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  • Writer's pictureSusan Wakelin

Did you know Agency Workers have Employment Rights?

Updated: May 25, 2023

Employment Rights
Agency Workers

Companies often hire temporary agency workers through recruitment agencies. There are many reasons for recruiting temporary agency workers, including it is quick and easy and it is a quick fix where an organisation has a vacancy, absence or a high level of workload.

Hiring companies often wrongly believe that by hiring a temporary worker from an agency, they don't have any employment responsibilities and they can ask them to leave at any time for any whimsical reason and without following procedures.

Employment Status of Agency Workers

Agency workers may be employed in different ways, which can change their status for the hiring company and their employment rights. Agency workers may have a temporary contract directly with the hirer, they may have a contract in place with the temporary agency or they may work through an intermediary, an umbrella company or a managed service company.

An agency worker's status of employment also depends on their relationship with the hiring company. Where the hiring company engages a specific individual to work for them and will not accept a substitute in their place or where the assignment is prolonged, this can demonstrate more of an employee relationship. This is also the case where the agency worker is treated similarly to the hiring company's permanent employees, receives similar benefits and where they are asked to follow the company's employment policies and procedures.

Employment Agencies Duties

The Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations 2003 imposed certain duties on recruitment agencies in respect of the temporary workers they supply, including providing each worker with contractual documentation confirming information such as whether they are an employee of the agency, their pay, holiday entitlement and notice period.

Recruitment agencies are also responsible for ensuring that any worker they supply is suitable for the work in question and must undertake pre-employment checks on their qualifications and experience.

In addition to this, temporary agencies are not allowed to prevent or restrict a worker from taking up permanent employment with their client.

In 2011, the Agency Workers Regulations 2010 came into effect, in relation to the equal pay and equal treatment of agency workers in relation to their basic terms and conditions of employment, such as pay, hours of work and holidays after 12 weeks continuous service in an assignment.

Permanent Employment of an Agency Worker

Agency workers have the right to be informed of any employment vacancies being advertised by the company they are working for in a temporary capacity. In addition to this, temporary agencies are not allowed to prevent or restrict a worker from taking up permanent employment with their client.

It is important that employers understand that all employees and workers have some level of employment rights, including making a complaint to an employment tribunal, which can be time consuming and very costly, especially for small employers.

SWan HR supports small businesses in London and Kent. We work closely with employers to understand where problems may arise, even when they are not obvious. Founded by Susan Wakelin who provides personal, practical and hand-on support and solutions through difficult situations, transformation and change.

We provide a free half hour consultation to help employers to understand where their concerns are and provide some free advice.

Don't wait for the problem to grow, click here and contact us now.

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