No Delaying New Rights for Agency Workers

by Kidd Rapinet on October 19, 2011

Despite calls from some quarters that the Government should delay the introduction of the new Agency Workers Directive, it came into force in the UK on 1 October 2011 without any changes. The effect is to provide equal treatment for temporary agency workers, compared with permanent workers, in terms of basic working and employment conditions (including pay, holidays, working time, rest periods and maternity leave) once they have worked for the qualifying period of 12 weeks.

Philip Wild, a partner in the Company & Commercial Dept. at Kidd Rapinet’s London office says: “Some people were calling for a delay to help boost employment prospects, but to no avail. The regulations give agency workers entitlement to the same basic employment and working conditions as if they had been recruited directly, if and when they complete a qualifying period of 12 weeks in the same job.”

Other benefits that agency workers will gain from the first day of their assignment include:
  • information about vacancies so that they have the same opportunity as other workers to find permanent employment;
  • equal access to on-site facilities, such as child care and transport services; and
  • improved rights to protect the health and safety of new and expectant mothers, including the right to reasonable time off work to attend ante-natal appointments and adjustments to working conditions and working hours.

Philip Wild comments: “Some employers may have been encouraged by the speculation that there might be a moratorium on the introduction to simply put the issue on the back-burner and not consider what the Directive will mean to them. Now they need to take action.”

If you feel you may need advice, Kidd Rapinet can advise you on the latest law in this field. Call Philip Wild on 020 7024 8029 for further information.

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