We are a small company with a Finance Team of 2 full-time staff plus one subcontractor. The subcontractor has been involved with our company for 4-5 years and attends our premises either Tuesdays or Wednesdays to undertake our weekly payroll and other tasks. With such a small team, it is vital that annual leave is co-ordinated and no problems have arisen to-date. The Finance Manager has booked 2 weeks annual leave from next Monday and this was communicated to all staff and the subcontractor many months ago. In addition, the subcontractor is asked on a regular basis about any planned holidays to ensure that clashes are avoided. Despite having been asked only last Wednesday, and having given a negative response, the subcontractor announced this Tuesday that they would be away for the 2nd week of the Finance Manager’s holiday. The reaction of the subcontractor when reminded of the Finance Manager’s leave was ‘I’m a subbie, I can do what I want’. This leaves our company in the position of having no-one available to do that week’s payroll run because the Finance Manager is the back-up to the subcontractor and vice versa

1 Obviously as a subcontractor, they are correct in that they can do what they want. However, there has always been a verbal agreement that, as we are the client, the subcontractor will be flexible in assisting us to ensure cover always exist for running payroll

2 The subcontractor works alone in running a payroll bureau so there is no-one to cover their absence

My question is this – we would like to formalise the arrangement regarding leave so that this does not occur again. Does anyone have an example of an agreement with a subcontractor that deals with an obligation on their part to give us more than 10 days notice of an interruption in the provision of services to us? We would then have something in writing to replace the current verbal agreement which has (in this case) been ignored. Any example wording would be much appreciated


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