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A Hirer's Guide to the Agency Workers Regulations

The Agency Workers Regulations


People4business has created this guide to help you see where your business stands in terms of the Agency Workers Regulations (AWR). A Recruitment and Employment Confederation Survey has shown that only 33 percent of employers have assessed their organisation in terms of AWR implementation. 23 percent of employers are unaware of the AWR, and 44 percent are aware, but do not know how to prepare.

Businesses and organisations who hire freelancers, contractors and consultancy staff through people4business have nothing to worry about, as their allocated Account Manager will contact them as any applicable contracts reach their 10th week. People4 will provide assistance and advice to ensure that from the 13th week onwards the contract complies with the AWR.

What are the AWR?

The regulations were announced in January last year with the aim of ensuring agency workers – temporary staff working through an agency for your business – are given equal treatment to equivalent permanent employees. Under the regulations, agency workers will be entitled to the same basic employment conditions and benefits as an employee after 12 weeks of continuous working with your business or organisation. An eligible worker is given two sets of rights: day 1 rights and week 13 rights.

The regulations come into effect on the 1st of October, at which point some day-1 rights will apply, such as equal access to staff facilities and notification of employment opportunities within the hiring organisation. The main regulations concerning pay and conditions take effect from week 13 of the contract, with the first contractual changes, should any be required, taking effect from the 26th December 2011.

Will the regulations affect my business?

If your business hires temporary workers through an agency for longer than 12 weeks at a time then the likelihood is that you will be affected by the AWR. However, the regulations primarily apply to workers not working through their own company. That means, if the worker you hire is employed through their own Ltd Company, then they are very unlikely to come under the regulations however long they work with you.

For non-Ltd company workers the regulations are likely to apply, but changes to terms and conditions will only be required if the worker is being paid less than a comparable employee within your organisation. People4business will assist you in determining whether any changes need to be made and implementing these changes if they are required.

How should I prepare for the regulations?

Companies using agency workers, or planning to do so in future, should have a system in place to ensure their business is fully compliant with the regulations.

Your business, the hirer, has responsibility for ensuring the worker is given their day 1 rights – that is access to employee facilities such as the car park, canteen and child care plus access to information of any employment opportunities within your organisation. The hirer and agency also share responsibility for the worker’s week 13 rights – that is equal pay and working conditions. People4 already have a system in place which will ensure any staff eligible for week 13 rights that are hired from us are treated according to the regulations. See details below.

The official guidelines on the Agency Workers’ Regulations can be found here.

The AWR and people4business

Those using people4business to find highly skilled freelancers to fill short or long term roles can rest assured that we have a system in place for October the 1st. When a contract reaches its tenth week, People4 will let you know and take you through exactly what has to be done to ensure compliance. 

For those who come under the regulations, we’ve made the process as understandable as possible. There will be some simple changes to our terms and conditions and your assigned contact within our organisation will keep you informed at every step of the way.

Our systems have been designed to ensure the formalities involved with implementing the AWR only arise if absolutely necessary. This means no extra paperwork or hassle for those contracts not affected by the regulations. People4 felt this was particularly important in order to maintain the speed and simplicity of our hiring process.

A little extra…

Our new Ltd Company flag shows you our Candidates who are operating through their own limited company and are therefore most likely to be exempt from the AWR. Rest assured, if you do not have your AWR systems in place yet to deal with agency workers but need someone with a specific skill set on a temporary basis, you can still rely on our huge database of freelancers, as people4business will be able to help and advise you at every stage of the contract to ensure you remain compliant with the new legislation.

Please get in touch with us if you have any questions! email | 0845 3710722


Last updated 29.02.12

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