Agency Worker Regulations
In October 2011, a new piece of legislation will be put into place in the UK which was designed to protect the interests of individuals who work through Employment Agencies and give them rights equal to those of permanent employees in comparable positions. The legislation is referred to as the Agency Worker Regulations.
Under the terms of the legislation, anyone working through a Temporary Work Agency (TWA) will be covered by it unless they are working in business on their own account. Therefore ‘temps’, individuals working through Umbrella Companies and single person Limited Company contractors whose contract falls inside IR35 will all be protected by the regulations.
The regulations give Agency Workers entitlements and protections, some of which come into force from the first day of the contract and some after a 12 week qualifying period.
The Day 1 Rights, as they are referred to, mean that from the very beginning of the contract an individual must have access to facilities at the Hirer’s (or end Client) site and also to vacancies in the same way as a permanent employee. This does not mean that a contractor would be entitled to a car parking space if there were none available but that they would be allocated a space if there were one available; the treatment must be equal to permanent employees not better. Listed below are examples of facilities provided by a Hirer (or end Client) that must be made equally available to both permanent and temporary employees:
- A canteen
- Toilet and shower facilities
- Staff Common Room
- Mother and baby room
- Prayer room
After 12 weeks working on the same contract, individuals who fall under the Regulations will have new equal treatment entitlements relating to pay and other basic working conditions. The working conditions referred to are as follows:
- Duration of working time
- Night work
- Rest periods
- Rest breaks
- Annual leave
- Time off for ante natal appointments
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