t652_STF_AWR_FactSheet_v4_STF_Newsletter_ 17/11/2011 12:15 Page 1
’OK, what are the
Agency Workers Regulations?’
It’s hard to ignore the news that the Agency Workers Regulations came into being on the 1st October 2011. However, despite the headlines, there remains much confusion about what the Regulations will mean in reality to those working through agencies, the agencies themselves and the hirers of agency labour (we prefer to call them Host Companies!). This factsheet has been produced to help shed some much needed light on the brief history of the Regulations; how they are likely to affect you and others taking work through a recruitment agency or TWA (Temporary Work Agency) as we are known
Fact Sheet: Agency Workers Regulations
under the Regulations; and what we can all expect of each other in the future. AWR has been introduced to improve and enhance the terms and conditions and working practices that affect staff securing work through a TWA. Important progress has been made in recent years particularly in extending to agency workers some of the basic rights that are automatically conferred to permanent employees, such as holiday pay and National Minimum Wage.
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Back to the Regulations… The AWR exist to help better align agency workers with those working directly for a labour hirer/Host Company. Stafforce, along with most other labour providers, is entirely supportive of the spirit of the Regulations, with most responsible recruiters seeking to negotiate the most favourable and viable arrangement with Host Companies. As a matter of principle, most of the provisions made within the Regulations only apply after 12 weeks in the same assignment. Typically, these include some elements of pay, working time and maternity rights. However, there are some notable exclusions that include: occupational sick pay, pensions, maternity/paternity pay, redundancy and bonus schemes other than those that directly relate to the quality or quantity of work carried out by a worker. Under AWR, these are examples of likely scenarios that workers may encounter upon receiving an offer of work:
2 3 4
A workplace where the pay rates and T&C’s are such that there is no or a nominal difference between agency workers and their Full Time Employee colleagues (FTE’s). After 12 weeks your pay will change to mirror any difference.
Situations where the hirer has made a commercial case for and has exercised their right to opt out of the equal pay provisions and in return, support a pay between assignment approach to help bridge workers between their work assignments (this is to a maximum of 4 weeks and subject to clear conditions).
Recruitment needs that rarely - if ever - extend beyond three months.
Environments where there is a considerable and justifiable probationary/training consideration for new starters.
With this in mind, for those keen to make the most of the benefits of working with our Host Companies, the reality is, in order to stay in gainful employment, you are likely to be offered a range of assignments that include some or all of the above scenarios.
To summarise… We will continue to invest heavily and responsibly to ensure that we can provide the best possible experience for our valued workers. We will be posting regular updates on our website over the coming weeks and months and are always available to answer questions and queries through the email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
‘So, what’s likely to ?’ happen next As ever, all agency workers have a choice and can exercise that choice by registering with as many recruiters as they wish with a view to finding the most favourable opportunities of work. Recognising this, we are keen to ensure that we can offer the best opportunities of work with the most favourable conditions in the marketplace and will be offering: 1) Assignments where the Host Company intends to adopt the Regulations on pay and other relevant T&Cs: Subject to 12 weeks’ successful assignment (with any breaks no more than six weeks), where you have satisfied the performance criteria set out by the Host Company, you will have relevant ‘Equal Treatment’ extended to you. Any failure to meet the performance expectations set as a condition of work may lead to the termination of this assignment before week 12 and therefore lead to you forfeiting any entitlement to equal treatment under the Regulations. Please note: week 12 does not mean you will automatically enjoy the same pay and other relevant T&Cs as a FTE colleague… at week 12 you will be entitled to Equal Treatment. 2) Assignments where the Host Company has exercised its right to use the Derogation model and opt out of equal pay. Many Host Companies who are working to remain competitive and, therefore, protect existing jobs and invest to create more, have been left with little choice but to utilise provisions within the Regulations. The good news for workers engaged on such assignments is that, subject to qualifying rules, a condition of the compromise is that they are entitled to pay between assignments for up to four weeks. 3) Assignments where there is no differential between agency workers and FTEs.