Hi There

Hope all is well.

The contract arrangement is Recruitment agency -> Consulting firm -> Federal Government(Canberra)

On 08th June I submitted Entry Level Check (ELC) form and documents.

On 14th June the recruiter called and asked for the start date of the contract and I provided 02 July thinking that would give 2 weeks of notice to my current employer. However I didnít got the contract until 19th June hence then I asked agency to delay start date to 04 July so that would give 2 weeks of notice to my current employer. My request for start date as 04 July was denied by agent saying work order has been released.

I signed contract with recruitment agency on 19th June 2018 with the contract start date as 01/07/2018. Hence I resigned from the current contract on 19th June giving 29th June (Friday) as the last working day.

On 29th June (Friday, the day before contract start) recruiter said not to start on 2nd July (Monday) as the necessary Entry Level Check (ELC) is not completed yet. Now agency says I canít start until ELC is completed (I wasnít this told before) and wait for his call for my start date.

As of now I canít start and losing income.

I did have a chat couple of my friendís working in the same new Federal government contract and permanent who confirmed ELC usually takes 1 week. Itís highly unlikely to continue for 3 weeks or more. Also since I was already contracting with another Federal government I would already have check done. So the processing time should be around 1 week. My friend was allowed to start whilst ELC was still in process but he didnít got building and computer access. He would need to be escorted in/out of building.

1) Is it legal for agency to disobey start date after signing the contract? Keeping in mind he denied my request for 04 July start date.
2) What are my rights at this stage? Can I ask for compensation for loss of income for no fault of mine.
3) How could situation like this be avoided?