Contractor Accountants : Agency Workers Regulations

As an agency worker, you are entitled to rights from day one in your assignment. These include access to collective facilities, such as the staff canteen or toilets and information about job vacancies. If you believe that you are not getting these rights, you should talk to the agency or recruiters. If the matter can’t be resolved informally, you can request written information for your hirer about your rights any length of time after the start of your assignment.

The hirer has to provide a written statement with all the relevant information about:

  • The rights of someone doing a similar job.
  • Why agency workers are treated differently.

The hirer has 28 days to reply to your request.

After 12 Weeks.

After 12 weeks in the same job, if you believe you are not getting your rights, you are entitled to ask for written information from your agency. For example, if you think you are not receiving equal treatment on pay, holidays, etc., you can, under law, approach the agency to ask questions. If you do not get a reply within 30 days then you can ask for the same information from your hirer -who has 28 days to reply. The agency has to provide information relating to:

  • Basic working and employment conditions, e.g. rate of pay and number of weeks' annual leave.
  • Any relevant information or factors that were considered when determining these conditions, for example, is there a pay scale which sets the rate of pay?
  • The terms and conditions of a relevant comparable employee (if relevant) and explain any difference in treatment, e.g. lower rate of pay because you do not have the same qualifications, skills or experience/expertise.

What happens if I don’t get the Information?

If you make a claim to an Employment Tribunal, the Tribunal may look upon the situation unfavourably if information or a written statement was requested but not provided. So, what should you do if you have a problem with the information provided? You should bring a claim to an Employment Tribunal if the agency (including the umbrella company or other body involved) and your recruiter/hirer:

  • Do not give you equal treatment after 12 weeks.
  • Deny you access to facilities or information on vacancies from day one.

ACAS (the Advisory Conciliation  and Arbitration Service) may be able to help before, and after, making a claim.

Making a claim to an Employment Tribunal

An Employment Tribunal will not consider a complaint unless it is presented within three months of the actual breach. If it is unclear where liability for your claim might sit, you may claim against the hirer, the agency, the umbrella company or any other parties involved. If your claim is successful then you will be compensated for any loss attributable to the breach including:

  • Expenses reasonably incurred.
  • Loss of earnings.
  • An appropriate level of compensation if you have been denied access to a facility, for example.

There is no maximum award, but there is a minimum amount of two weeks' pay.

Further Information

This summary of the Agency Workers regulation was obtained from the Direct Gov. website.
For further reading and for up to date changes in the legislation please visit the Direct Gov. website pages relating to the Agency Workers Regulations.

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