Candidates be in the know! – Guide to the Agency Workers Regulations
The Agency Workers Regulations
The announcement of the Agency Workers Regulations (AWR) sparked concern that companies would be put off by the extra regulation. Now a survey, by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, can put these concerns to rest. Results show the number of companies planning on using temporary workers has actually increased in the last year to 83 percent. So, what will the effect of the AWR be on individuals working through agencies, and how can you prepare for them?
Freelancers, contractors and consultancy staff working through people4business have nothing to worry about. Once you have gained a contract, your allocated contact on the people4 team will provide assistance and advice wherever necessary.
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 another business – are given equal treatment to equivalent permanent employees. Under the regulations, agency workers will be entitled to the same basic working and employment conditions and benefits as an employee after 12 weeks of continuous working with a business or organisation. An eligible worker is given two sets of rights: day 1 rights and week 13 rights.
The regulations came 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 they affect me?
Who comes under the ‘agency worker’ label? The legislation affects primarily those workers who are not working through their own Ltd Company and who are on a temporary contract of more than 12 weeks through an agency.
Will they change how I work?
There were concerns, when the legislation was first announced, that many companies would stop using temporary workers at 12 weeks even if they were needed for longer. However, research shows that this really isn’t the case. The AWR should, statistically, have very little impact on the way most Candidates on people4 work. Some contracts will be affected by the legislation, but our system for dealing with the AWR is based on our central principle of transparency and communication. Even if a contract does have to be changed, we will make sure that negotiations run smoothly for everyone.
What are my rights?
The individual worker should be aware of their own responsibilities and rights. Under the AWR, there are two sets of rights given to the eligible worker: day 1 rights and week 13 rights.
The hirer, or Client, has responsibility for ensuring you are given your day 1 rights – that is access to employee facilities such as the car park, canteen and child care, plus access to information on any employment opportunities within their organisation. The hirer and the agency then share responsibility for ensuring you gain your week 13 rights – that is equal pay and working conditions.
The official guidelines on the Agency Workers’ Regulations can be found here.
The AWR and people4business
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.
For non-limited company workers the regulations are likely to apply, but changes to your contract will only be required if you are being paid less than a comparable employee in the organisation.
We’ve made the process as understandable as possible. There will be some simple changes to our terms and conditions and, once you have a contract, your assigned contact at people4business will keep you informed at every step of the way.
Please get in touch with us if you have any questions! email | 0845 3710722
Last updated 30.07.12
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