From 01 October 2011, rules in relation to the employment of agency workers will be changed, as The Agency Worker Regulations 2010 will come into force.
These regulations deal with all agency workers, and temporary workers working for an employer via an agency, who are employed on a short term basis.
The purpose of the regulations in a nutshell is that agency workers will now be entitled to;
a) Access to all upcoming employment opportunities, and basic communal facilities and benefits, from day 1 of their employment. These include;
a. Holiday, overtime, and statutory sick, notice and redundancy pay
b. Bonuses relating to performance or working unsociable shifts.
c. Any benefits given in regards to food on sight and transport to and from work such as vouchers or company agreed discounts.
d. Pregnant workers will be allowed paid time off to attend antenatal appointments,
They do not however receive as follows;
e. Occupational pension, car allowance, health insurance or any other financial contribution scheme.
f. Companies discretional; sick pay, notice pay and redundancy pay.
g. Discretionary bonuses not written in their contract of employment.
b) After 12 weeks of service, these workers will acquire the same employment rights as those who were directly employed by a company, rather than through an agency. They will then continue to accrue rights through their working period. Should the worker be taken on by the company as a permanent member of staff, their continuation of employment will remain from their period of temporary working.
Application will only be to those workers who begin employment after 01 October. Self employed or those under a contract for service will not be covered by these regulations. Further, those put forward for a full time vacancy by and agency who are employed straight away as a permanent member of staff are not covered.
The regulations are mindful not to allow employers to avoid these regulations by only offering assignments for 11 weeks, laying the worker off for a week and then having them back for a further 11. This equally applies when offering the same worker 2 short terms assignments one after another, regardless of if they are in different departments. Should employers be caught using this ‘avoidance’ strategy they will be subject to tribunal action.
Lawgistics therefore advises all employers to be more cautious when considering any agency workers, as these new regulations could cause more issues than they intend.
In remembrance of Dennis Chapman 1951 -2015