Payment Issues with agency
Thread poster: Isabel P

Isabel P
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:02
Portuguese to English
Dec 14, 2013

Hello I am a newbie in the forum, and I am experincing problems with an agency in Newcastle who is currently recruiting in Newcastle, and whom I have joined in May this year. In the past 7 months I have received three payments, and they keep telling me the NHS is not paying them on time, so they are experiencing delays in payments. I stopped taking jobs for a few weeks, after no payment for June, July and September. Eventually after complaining a lot, I got payed for the first two months in September, and also received a payment in October, so I carried accepting jobs again, thinking they got their act together finally. It is now December and Octobers jobs are still to be paid, I have called many times, it is always impossible to speak to anyone in the Finance Department, and when I do manage to speak to someone they tell me complete lies, such as "someone will be calling all intepreters tomorrow to inform of payment dates", then of course no such calls. I have complained to the accounts manager on a recent induction/training session, who was very professional and said he would look into it, and so far nothing has happened. I am very frustrated as I have worked relentlessly for them mornings, while working an evening job, to make an extra bit of money on the side, but so far I havent seen payments, and feel angry and very used. It is definitly a lesson learned, never working with unprofessional called agencies again! Anyone has had such experiences, and can advice me what to do? Im thinking Small Courts Claim.


Jitka Komarkova (Mgr.)  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 07:02
Member (2013)
English to Czech
+ ...
Late Payment Legislation Dec 15, 2013

Hi Isabel,
I understand your situation as it seems that far too often agencies use a general policy of postponing payments or at least simply pay later...
What about considering application of the UK Late Payment Legislation? It might be useful...
See the link
Personally, I have no experience with this method, however, am considering it with one of my clientsicon_frown.gif although I am not sure whether it applies to off-shore vendors as well.
Maybe it will help you.
Good Luck!


José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:02
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Setting things straight Dec 15, 2013

Your business it with this agency. You are not interested if NHS - or anyone else - hasn't paid them yet. Would your landlord, utility companies, credit card, tax authorities, etc. be mollified, or at all interested in knowing that your client hasn't paid you?

If they need prompting to take some action, move them out of their comfort zone, and make an entry on the Proz Blue Board. If they try to convince you to change it after they've paid you, change the comment to something like "they paid me after I put a low score on their Blue Board", but not the LWA score itself. You may promise them that you'll make a better entry in the future if, in the meantime, they assign you more jobs and pay responsibly.

A translation agency's worst fear is (or shoud be) to become known as a bad payer, and so being unable to find translators willing to serve their clients, unless they cater to such a cheap clientele that machine translation alone will keep them in business.

Apparently this agency likes your work (repeated business). The first action is to put all their requests on hold until all your invoices past overdue have been settled. If you won't get paid anyway, you are not losing any income from not working for them, right?


Thayenga  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:02
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Blue Board Dec 15, 2013

Hi Isabel,

first of all, it is no concern of yours whether the agency's clients pay them on time. The contract is between you and the agency, and not between you and their clients.

If you have access to the Blue Board, then you might consider making an entry for that agency, briefly stating your situation and, most importantly, their payment practices. There are cases in which a negative BB entry has produced instant payment.

After posting my comments here, I've noticed José's and fully agree.icon_wink.gif

[Edited at 2013-12-15 16:57 GMT]


Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:02
Member (2007)
+ ...
Next steps Dec 15, 2013

As you've already suspected, Isabel, this agency is giving you the run-around with totally off-topic excuses. You really must stand firm and demand fair and timely payment for your work, however their own clients behave.

The small claims court seems ideal, as far as I can see, as long as you have exhausted the demands for payment. I believe you need to send them a final demand and wait for the allotted time to pass before you appeal to the court. You can also make an entry on the Blue Board - every freelancer on has the right to do that; if they don't already have a record then first create one and then leave feedback. It may not do you any good, but it will warn other freelancers to be wary of this outsourcer.


Isabel P
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:02
Portuguese to English
Thank you for your replies Dec 15, 2013

Yes, the agency has actually been banned on PROZ from posting jobs, that is a red alert for me already. I have sent them another email to the finance and payments department, informing them that I was in the process of writting a recorded notification requesting payment and how they are in breach of contract. Let's see if I get an answer, it is certainly stress and anxiety I did not need over holiday period, but I cannot afford to wait any longer for that hard worked money.
I am also registering with another agency that was recommended to me, so fingers crossed Ill find a decent agency to do business with. I currently work for two agencies, and one of them I never had problems before, always pay on time. It is definitly lesson learned. Thank you for your kind answers, and concern. Ill keep you posted on what happens next.


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