Agency Worker Regulations (AWR) came into play in England, Scotland and Wales on the 1st of October 2011. They ensure equal treatment and safety with regards to basic regulations for workers.
The number of agency workers is continuing to increase as we are expecting to approach 1 million workers by 2020. Therefore, it’s becoming increasingly important that employers know how to implement Agency Workers Regulations within their business.
How do the Agency Worker Regulations impact your business?
Agency Worker Regulations do not have to spell massive changes for your business. To make it easier, we have complied important information regarding what the rights are from day one to how to best handle the regulations.
The Rights from Day One
Agency Workers have certain rights that apply from the first day. The rights include:
- Access to collective facilities and amenities available on site
- Information on job vacancies with the hirer
- Employment Status
The Rights from Week 12
After 12 weeks in the job, the workers qualify for the same rights
- Equal Pay
- Automatic Pension Enrolment
- Paid Annual Leave
- Overtime and night work
What resets the qualification period ‘clock’?
- Breaks between a role for more than 6 weeks will reset the qualification period.
- If an agency worker starts a new role that’s substantially different from the previous one.
- The worker takes a break of 6 weeks or less
- The worker leaves due to sickness or injury for up to 28 weeks
- The workplace closes, for example, Christmas
- The worker is on jury service for up to 28 weeks
- The worker takes annual leave.
There are some aspects that the regulations do not take into account, as you you will need to create your own internal guides to cover these ares:
- Occupational sick pay
- Maternity pay
- Redundancy and notice pay
- Payments related to pension entitlement
- Bonuses that are not based on individual
performance Profitsharing schemes
What Do You Need To Do?
You now have an understanding of what rights a worker has with the Agency Worker Regulations. Below we have got 2 tips that ensure your business effectively implements AWR:
Communicate with your hiring managers.
Understanding and applying the Agency Worker Regulations to your business is critical, holding regular meetings with your hiring manager(s) and the team can help better understand the regulations and analyse on what areas in the regulations that your business can improve on.
Make sure you inform your Agency Worker(s) When Changes Occur
Updating your Agency Workers about the agency worker regulations and helping them understand their rights from day 1 and week 12 shows your business as transparent, building on your reputation as a company.
To go that one step ahead, you can create a terms and conditions paper, that looks at the impact of The Agency Workers Regulations.
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