I took up a contract with an agency (we'll say Agency), for their client company ("Client"). i don't know the business/legal terminology to describe these -- but in the end, i'm working on Client's project and facilities, just that my agreement is with Agency. so -- i'm like Client's full-time employee except that agreement. Agency is the one to pay me thru that agreement.

I'll say "Agency didn't pay" but it isn't as simple – more like "Agency invented reasons not to pay".

Agency had all my papers a week before their submission deadline. I submitted it all, and said (email) something like "..please LMK if any missing" -- twice, to all the relevant parties at Agency. Twice and to all-relevant, because their own system didn't offer all the options for my valid entry. I haven't heard a word from anyone for days. (Meanwhile, brought up this “system didn't offer all the options” to my team lead, and found out they gave him these-- didn’t pay him for months, and some more. )

Then at the end of the day of deadline, they sent me an email asking me to "..submit all my tax details." I replied asking to be specific "which tax details-- accountant suggested these." They replied on the payday, which is 5 days after, that i was supposed to write the tax amount and not just "+tax" on the receipt. I re-wrote and sent the receipt same day.

I’m now trying to figure out how to deal with this.

Ultimately, I want to change Agency so that I contract with Client through another company.

But before any of these, I’m trying to “digest” what’s going on. To me right now, Agency is downright crooks. I think I should work on this mindset before anything else.

Client, the client company is a highly reputable corporation, and I’m very happy with them.

This isn’t the first time I’m contracting like this. But I’ve never had anything like this before. Never wrote a receipt on a project like this, let alone the rest of it.

I checked with two of my colleagues-- they made the payments on due time.

I haven’t yet inquired or anything Agency on these. My last communication with them was the receipt on payday.

I’d appreciate any opinion on these. Things are a bit scary around here.




Does Agency not paying me nullify my contract?

Agency is in Ontario Canada.

I've had a project in a similar setup in Ontario Canada last year. I've only submitted the timesheet and that was it. No receipt, no nothing.

  • 1
    You should probably mention the jurisdiction. People may be able to hint about what exactly you are legally required to submit to them to be paid. I would also say that IF they were not able to pay you on pay day, for whatever reason, it's likely the earliest they would pay you is on the subsequent pay day. Commented Nov 18, 2021 at 0:48
  • @GregoryCurrie - earliest pay is 1 full month. and, things being these, i'm not sure i'll get the pay.
    – ash__999
    Commented Nov 18, 2021 at 1:19
  • It's unlikely they will simply not pay you, if they have paid your coworkers. You haven't mentioned the jurisdiction, so it's hard to give you more specific advice. Commented Nov 18, 2021 at 2:21
  • Can you afford to work for free? If not, then stop work.
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Nov 18, 2021 at 9:09
  • 2
    A couple of things aren't clear: are you a contractor working for company -BETWEEN, or an employee? By "receipt" do you mean "invoice"?
    – Simon B
    Commented Nov 18, 2021 at 11:30

4 Answers 4


Just to clarify, I'm going to call company BETWEEN the Agency and company CLIENT simply the Client. I'll also call the receipt a tax invoice.

The Client has engaged the Agency to provide them with an additional resource, you. The Agency has you, from my reading of your question, as an independent contractor.

Your last role sounds like you were an employee of a temp Agency, which is a different relationship with different obligations around timely payment.

As an independent contractor, you are considered self-employed and not an employee of the agency.

In order for the Agency to be able to pay you, you need to submit a valid tax invoice. The CRA is clear on what a tax invoice should include.

Until you provide the Agency with a tax invoice that aligns with your timesheet they are unable to pay you.

Being an independent contractor brings a number of responsibilities around tax and HST/ GST. As you are new to this I recommend you seek advice from an accountant on how to get everything in order.


I recommend you immediately stop calling the Agency crooks and do not bad mouth them in front of the Client or your colleagues.

This does not nullify your contract.

  • "I recommend you immediately stop calling the Agency crooks and do not bad mouth them in front of the Client or your colleagues." Totally agree. Stay professional - it helps with any subsequent court case.
    – PeteCon
    Commented Nov 19, 2021 at 15:31

If Canadian employment law is anything like US law, you appear to not be employee but instead an independent contractor of Agency. An employer has a legal obligation to pay you per a given schedule, at a predetermined rate of pay -- that is a privilege of employees. But again, it seems that you are not an employee.

You signed a contract. Did it specify payment terms and invoice requirements? I run into people like yourself who have this kind of frustration, but don't understand how business works. Payment terms describe a civil obligation on how long a client of yours (Agency is YOUR client) should take to pay you. They are written down, and not assumed. You can't assume that the terms between Agency and other parties is going to be the same as what they do with you. If payment terms are not stated, that's a problem -- unfortunately at this juncture, it's your problem and not their problem, as you have already done the work.

  1. As another person has stated here, quit badmouthing.
  2. Don't make assumptions.
  3. Get Agency what they need, so they can pay you per the tax authority's protocol. It might take a few passes. Breathe.
  4. Read your contract, and if the payment terms are not stated, you probably need to ASK what the terms are, and get it in writing (an email will suffice).
  5. Maybe study a little business law or accounting, because this is crucial.


Best of luck.


I'm going to refer to "company-between" as the consulting agency (or consulting company) and "company-client" as the client company.

It's unclear what your employment status is with the consulting agency. It sounds like you are a contract employee with the consulting agency, who themselves has you on a consulting role with the client, meaning there are 2 levels of consulting going on here: You are consulting for the agency who is "redirecting", in a sense, your consulting out to the client via a secondary agreement. This sounds like a very strange agreement; when I've heard of these arrangements in the past, there is usually only one level of consulting: Either you consult directly for the client, or you are an employee of the agency who contracts you out to the client. If it is the case that there are 2 levels of contract agreements here, you may want to speak to a lawyer because this arrangement seems very strange indeed and you may need a lawyer to figure out how to get you out of this mess.

The remainder of the answer assumes the above statement is not true, and that you are an employee of the agency who has contracted you out to the client.

The thing is, as an employee of the agency, you have an employment contract which states that you are to be paid a certain amount of money as a salary. This is the bottom line: as a salaried employee (if you are salaried and not wage, which you probably are unless you are a contractor to the agency which I'm assuming above is not the case) you have a right to collect your salary. Failure to produce the salary is breach of contract.

Here's what I would do:

  1. Look for a new job. You're not interested in working for a company that won't pay you.

  2. Send them an email informing them that you have not been paid, and that you would like to be paid, in full, at the next payday. Tell them that you will do whatever you can to get the paperwork they need, but you still need to be paid for your work regardless of the paperwork being submitted.

  3. If you are not paid by the next pay date (even if it's tomorrow; today is Thursday so tomorrow may be a pay date), seek legal counsel and ask a lawyer where you should go from here.


Please double-check the contract you have with the agency. You say you're a full time employee, but I want to make sure you're using the correct terminology.

If you're indeed an employee with the agency, you can file a claim for "wage theft". https://www.ontario.ca/document/your-guide-employment-standards-act-0/filing-claim

If you need assistance, you can just give them a call: https://www.ontario.ca/document/your-guide-employment-standards-act-0/filing-claim#section-6

They will ask about your employment status as well. So be sure to re-read your contract and have it on hand before you call them.

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