From 1st October 2011, temporary agency workers will be afforded certain new rights under the Agency Workers Regulations. Businesses that employ agency workers need to be aware of the new regulations are advised to make provisions for the new law coming into force.

There will be two sets of entitlements for agency workers, some of which apply after a twelve week qualifying period, but others which apply from day one of working at a company.

Day One Rights For Agency Workers

From day one of employment by a company, agency workers will be entitled to full access to the services that comparable employees would be entitled to. Examples of such services include canteen, childcare facilities, car parking etc. Agency workers will also be entitled to access to view information on any available job vacancies.

Agency Workers’ Rights After 12 Week Qualifying Period

If an agency worker undertakes 12 weeks continuous employment at a company, they are entitled to further rights under the Agency Workers Regulations 2010. Agency workers under this category are effectively afforded the same pay and basic working conditions of those employees who have been directly recruited by that particular company. This will mean that entitlements, pay and benefits including overtime payments, shift allowances, bonuses, annual leave, rest breaks and certain rights which are afforded to pregnant staff will be extended to agency workers.

What Actions Do Employers Need to Take?
For companies who regularly employ the services of agency workers on a short term basis, it may well be worth investing in the production of an induction handbook, which contains all of the information about how to access their day one rights.

Employers should also detail all of their normal basic working conditions afforded to their direct employees, and ensure that either agency workers, along with their agencies are aware of these.

Employers should note that the law does not apply retrospectively, and will only apply to agency workers whose services are employed on or after 1st October 2011.

For more information on The Agency Workers Regulations 2010, please don’t hesitate to contact me.