EQUALITY FOR AGENCY WORKERS
By Kate Lawson
The Agency Workers Regulations come into force on Saturday 1st October 2011 and apply to agency staff who are assigned to do temporary work for an end client, called the hirer, through temporary work agencies.
These regulations provide that all agency workers must be able to access a hirer’s collective facilities and amenities and have access to information about its job vacancies from the first day of their assignment with the hirer. In addition, once they have worked for the hirer for 12 weeks, agency workers are entitled to the same basic working and employment conditions, including pay, annual leave and rest breaks, as the hirer’s comparable employees.
The Agency Workers Regulations are not retrospective and so agency workers already in place on an assignment on 1 October 2011 will only start to accrue their 12-week qualifying period from 1 October 2011.
All businesses which engage agency workers are encouraged to carry out an audit of their agency staff, including what basic terms they receive and how these terms compare with equivalent employees.