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Alice H
Alice H, Solicitor/Partner
Category: UK Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 2850
Experience:  Partner in national law firm with 25 years legal experience
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I have been contracted to work a 3 month contract til 18/9.

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I have been contracted to work a 3 month contract til 18/9. It appears that even after that expiry I may still be locked in to this contract if the agency decides to extend the contract. Can they do this?
Thanks for your question. I will try and help you with this.

-Could you explain your situation a little more?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I have recently signed a contract with an agency to provide my service to a third party client for a period of 3 months. I understand that I cannot serve notice during this period and must complete the contract. However what concerns me is the contract states that my service shall terminate on the 18 September or at the completion of any extension thereto and shall perform the services in accordance with the terms and conditions. To me this implies that the agency can unilaterally extend the contract and I have to go along with it without having the option to decline this? is this correct and is this something that frequently occurs in these type of contracts?

Its not unusual to find this term in an agency contract. The usual practice is to seek an extension towards the end of the present contract. However, such an extension cannot usually be unilaterally extended - both parties need to agree renewal terms. To be absolutely sure about your position I would need to examine the entire contract but generally an extension or renewal is by mutual agreement.
Alice H and other UK Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your reply. The agency also required me to opt out of the
regulation 32 (para 9) of the Conduct of Employment agencies and employment business regulations 2003 which I duly agreed to as it was a requirement before the agency would offer me the contract. I was wondering whether that had any implications with regard to the agency having the capacity to unilaterally extend the contract. The contract that I'm engaged in has in essence been sub-contracted to an umbrella company who in turn is employing me as its employee.

I'll have a look at that particular regulation right now.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you.

Regulation 32(9) relates to opt out provisions where the work-seeker is a company. However, regulation 32 does not appear to have any bearing on issue of renewal or extension of a contract on the expiry of a fixed term.