The Agency Workers Regulations (AWR) came into effect on 1 October 2011.
The AWR affect the following:
- Temporary agency workers who have an employment contract or contract for services with an agency but works temporarily for and under the direction of the hirer.
- Individuals/companies who supply temporary workers to work temporarily for and under the direction of a hirer, also known as Temporary Work Agencies (TWA).
- Hirers book agency workers via TWA and are responsible for supervising and directing the agency worker.
There is a tripartite relationship between these 3 parties.
- Any temporary worker working for a company after 12 weeks (Qualifying Period), on the same job role, with the same hirer, will have equal working conditions to that of a permanent employee in the same job, as if he had been recruited directly like an employee for the same job in the company.
- The 12 weeks can be accumulated even if a worker works for only a few hours during a week.
- Fair treatment by the hirer.
- Access to collective facilities (e.g. canteen, crèche, recreational room, local pick up and drop off transportation services, food & drinks machines, car parking).
- Access to collective information on internal job vacancies from Day 1 of their assignment (Day 1 entitlement).
- In relation to pay (e.g. overtime payments, allowances, payment for annual leaves, bonus, lunch vouchers, childcare vouchers, paid time off for ante-natal appointment).
- Equal working time hours, rest periods in addition to existing rights under the Working Time Regulations 1998.
- Occupational pension schemes
- Share schemes
- Enhanced occupational sick pay
- Redundancy pay
- Paternity or maternity pay
- Company performance bonuses
- Non-cash awards
- Salary advances or loans
- Additional discretionary or non-contractual payments
- Company car
- Health & Safety: If the nature of the assignment poses a health & safety risk, the TWA will need to ask the hirer to perform a workplace risk assessment and make reasonable adjustments (e.g. expectant mothers).
- If reasonable adjustments cannot be made, the TWA will need to seek alternative suitable work for the worker with another hirer, which is paid at least at the same rate.
- For each vacancy, a TWA receives from a hirer, the TWA must record all details about the vacancy before the introduction or supply of a worker takes place, in order to be compliant with the Gangmasters Act and the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Act (e.g. check the identity of the hirer, nature of business, location, duration of assignment, job role).
- The TWA needs to ask the hirer for information about pay and other basic conditions when it is clear that the worker will be in the same job with the same hirer for more than 12 weeks.
- Where a risk assessment is required, the hirer will need to carry one and where risks are identified, the hirer is obliged to make adjustments to remove the risk.
- If a risk assessment is not possible, the hirer should inform the TWA, who will then need to look for an alternative work.
- It should provide the TWA with updated information about its terms and conditions so that the TWA can ensure that the worker receives equal treatment.
- It should ensure that all agency workers are able to have access to the facilities offered to its employees and view vacancies from Day 1 of their assignment with the hirer.
- It should provide the TWA with the required details in order to comply with the AWR if an agency worker completes 12 weeks in a given job. As the entitlement to equal treatment begins in week 13, the information should be provided promptly when it is clear that the assignment will last for more than 12 weeks (e.g. basic pay, any overtime payments etc.)
- The TWA is likely to ask for details of the worker’s work history to help establish when the worker is entitled to equal treatment and he is required to provide the data.
- Hirers and TWAs should also be aware of anti-avoidance provisions which prevent assignments from being structured in a way so as to prevent an agency worker from reaching the Qualifying Period. Having said that, anti-avoidance provisions do not force a hirer to engage agency workers beyond 12 weeks. However, TWAs and hirers should be aware that the law addresses situations where the patterns of assignments are designed to deliberately deprive a worker of his entitlement.
- TWAs or hirers are liable for a fine up to £5000 should they artificially circumvent the patterns of assignments to prevent the agency worker from accruing 12 weeks.
Example of an artificial arrangement
- Where a hirer is part of a larger group and each company has its own separate legal entity, an agency worker is moved back and forth between the different legal entities with the intention to deprive the worker from receiving equal treatment.
Churchill Knight and all of our associated companies* are proudly accredited by the Freelancer & Contractor Services Association (FCSA). The FCSA is a leading professional body that is committed to ensuring the supply chain of temporary workers is ethical and compliant with HMRC rules and regulations. To achieve this prestigious accreditation, all of our companies have undergone comprehensive audits by independent employment and legal professionals.
FCSA accreditation says it all – its members are compliant, ethical and have both your agencies and your candidates’ best interests at heart. Every business under the Churchill Knight Group falls into this category.
Click on the button below to download a PDF version of our Agency Worker Regulations (AWR) Guide – written exclusively for recruitment professionals.
To schedule a meeting at your office, or to find out more information about Churchill Knight and how we can help your recruitment agency remain compliant, please use the form below, or call 0808 2525533.
We’re delighted to work with hundreds of recruitment agencies throughout the UK. By partnering with us, you’re teaming up with an accountancy and umbrella company with over 20 years’ experience, and a proven track record. We’ve built a reputation we’re proud of, and you can be assured that your recruitment agency, consultants and candidates will become our priority.
Here are a few reasons why you should contact our friendly team today to arrange a meeting in your office:
- We make it our priority to stay up to date with the latest news and legislation affecting the supply of temporary workers. Some of the legislation can be complex (especially IR35), and as a result, our Agency Development Team would be happy to deliver training at your office for Consultants who want to find out more.
- We are partnered with IR35 specialists that can help your end-client, and your agency with IR35 assessments, Status Determination Statements, and more.
- Churchill Knight has over 20 years’ experience, and we’re proud of the reputation we’ve built.
- All your candidates’ payroll requirements are covered – limited company, umbrella, and more. Switching between our services is easy.
- We understand no recruitment agency is the same. This is why we tailor our partnerships, ensuring your agency gets what it wants from our professional relationship.
- Your candidates are your priority and we respect this. You have our word – they’ll become our priority too. We always go the extra mile to ensure the service we deliver is beyond their expectations.
- We acknowledge it’s our responsibility to always be up to date with the latest legislation and to share it with our partners. We frequently run free seminars for our partners and are happy to host training sessions in their offices. If this is something that sounds appealing, please get in contact with us.