will probably first try to extract some fees / compensation from your department, or let you go freely.

    I don't know the laws but I don't think the recruitment company can legally stop you from working at that company.

    If the account manager has a good relationship with the company, as in the department will continue to use that agent for further casual roles, then it is likely they will let you go no worries as they have not lost out.

    Just communicate, and see where it goes. Agents are greedy, they want commissions and their cut, but they may see the bigger picture and play nice.

    • I am afraid that if they charge money to department to let me work directly, the department may change their decision and go with some other candidate. As department has limited funds too in current situation. Should i just accept the role assuming that the department will fix the issue directly with the recruitment agency afterwards?

      If this was with private company, i would surely tell the recruitment agency, but I don't want to risk the job with department as it is not easy to get job directly with department.

      • +2

        They will know anyway when you keep working there and stop submitting timesheets.

        Get on the front foot and speak with them and the department to prepare them both.

        The department knows the contractual obligations they have to each other.

        In my case my agent did not pursue the company for compensation because they wanted good relationships with the company for future work.

  • -1

    Submit notice to your agency that you are ceasing your employment and here is the required X weeks/days of notice required.

    Commence your full time job at the completion of this.

    Don't tell them where you're working or any other details regarding why you are terminating your employment with them. If they find out you have started a full time role with the department then the department can discuss this with the agency.

    Very unlikely the agency is able to enforce any anti compete/direct employment terms with you. They can take it up with the department if they no longer want to provide staff to them.

    • Some of other agency staff are working in my team so the agency will know about it as soon as I will tell them I want to cease with them. Can I just send them am email to notify that I will be working directly with the department before signing the contract? As the clause in the contract say , I can't work directly with client unless I notify them. It doesn't say they have to agree or allow me to work but just to notify them?

      • Tell your new employer before you do this - you don’t want to get off on the wrong foot. The employer can probably liaise with the agency and will have to pay a release fee.

        • Yes, I think that's what I am thinking too. But my employer already know that I am from recruitment agency, but I can again tell them that there may ne an issue

  • Usually the company using the agency has to pay the agency a fee if they later hire you directly. It will be in their contract. Your new employer might be happy to pay the fee.

    • This.
      Raise it with HR or the hiring manager. They should know about this already, it should have come out in the recruitment process your current employment type/arrangement

  • Just inform agency contact. HR from the company / agency contact will sort it out themselves.

    Should not be any issue.

  • It's a terrible clause. Whoever drafted it should get a slap. You could just feign ignorance as technically your assignment hasn't ceased.

    What I'd recommend doing is just ask your new employer what they would like you to do about the situation. The potential issue is between them and the agency. Not you. Keep on the good side of your new employer and be guided by them. Do not notify the agency unless told to do so.

  • Every contractor I have got from an agency has had a clause in it to cover this exact scenario - usually there is a fee payable depending on a few factors….
    But HR should sort his out

  • sign the contract first, everything else is a discussion between the employer and agency - not your problem

  • I'm sure there's some sorta restraining clause in the current contract, can't work for the client for x months. Pretty sure these restraint of employment clauses aren't actually enforceable. Call FairWork and ask perhaps?

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