AGENCY WORKERS REGULATIONS
Customers who employ staff via a temporary work agency will need to be aware of the implications of the Agency Workers Regulations. In a nutshell, from that date agency workers will be entitled to access job vacancies and facilities; 12 weeks later those still employed in the same job become entitled to the same basic terms and conditions as their permanent counterparts.
‘Pay and terms and conditions’ will extend to basic pay, bonuses, commissions and incentives relating to work done, overtime pay, shift premia and most working allowances and vouchers/stamps, rest periods and breaks, night working arrangements, annual leave, and entitlement to paid time off to attend ante natal appointments.
‘Access to facilities’ (applicable from day 1) includes transport to/from work if provided to permanent counterparts, toilets, showers, common room, waiting room, prayer room, mother and baby room, food and drinks machines, car parking etc.
An ‘agency worker’ is defined as someone who has a contract with a temporary work agency, but works temporarily for and under the direction & supervision of an end hirer.
The genuinely self employed are to be excluded from the new regulations and those working under managed service contracts and who are not under the supervision of the host company (for the managed services) will also be excluded. The regulations apply in England, Scotland and Wales, with N Ireland making their own equivalent arrangements.
The 12 week ‘clock’ applies to an agency worker employed in the same role for 12 weeks, but the clock may be paused, for example in the case of sickness absence or maternity, or where there are breaks of 6 weeks or more in the agency worker’s employment. However steps to counteract avoidance measures are in place to catch out employers who are thought to be trying to get round the regulations by deliberately laying off agency workers after 11 weeks and reemploying them more than 6 weeks later.
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