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What are Agency Worker Regulations?

1st July 2016

The Agency Worker Regulations (AWR) were implemented in 1st October 2011 as a way to properly regulate the working conditions of temporary workers. This involves receiving the same pay, working hours and holiday entitlement as regular employees. The scope of these regulations reaches to all parties in the supply chain, not just the worker.

Temporary Work Agency

A temporary work agency (TWA), such as Bromak Recruitment, supply personnel to work temporarily for a third party company; the end hirer. Under AWR, the TWA can also be an intermediary such as a Payroll Contractor. The individual(s) will work temporarily for the end hirer, however both the assignment and the contract still lie between the actual worker and the intermediary, whether that be an agency or payroll contractor. This is determined by whether the worker is paid via PAYE, an umbrella company or as a limited company.

Who’s Affected?

Agency Worker Regulations don’t just apply to the workers themselves, it also involves the TWA and the end hirer. Freelancers, Consultants and Contractors who are in business due to their own account generally fall outside of the regulations. As the intermediary can also be the Payroll Company, an individual isn’t excluded from being an agency worker purely based on the fact that they work through an intermediary body.

What Are the Rights?

Agency Worker Regulations give agency workers entitlement to certain rights, but these rights vary depending on the amount of time the worker has been working on behalf of the end hirer.

From day one, all agency workers must have access to information regarding job vacancies and to all site facilities, such as canteen, toilets, childcare facilities etc.

Once the worker has successfully completed 12 weeks in the same role for the same end hirer, equal treatment relating to pay rates, rest breaks, annual leave and other basic working conditions can come into effect. This depends on if the end hirer has their own direct staff in the same job role as the agency worker. Any pregnant agency workers will also be able to take paid time off for antenatal sessions over the course of a project. The 12 weeks don’t necessarily have to be consecutive, as some types of leave still count. This includes time off for pregnancy, adoption leave or paternity leave. They can also be accumulated which is very useful if you only work a small number of hours per week.

If you need more information or would like to discuss Agency Worker Regulations with us, please call the Compliance Team at Bromak on 01204 554880.

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