Agency Workers Regulations

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Guidance to help hirers and the recruitment sector understand the Agency Workers Regulations

The legislation comes into force on 1 October 2011, giving agency workers the entitlement to the same basic employment and working conditions as if they had been recruited directly, if and when they complete a qualifying period of 12 weeks in the same job.

If you are a temporary work agency: If you are involved in the supply of temporary agency workers, you need to ask the hirer for information about pay and basic working conditions (when it is clear that the agency worker will be in the same job with the same hirer for more than 12 weeks) so that they are treated as if they had been directly recruited to the job.

It is important that the correct information from the hirer is shared between parties in the chain of supply of the individual agency worker in order to ensure that whoever actually pays the agency worker is aware of their entitlement, provided by the Regulations, to the basic terms and conditions that they would have received had if they had been directly recruited. See section on information requests for more detail.

From day one of an assignment, agency workers are entitled to be treated no less favourably than a comparable worker or employee in relation to access to collective facilities and amenities provided by the hirer.

These may include:

  • a canteen or other similar facilities
  • a workplace crèche
  • transport services (e.g. in this context, local pick up and drop offs, transport between sites – but not company car allowances or season ticket loans)
  • toilets/shower facilities
  • staff common room
  • waiting room
  • mother and baby room
  • prayer room
  • food and drinks machines
  • car parking

From day one of an assignment, all agency workers will be entitled to be provided with information about any relevant job vacancies within the hirer that would be available to a comparable employee or worker.

After an agency worker completes a 12 week qualifying period with the same hirer, in the same role, they will be entitled to have the same basic terms and conditions of employment as if they had been employed directly by the hirer. They are:

  • key elements of pay
  • duration of working time e.g. if working is limited to a maximum of 48 hours a week
  • night work
  • rest periods
  • rest breaks
  • annual leave

In addition, pregnant agency workers who have completed the 12 week qualifying period, will be entitled to paid time off for ante natal appointments.

Download the regulations document