Agency workers to gain full employment rights in October

Posted on 15 Aug 2011 by The Manufacturer

From October 1, agency workers will be eligible for equal treatment and will have the right to the same basic working and employment conditions after working for a company for 12 months.

Under the new regulations, temporary agency workers will be treated just as if they had been hired directly by the company in question. Equal treatment applies to various terms and conditions; including those relating to pay, working hours, overtime, holidays, rest periods, access to vacancies and to other facilities. It does not apply to other areas such as pension schemes, sick pay, or redundancy.

Carmen Watson, managing director of Pertemps Recruitment highlighted the implications for both business and HR sectors: “In what is an already fragile economy where businesses are doing everything possible to maximise profits and cut costs, failure to prepare could add additional costs to their business and undermine their credibility as good employers.”

As The Manufacturer reported in the August edition of the magazine, Britain’s flexible labour market is an essential resource for many companies and to the national economy as a whole. While the introduction of the Agency Worker’s Regulations (AWR) will prove challenging to companies and agencies, it’s expected to offer exciting opportunities for the recruiters.

“What’s crucial is to make businesses aware of how these changes may affect them and discuss the range of initiatives that should be taken. These will range from identifying high risk terms and conditions to carrying out systemic reviews of temporary contracts against those of permanent staff,” Watson advised.

George Archer