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Agency Workers Regulations

On October 1st 2011 changes to the Agency Workers Regulations came into force.

The AWR are very comprehensive but the three main changes which have come into force are:

After a 12-week qualifying period, agency workers have the same rights to pay and working conditions as permanent staff in a similar role. This includes overtime and shift payments, contractual holiday pay and bonus/commission payments; it excludes contractual sick pay, maternity, pensions and notice or redundancy pay.

The changes also provide agency workers with certain rights from day one – they must have the same access as permanent staff to collective facilities and amenities, for example, canteens and changing facilities.

They will also have the right, from day one, to be afforded the same opportunities to find permanent employment with the company as its own employees. Therefore all vacancies must be made available to them.

There are several issues that you as an employer should consider now. Do you know how many agency workers you hire? If you use them regularly you need to understand the implications and cost of these new regulations.

You need to establish what basic terms are currently offered to staff for various roles across the business, such as pay, holiday entitlement and bonus. Maybe you could introduce qualifying periods for new starts before they acquire certain benefits.

There are important steps needed to ensure that you are well placed to comply with and minimise any adverse effects of these regulations.  We can help you effectively manage these challenges, whilst ensuring that you comply with all legislative regulations and still reduce costs.

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