The implementation of the Agency Worker Regulations
The Agency Worker Regulations came in to force on the 1st October 2011. They are supplemented by the BIS Guidance (BIS/11/905; May 2011) which should be considered alongside the Regulations themselves.
A brief summary of their impact is that;
a) They only apply to ‘temporary work agency’ this is not an agency finding permanent employment roles for individuals.
b) The agency worker will be subject to the same ‘basic working and employment conditions’ as a permanent worker specifically with regards to pay, working hours, night work, rest periods, rest breaks and annual leave entitlement.
c) To qualify for the protection afforded by the regulations an individual must work for the employer for a continuous period of 12 weeks, however, there are extensive anti-avoidance provisions to prevent the circumvention of the regulations.
d) The regulations will not determine an individual’s employment status for the purpose of them being able to establish employment rights (e.g. with regards to unfair dismissal). In such instances it remains the case that it remains unlikely that an agency worker will be considered to be a direct employee of the client even if they have worked for them exclusively for a significant time.
For more detail on the new regulations please see http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=1873