Agency Worker Regulations

The coalition government is reviewing the controversial Agency Worker Regulations 2010.

The Regulations, due to come into force on 1st October 2011, provide for equal treatment for agency workers in respect of basic working and employment conditions after 12 weeks in an assignment.

Employers’ groups have raised concerns with some of the requirements and the drafting has been criticised as unclear and open to different interpretations.

However, the Regulations are intended to implement the EU Directive on temporary agency work which must be implemented by all Member States by 5 December 2011. Any amendments to the regulations are therefore likely to be minor, so businesses who regularly hire “temps” still need to consider how they will respond.

The Regulations cover workers supplied by a temporary work agency but are not intended to include the genuinely self-employed, those working through their own limited liability company or those working on managed service contracts.

On completion of the 12-week qualifying period, an agency worker will be entitled to equal treatment with comparable permanent staff as regards pay (including overtime and bonuses), holidays and working time (duration, rest breaks and rest periods). In addition, from the start of an assignment, they will have the right to be told of any relevant permanent vacancies and to have equal access to on-site facilities.

Businesses therefore need to assess the cost implications of having to comply with the Regulations and decide whether there are more cost-effective ways of taking on temporary workers.

To discuss the possible impact of the Regulations on your business please contact us at