The Agency Workers Regulations
On the 1st October 2011, the Agency Workers Directive came into effect to give temporary workers equal treatment in the workplace. As an employer, this means that agency workers, after a 12-week period, should receive the same basic pay and working conditions (including rest periods), as a permanent employee would receive in the same role.
With regard to equal treatment of pay, this relates to salary or wages, overtime, shift allowances, holiday pay and commission. It does not include sick pay, maternity pay, redundancy pay or benefits such as pension, car allowance or health insurance. Where additional holiday is offered over and above the statutory requirement, the entitlement should be calculated in line with what would be offered to permanent employees in the same role.
The 12-week period is calculated from day one of work of a single role at a single employer and not for how long the worker has worked for the agency. At the beginning of each new contract or role, the 12-week period starts again.
It is important to remember that both the agency and the employer are considered accountable for breaching the regulations set out in the Agency Workers Directive.
For more detailed information on the directive, please call us on +44 (0)20 7092 3939 or visit http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Employment/Employees/index.htm