Introduction to this document

Agency workers policy

The Agency Workers Regulations 2010 require you to give agency workers the same access to your collective facilities and information on relevant job vacancies as direct recruits. After twelve weeks, they have additional rights to the same basic working and employment conditions as if recruited directly. We’ve covered all of this in our policy.

Agency Workers Regulations

The Agency Workers Regulations 2010 ensure the protection of agency workers when on an assignment with a hirer through the principle of equal treatment. This includes equal access to collective facilities and relevant job vacancies, and a right after twelve weeks to the same basic working and employment conditions as if they had been recruited directly.

Day one rights

Agency workers are entitled to two key rights from the first day of their assignment: the same access to certain collective facilities and amenities as a comparable worker who you recruit directly and information on relevant job vacancies. Collective facilities can include such things as staff car parking or transport services, canteen, a workplace crèche, prayer room, toilet facilities, etc. You do have the possibility here of using the defence of "objective justification" for any less favourable treatment. The right to be informed of relevant vacancies is simply a right to be notified about those vacancies, and be given information about them, on the same basis as direct recruits. It isn’t a right to be entitled to apply and be considered for them on the same terms as direct recruits. The right also doesn't apply in the context of a genuine headcount freeze where vacant posts have been ringfenced for redeployment purposes, or internal moves as part of a business restructuring.

Rights after twelve weeks

After an agency worker completes a twelve-week qualifying period with you in the same job role, they will be entitled to the same basic working and employment conditions that would apply if they'd been recruited directly to the same job. This principle of equal treatment applies to key elements of pay, any enhanced rights relating to the duration of working time, night work, rest periods, rest breaks and paid annual leave, and time off to attend antenatal or adoption appointments, and it requires a term-by-term approach and not an overall package approach. The principle doesn't apply to other terms of employment.

Policy terms

Our Agency Workers Policy starts by setting out the circumstances in which agency workers can be used and the formal process that line managers need to go through to hire an agency worker. It then outlines both the day one rights and the rights after twelve weeks, plus we've included the rules for calculating the qualifying period. Finally, we've confirmed how an agency worker needs to make an information request if they believe they've been deprived of any of their statutory rights.