Contractors left unsecured after Agility Group failure

Contractors placed by failed firm wonder about payment

Approximately 100 IT contractors are in an uncertain position following the receivership of recruitment firm Agility Group.

Agility, which was placed in receivership following a petition from the BNZ on Thursday, was a specialist in placing IT contractors. It had more than 100 such contractors on its books.

In discussions on LinkedIn and Google Groups, contractors placed in contracts through Agility are mulling their situation, noting that contractors placed with Agility Group clients are classified as unsecured creditors.

Receiver Tim Downes of Grant Thornton said he had no comment for Computerworld, but according to discussions on the two forums, Agility contractors have been advised by the receivers to keep working on contracts they were placed into by Agility, as this will increase their chances of being paid.

However, that suggestion did not satisfy some. One poster, "Will L", writes that he has consulted his lawyers and wonders whether the restraint of trade clause in his contract may be void. He writes that the receiver insists the clause is still in place.

Will L says that if the company is in receivership, there are no legal means to get the money paid for his services by the client direct to Agility.

"I cannot take this quietly and therefore I am wondering, if anyone had a similar experience and might know ways to recover the unpaid funds. And I don't want to increase the risk of losing even more, if I follow the call of the receiver to continue providing my services.

"My client has taken a fantastic stand by my side on a personal level and commercially, realising their risk of projects failure in case I will discontinue my services. They are committed to work out directly a model for the future, but cannot do much for the past, since they have already paid to the agent."

"Trudy B" responds, saying her answer "will not be helpful or encouraging".

"I had a similar scenario a few years back and ended up losing a great deal of money (personally) even though I did the right thing by the client and kept working. I think the client has to offer you some (1/2 rate?) incentive to safeguard the project you are working on...the receivers had little or no help to offer me even as the largest creditor and the agents had been paid for my services but the money not passed on.

"Start looking for alternative work actively and immediately and take it if offered," she writes.

Attempts by Computerworld to contact affected contractors have so far been unsuccessful.

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