Agency Workers Regulations
What is the AWR? A Brief Overview:
The Agency Workers Regulations 2010 (the Regulations) came 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.
What is meant by ‘12-week qualifying period’?
- The agency workers regulations will only apply following a 12-week qualifying period.
- The qualifying period starts from the first day of the first assignment.
- To complete the qualifying period the agency worker must work in the same role with the same client for 12 continuous calendar weeks, during one or more assignments.
Day 1 Rights: What is an agency worker entitled to as soon as work commences?
Some rights accrue as soon as agency workers are hired and are not dependant on the 12 weeks’ qualifying period. 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:
These rights include:
- Access to collective facilities and amenities provided by the hirer
- Access to information relating to vacancies
- Canteen or other similar facilities
- 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
- Parent and baby room
- Prayer room
- Food and drinks machines
- Car parking
This is a non-exhaustive list and acts as an indication of which kind of facilities should be included. It applies to facilities provided by the hirer and therefore these facilities will usually be on-site.
This does not mean that agency workers will be given ‘enhanced’ access rights, for example, where access to a crèche involves joining a waiting list, the agency workers would also be able to join the list and would not be given an automatic right to have a crèche place.
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.
Hirers can choose how to publicise vacancies, whether it is via the internet/intranet or on a notice board in a communal area. But the agency worker should know where and how to access this information.
Week 12 Rights: What ‘equal treatment’ is a temporary worker entitled to after the 12-week qualifying period, under the agency workers regulation?
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. These include:
- 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 & 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.