08/04/2010

Employment e-brief – The Agency Workers Regulations 2010

These Regulations, due to come into force on 1 October 2011, are already a key talking point for many businesses.

What rights do the Regulations confer on agency workers?

The Regulations confer three main rights on agency workers:

  • The right, after a 12 week qualifying period, to basic employment and working conditions which are no less favourable than if they had been recruited directly by the business
  • the immediate right of equal access to collective facilities and amenities and
  • the immediate right of equal access to employment.

What duties will arise as a result of these Regulations?

Your duties will vary depending on whether you provide agency workers or rely upon agency workers to carry out roles within your business.

Employment businesses which provide agency workers will be obliged to find out about the employment conditions of permanent employees and respond to requests for information from agency workers about the terms and conditions of comparable permanent employees.

Businesses which incorporate agency workers into their work force must supply this information to employment businesses and agency workers should they request it. In addition they will be responsible for offering equal access to collective facilities, vocational training and employment.

Anti avoidance provisions

Parliament has had the foresight to envisage that employment businesses might attempt to move workers around in order to avoid obtaining 12 weeks continuous service, as a result of this anti avoidance provisions have been put in place.

Options

There are a number of options open to both employment businesses and businesses relying on agency workers to complete their workforce. These include the use of derogation contracts and modifying business practices in respect of your use of agency workers.

For further information about the Regulations, the way it might affect your business or in house training on this topic please contact a member of the employment team