AWR 2010: This section outlines key information for all agency workers. It highlights important law changes and new responsibilities for employers.
The details come from the Employment Agencies Act 1973. They afford the Secretary of State regulatory powers over employment agencies in the UK.
In some cases, they can seek an employment tribunal order. It would give them power to prohibit employment agency partnerships and individual companies from operating.
A prohibition could last for up to ten (10) years in some cases. But, as a rule it would only apply for the worst cases of misconduct or unsuitability.
The same Act restricts employment agencies from charging a job finder fee. Some exceptions apply to finder fees for models, au pairs, and some certain entertainment industry jobs. In this respect, a clear distinction takes place between an employment agency and an employment business.
The Agency Worker Regulations 2010 apply to England, Wales, and Scotland. Separate regulations apply to Northern Ireland. The UK Government did not introduce retrospective legislation for agency workers. That means the new laws cannot get backdated.
Agency Workers New Entitlements
Rights for Agency Workers from Day 1 of Employment:
- From October 2011, if you hire agency workers, you must ensure they can access your basic working conditions and facilities.
- Agency worker entitlement applies from the first day of their assignment (employment). It now includes, but not limited to, transport, canteen, and childcare facilities.
- You must also provide agency workers with access to view information on job vacancies. But, it does not give them an automatic entitlement to apply for the vacancy
Rights for Agency Workers after 12 Calendar Weeks in the same Job:
The new entitlements follow a 12 week qualifying period in the same job with the same hirer. All ‘temp’ agency workers must get equal treatment relating to pay and other basic working conditions.
This includes, but not limited to, rest breaks and annual leave. The rules of employment apply irrespective of the working pattern – part time or full time. Thus, the 12 calendar week qualifying period still accumulates if you only work a few hours each week.
It applies to employers and hirers of temporary agency workers through a temporary work agency. You should provide the agency with up to date information on workplace terms and conditions.
This ensures that an agency worker receives the correct and equal treatment. Thus, it has the same effect as the normal procedures of recruitment.
Agency Workers Regulations 2010 also apply to those who are pregnant. Expectant mothers can take paid time off for antenatal appointments during a working assignment. This would apply after completing the qualifying period.
Note: a rule, the twelve (12) week qualifying period starts from the 1st of October 2011. It applies for agency workers already on an assignment when the new entitlements came to force.