Equal treatment for temporary workers starts today

London, UK: New rules start today for temporary agency workers who will be entitled to equal treatment to permanent workers at an employer.  The legislation will affect all business and operators must to be aware of the changes and review their current agency worker procedures.

An agency worker is someone who has a contract with the agency – usually an employment contract or an agreement to provide services personally – but who works temporarily for, and under the direction and supervision of a hirer.

The regulations set out the key elements required and example characteristics of an agency worker.  Inevitably some of the flexibility and advantages of agency staff will be lost, as the area is more regulated.

The full regulations are complex; however the headline provision is that agency workers will have the right to the same basic employment conditions, such as pay, holidays and performance-related bonuses, as direct recruits, after 12 weeks working for the same hirer in “the same role”.

Other basic rights will apply from day one and employers should review their agency arrangements to minimise risks of agencies passing on costs.