I have been temping through an agency, and my manager has said they can pay me directly. What should I do?
This is such an unfortunate situation, and whilst a small minority of managers think they are being clever by saving money, what they are in fact doing is stealing, or, if you like, 'illegally downloading'.
As you would know from reading previous blog posts, the difference between the rate paid to you, the candidate, and the rate charged to your manager, being the charge rate, is not all agency margin. There are approximately 20% of statutory charges and obligations (e.g. payroll tax, workers comp, etc.) before the agency then makes their margin or profit. The agency is your employer, and, therefore, in that role takes all the inherent responsibilities (and at times risks) required, hence why the contracting and temporary recruitment market is so popular with employers.
And, once again, outsourced recruitment is a commercial business; it is not a charity.
As you are aware, when you applied to register with your agency, you would have been interviewed, maybe had your skills tested, and you would have had your referees contacted. As a temp employer, an agency must have a 'warehouse' of good people, prepped and ready to commence an assignment with little or, in some cases, no notice. This 'behind the scenes' work is undertaken so that when your manager called in your temp assignment requiring additional assistance at short notice, your agency was able to contact you and get you working to solve that manager's problem quickly. And from the sounds of it, you have!
The fact remains that you would not have been introduced to that business without the assistance of your recruitment agency, and, likewise, your manager would not have met you without the assistance of the recruitment agency.
So in answer to your question, I would be wondering how this manager conducts the other aspects of their business if they are willing to undertake this kind of behaviour. In short, they can either afford a temp or they can't.
Inevitably, your recruitment agency will find out about this situation, and the manager will be invoiced accordingly. My advice to you is not to risk your reputation and integrity by being complicit to this situation. It will compromise you professionally, and no one wants that.