The Agency Workers Regulations are one of a series of initiatives devised by the EC to ensure that all workers are employed on equal terms.

Also known as “the equal treatment principle”, the purpose of the Agency Workers Directive is to ensure that the principal of equal treatment applies to temporary & agency staff in terms of basic working & employment conditions. The regulations do not apply to workers who are self-employed or working through their own limited liability company. Equal treatment will apply to the basic working & employment conditions of the agency worker such as: 
• Duration of working time
• Overtime
• Breaks and rest periods
• Holidays
• Public holidays
• Pay (see questions 5 and 6)
• Terms & conditions ordinarily included in employee contracts (for example, collective agreements, pay scales, company books)
• Other matters of custom and practice in the workplace concerned (for example, access to facilities and permanent employment with the hirer)

Equal treatment for the purposes of AWR will be extended after 12 weeks and provides that agency workers receive the same basic terms and conditions as those recruited directly. This includes basic pay, plus other contractual entitlements directly linked to the work undertaken by the agency worker whilst on assignment i.e. 
• Payment for overtime (subject to any requirements regarding the number of qualifying hours)
• Basic pay
• Payment for annual leave
• Bonuses or commission payments that are directly linked to the quality or quantity of work done by an agency worker.

We do not expect this to have an impact on the on the cost or frequency of using temporary workers and indeed expect that agency workers will continue to be an important and necessary resource in the recruitment process. We are committed to working with our candidates and clients in ensuring this legislation is understood and incorporated in the correct manner.

Do contact our interim team on 020 7478 2500 for further information whether you are an agency worker, or client who uses agency workers.

Download: Cobalt - What is AWR.pdf