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Factsheet: Enforcing the AWR Regulations

The  Agency Worker Regulations, or AWR, which came in to force with effect 1st Oct 2011 is designed to protect Agency Workers from being treated unfairly by the End Clients (also referred to as “Hirers”).

The AWR Regulations give agency workers the right to the same basic working and employment conditions they would receive if they were engaged directly by an end user client to do the same job; this is limited to conditions that relate to pay and working time.

Agency workers will also be entitled to access on-site facilities that an end user client provides to its own workers and to be advised by a client of vacancies which arise in the client’s business.

“agency” means an employment business (which engages workers and supplies them to a client to work under the clients control and supervision).

A reference to an “agency worker” means the individual engaged by the agency and supplied to work for the client under the client’s supervision and control.
Agency workers will be able to enforce their rights under the Regulations by pursuing a claim in an Employment Tribunal. Such claims can either be brought against the client or agency or both, depending on the particular breach in question. Generally the liability will lie with the party that is responsible for the breach.

Employment agencies in the strict legal sense, which introduce candidates to a client to be engaged directly by that client, are not affected by these Regulations.

In this Factsheet we look at the different liability issues and at the steps that agencies should take to minimise their liability, in particular in terms of the information that should be sought from clients to ensure that agency workers receive equal treatment. It also looks at the remedies available to agency workers in the event of breaches of the Regulations.

The legislation requires the End clients to offer comparable pay, facilities and rights to the Agency Workers as they would have given to their own employees. There are certain rights that are available to the Agency Workers from Day 1 of starting a new assignment, and there are other rights that will be available when the worker completes the 12 Week qualifying period on an assignment.

Day 1 Rights:

Your contractors should have access to the facilities (such as canteen, parking, childcare etc.) and job vacancies provided by the end client. Though the end client is primarily responsible for this, you may want to ask for this information from the end client via. your agency.

After 12 Qualifying Weeks:

Your contractors will be entitled to pay and other working conditions (leave, breaks etc.) the same as if they had been directly employed by the end client. It will be your responsibility to request this information from the end clients and pass it on to your contractors.

 Tracking the 12 week qualification is the most complex part of compliance

Special Software can help you comply.

The legislation states that, when the contractor completes the 12 qualifying weeks on the same job with the same client, he/she must be treated equal to a permanent employee. However the 12 weeks do not have to be continuous. If the worker didn’t work in a week, depending on the reason the counter may pause or reset or continue. Hence the reason for break must be taken in to account and to add to the complexity, the 12 week qualification must be tracked for each placement (Job and Client) separately. Green Pelican makes it a simple task by allowing you to record the reason for not working quickly.  It then tracks the 12 week qualification automatically. Once the 12 week qualification is completed, it automatically applies the client specific holiday pay rates. Individual diaries are maintained for each contractor and reports produced that assist you in setting up new rates where necessary.

12 Week Tracking

Where the break is less than 6 weeks Pauses
Where there is a break of 6 weeks or more Resets
Sickness absence Pauses
Annual leave Pauses
Workplace shut downs (e.g. factory closure, school holidays) Pauses
Jury service Pauses
Industrial action Pauses
Pregnancy and maternity related absence Maternity, paternity or adoption leave Continues



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More Information from egos legal consultancy:

AWR cases index

Reforms to the EU’s Wire Transfer Regulations (WTR) increase KYC requirements under anti-money laundering laws. In addition, the second phase of the Payment Services Directive, PSD2 – which extends transparency and information requirements to countries outside of the EEA – is also on the horizon.

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