Changes to the Regulations for the use of Agency Workers
8th July 2011
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Our bestof Human Resource specialist - Denise Mather provides an important 'heads-up' for employers on yet further changes to the employment regulations.  Denise says ....

Employers need to be aware of new regulations that come into force on 1st October 2011 that will require agency workers with 12 weeks service to be given parity with comparable employees in the employer’s workplace.

This parity relates to the basic terms and conditions as stated in their contracts of employment and policies.  For example, they must have parity in their:

  • pay -  basic and overtime rates
  • bonuses or commission payments – If these are payable due to the delivery of work
  • working time
  • rest periods 
  • annual leave – including any additional holiday given to employees.

In addition, agency workers should be told about vacancies, not be treated less favourably and be given equal entitlements to canteens, support with childcare, car- parking, etc. from day one.

The 12 week period begins with the agreement to engage the individual. For a contract not to be seen as continuous there should be a 6 week break between assignments and the role should be ‘substantially different’.  

Employers need to:

  • watch out for two different agencies placing the same person on two different assignments at your firm;
  • ensure that they have effective systems to monitor agency workers, particularly if there is more than one location/site for the business;
  • remember that the liability is with the hirer and therefore, you must  ensure that all relevant information about the assignment and terms and conditions are passed to the agency;
  • appreciate that if scales of pay are based on experience then to start an agency worker on the lowest point will only be acceptable if all employees start on the bottom rate.

What action do you need to take?  You must ensure that your employment contracts and employee handbooks are up to date.  You need to set up and monitor the application of good practices now to avoid falling foul of the new legislation.  You need to check that your terms and conditions of employment meet your needs with respect to this latest change to the employment regulations now and in the future.

If you require further information, guidance or support on this employment issue or any other, please contact Denise at DEMand RESULTS on 01455 240 638.

To find out more about the range services available to you from DEMand RESULTS and also what their clients have to say about them - CLICK here.

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