AGENCY WORKERS REGULATIONS 2010 (AWR)

AWR provides agency workers with the same rights as full-time employees who undertake the same work (after a qualifying period). The Agency Workers Regulations are an statutory instrument and form part of broader equality legislation, including the Equality Act 2010.

This overview is to provide guidance on the Agency Workers Regulations and how, what, and when it affects you.

Please note the following abbreviations:

  • AWR = Agency Workers' Regulations
  • Agency Worker (AW) = You, the contractor
  • Temporary Work Agency (TWA) = Employment Recruitment Agency
  • Hirer = End client company

What, When, Who

WHAT IS AWR?

The aim of the AWR is to protect temporary agency workers by ensuring after 12 weeks continuous service, their rights’ are equal for basic working and employment conditions, comparable to a full-time employee.

AW's are entitled to access specified facilities and notice of internal vacancies from the first day of their assignment.

WHEN DID AWR COME INTO FORCE?

AWR became law in 2010 but wasn’t brought into force until the 1st October 2011(please note work prior to this date is not applicable).

WHO DOES AWR AFFECT?

Any person (AW) under a temporary contract of employment or a temporary contract to provide services, and the person undertaking the work is under the supervision of the hirer.

Your Rights

What Rights Are Agency Workers (You) Entitled To?

Day one – the AW has the following rights:

  • To be treated no less favourably than a directly employed permanent individual who is completing the same or similar job at the hirer's workplace.
  • The right to use collective/common facilities and amenities such as the canteen/restaurant, crèche/childcare facility, car park, and any company-provided transport.

After the 12-week qualifying period (QP):

  • After 12 weeks’ continuous employment, AWR entitles agency workers to the same basic employment and working conditions as their permanent equivalents.
  • AWs have the right to the same basic pay, access and rate of overtime, bonus, and commission related to individual productivity Agency workers also have the right to be paid and have the same holiday allowance as their permanent equivalents.
  • AWs have the right to work the same hours as a permanent equivalent.
  • Agency workers may receive luncheon vouchers (or similar) with a monetary value, but NOT those provided through salary sacrifice schemes, such as childcare vouchers.

12 WEEK QUALIFYING PERIOD

How Is The 12 Week Qualifying Period Calculated?

  • The right to equal treatment comes into effect at 12 weeks.
  • If an AW only works one hour in one week, this time will still count towards their qualifying period.
  • If an AW is supplied to a Hirer through multiple TWAs, multiple qualifying periods can run concurrently (hence, a TWA will ask if you have previously worked at a Hirer’s workplace).
  • The qualifying period clock can be paused or reset.

The variations of absence that may suspend or reset the 12 week qualifying period are:

  • When an AW begins a new assignment with a new Hirer the qualifying period is reset.
  • When an AW remains with the same Hirer but is no longer in the same role the qualifying period is reset.
  • There is a break between assignments of six weeks or more (provided it is not one which ‘pauses’ the clock or during which it continues).
  • Any reason where the break is less than six weeks the qualifying period is suspended.
  • Sickness absence suspends the qualifying period for up to 28 weeks.
  • Annual leave suspends the qualifying period.
  • Company shut-downs – for example, factory closures and school holidays - suspends the qualifying period.
  • Jury service suspends the qualifying period for up to 28 weeks.
  • Industrial action suspends the qualifying period.
  • Pregnancy and maternity-related absence is considered part of the qualifying period.
  • Statutory maternity, paternity or adoption leave are considered part of the qualifying period.

Notable Points

WHAT BENEFITS ARE AGENCY WORKERS NOT ENTITLED TO?

AWs are not entitled to redundancy pay, access to occupational pension schemes, share schemes, maternity/paternity rights, or bonuses related to the company’s performance.

Occupational sick pay, non-cash awards, advances in pay, loans or any other non-contractual payments are also company benefits that an agency worker does not have an entitlement to.

HOW AWR AFFECTS MATERNITY / PATERNITY PAY AND ANTENATAL APPOINTMENTS

Agency worker’s statutory maternity and paternity rights are not effected by AWR. Agency workers, over the qualifying period, are entitled to paid time off to attend antenatal appointments (this applies to men and women), bringing AWs in-line with comparable permanent employees.

We ensure your rights with AWR are adhered to at all times
Contact Liberty Bishop for more information.

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