Agency Workers Regulations

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The Agency Workers Regulations came into force on 1 October 2011 and mean that agency workers receive "equal treatment" compared to directly recruited staff after being employed for 12 weeks. 

What it means for employers?

In summary, the regulations mean that agency workers in the UK receive “equal treatment” compared to directly recruited staff after being employed for 12 weeks. 

This means agency workers:
  • are entitled to the same pay, holidays, working time, overtime, breaks and rest periods as comparable to permanent workers
  • have equal access to collective facilities (e.g. canteen, childcare facilities, transport services) 
  • have access to information about permanent employment opportunities and access to training.

The regulations do not cover occupational social security schemes, including sick pay, pensions or financial participation schemes.

You can read the guidance on the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills website.

Our online guide

This guide is divided into a number of sections:

The regulations - find out more about the general scope of the regulations.  

Definitions - read the definitions of temporary work agencies and an agency worker.

New entitlements from day one - find out what agency workers will be entitled to under the new regulations.

New entitlements after 12 weeks - find out what agency workers will be entitled to after 12 weeks in employment.

Equal treatment - find out how the regulations affect pay, holiday entitlements and maternity rights.

Frequently asked questions - a series of FAQs to help you understand and implement the new regulations.

Guidance produced by the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development

The Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) has produced a free guide for employers on the Agency Workers Regulations 2010.  

You can download a copy, free of charge, from the CIPD website,  however, you must register (it is free to register) with the website to access this information.

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