04 Jun 2024
by Policy, Practice and Innovation Team
Closing date: 11 Jul 2024

The Government is proposing changes to legislation that governs the relationship between ‘principals’ and ‘commercial agents’.

Essentially, these are arrangements where one organisation can grant another the authority to enter into contracts on its behalf. This may be relevant to homecare providers if they regularly appoint someone to negotiate contracts on their behalf, or use this arrangement for significant one-off purchases, for example, to source a utility provider or purchase PPE.  

An agent becomes relevant also when a provider has a significant acquisition strategy or is looking to exit the market, and they appoint an agent to negotiate the purchase or sale of a business on their behalf.

The consultation is essentially saying - rather than have the law set a minimum standard of behaviour for the principal and agent relationship, the present Government wants parties to be completely free to negotiate their own terms of appointment.

It is uncertain whether this proposal would proceed if there is a change of Government. They appear to represent a departure from existing European law, on which the regulations are based.

Thank you to Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP for their comments on this consultation, which are presented by the Homecare Association in edited form above.

Related topics