The Agency Workers Regulations 2010 brings in new legislation and entitlements for temporary agency workers and their employers from 1st of October 2011.
This section outlines key information for agency workers, important law changes, and new responsibilities.
The Employment Agencies Act 1973 affords the Secretary of State regulatory powers over employment agencies. Through an Employment Tribunal order, they have the power to prohibit employment agency partnerships and individual companies from operating.
This prohibition may be for up to ten years in some cases, especially for misconduct or unsuitability.
The same Act restricts employment agencies from charging a job finder fee. The exceptions would include finder fees for models, au pairs, and some certain entertainment industry jobs. In this respect, a clear distinction is made between an employment agency and an employment business.
The Agency Worker Regulations apply to England, Wales, and Scotland - separate regulations apply to Northern Ireland. UK Government did not introduce retrospective legislation for agency workers, meaning that the new laws cannot be backdated.
From October 2011, if you hire agency workers, you must ensure that they can access your basic working conditions and facilities.
Their entitlement applies from the first day of their assignment and now includes, but not limited to, the canteen and childcare facilities.
You must also provide agency workers with access to view your job vacancy information.
Following a 12 week qualifying period - in the same job with the same hirer – 'temp' agency workers are entitled to equal treatment relating to their pay and other basic working conditions.
This includes, but not limited to, rest breaks and annual leave. Irrespective of your working pattern - part time or full time - the twelve calendar week qualifying period still accumulates if you only work a few hours each week.
Employers, and hirers of temporary agency workers through a temporary work agency, should provide your agency with up to date information on your terms and conditions.
This ensures that an agency worker receives the correct equal treatment as if they had been recruited directly.
Pregnant agency workers will now be allowed to take paid time off for ante-natal appointments during their working assignment, after completing the qualifying period.
The 12 week qualifying period starts from 1st of October 2011 even for agency workers who were already on an assignment when the new entitlements came to force.
Agency Workers Regulations 2010; UK Rules Updated 2017