Financial & Legal News

New Agency Workers Regulations come into force on 1 October 2011

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The Agency Workers Regulations (AWR), which comes into effect 1 October 2011, is set to be the single biggest change to the rights of temporary workers.

Equal treatment for agency staff

AWR will give temporary workers the same basic employment rights and working conditions as permanent staff.  Pay, holidays and the use of collective amenities including canteens and childcare facilities will have to be made available from the first day of their appointment. They will also have the right to be told about any relevant vacancies at the hirer’s company during the job.

If the agency worker has worked for the same hirer in the same role for 12 weeks, he/she will be entitled equal treatment to that of a comparable employee with regards to rights such as holiday, rest breaks and pay etc.

The new Regulations are intended to bring UK employment law in-line with EU regulations.

Employment agency responsibilities

As an employment agency your obligations include ensuring that your agency workers receive equal treatment by enquiring about the relevant information from the hirer.

Hirer responsibilities

If you are a hirer, it is your responsibility to ensure compliance with the Regulations and that relevant information is provided to the employment agency upon request.  If your agency staff are long term, in some instances you may find it preferable to consider filling these jobs on a permanent basis.

In all cases make sure you talk to the agencies you use to fully understand the Regulations and how they will inevitably affect your on-going relationship.

Mangers should be trained in the Agency Workers Regulations and where previously more than one person has been responsible for hiring agency workers it may be worth changing this policy to just one person within the organisation to ensure compliance across the board.

Contacting us

Pearson Hinchliffe Commercial Law provides advice and assistance to employers on all employment law matters including Agency Workers Regulations. For more information, contact Susan Mayall in our Employment Law team using the details provided below.

Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.

This blog was posted some time ago and its contents may now be out of date. For the latest legal position relating to these issues, get in touch with the author - or make an enquiry now.

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