Agency Workers' Protection fails at the first legal hurdle.....
The Agency Worker Regulations came into force on 1 October 2011.
The regulations give agency workers the entitlement to the same or no less favourable treatment as comparable employees with respect to basic employment and working conditions, if and when they complete a qualifying period of 12 weeks in a particular job.
Day 1 rights for all agency workers: If you hire agency workers, you must ensure that they have they can access your facilities (such as canteen, childcare facilities, etc) and can access information on your job vacancies from the first day of their assignment.
After 12 weeks in the same job: The equal treatment entitlements relate to pay and other basic working conditions (annual leave, rest breaks etc) and come into effect after an agency worker completes a 12 week qualifying period in the same job with the same hirer. After completing the qualifying period, pregnant agency workers will now be allowed to take paid time off for ante-natal appointments during an assignment.
It is not retrospective and for those agency workers already on assignment, the 12 week qualifying period will start from 1 October 2011.
What this means for you
If you are a ‘temp’ agency worker: From 1 October 2011, after you have worked in the same job for 12 weeks, you will qualify for equal treatment in respect of pay and basic working conditions. You can accumulate these weeks even if you only work a few hours a week. Your temporary work agency is likely to ask for details of your work history to help establish when you are entitled to equal treatment (separate guidance is available for agency workers on direct.gov website).
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