Business News

Rule change on agency workers’ rights looms

New rules affecting employers who take on agency and temporary workers will take effect from 1 October 2011.

From that date, the Agency Workers Regulations mean that agency workers who work in the same role with the same hirer for 12 continuous calendar weeks will be entitled to the same basic employment and working conditions as employees in comparable roles.

Agency workers will be able to accumulate the 12 weeks’ service even if they only work a few hours a week. Once the qualifying period is completed, they must be treated as if they had been directly recruited on the first day of the assignment.

As of the first day in a temporary role, the hirer must give agency workers:

  • access to the same on-site facilities as a comparable employee would have, e.g. staff canteens, childcare, parking and transport
  • access to information on relevant job vacancies within the business.

Once agency workers complete the 12-week qualifying period, the hirer must also give them the following equal treatment entitlements:

  • key elements of pay, including salary, overtime pay, shift allowances, bonuses, lunch vouchers, and/or annual leave pay
  • working time, including duration of working time, night work, rest periods and breaks and annual leave.

LINK: Guidance on the Agency Workers Regulations 

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