We currently have a contract with a very large security firm for the provision of one security guard who works 39.5 hours per week.

The contract with the firm in question is not running as smoothly as it should and I have made them aware of my increasing dissatisfaction on more than one occasion. The problem is not the guard. It is the firm themselves and the difficulties that they face when it comes to providing stand-ins for holiday relief cover etc, due to the way in which they have structured their own company.

Does anyone know whether or not our contract with them for the provision of guarding staff would be covered by the same rules as Employment Agencies? In other words could we employ him direct without incurring swinging penalties? There is a penalty clause within the current contract but I am wondering if this is now null and void given the recent changes in legislation and the length of time that we have employed him.

Jo-Ann Shore