Agency Worker Regulations (AWR) – what is it, and what does it mean?


in
Guides, Legal

Updated 2014.

From 1st October 2011, Agency Workers in Great Britain (Northern Ireland will publish their own separate regulations on 5th December) will have the right to ‘equal treatment’ in certain areas of their employment.  The Regulations are as follows (we have updated our advice for 2012) -

The term ‘Agency Workers’ will include those individuals who are:

  • Workers supplied by a temp agency (called a TWA – Temporary Work Agency) for temporary work.  These Workers must have a contract or agreement with the TWA and will do temporary work for a ‘hirer’ (the company they go to work at), personally, and work under the ‘hirers’ direction or supervision.  (A TWA is a company that supplies individuals to work temporarily, under the supervision and direction of a 3rd party).
  • Workers who supply their services through an Umbrella company (called an ‘intermediary’) and find work through a TWA.  Normally these Workers will have an employment contract (‘employee‘ relationship) with the Umbrella company and are often called ‘Contractors‘.

It will not include:

  • It was confirmed in December 2013 that agency workers who are working on an ‘indefinite’ and not a temporary basis at the end-hirer are not covered by the Regulations – full details of the case are here.
  • Those that have a ‘business to business’ relationship with the hirer or agency (the hirer or agency is the individuals’ client or customer).
  • Workers who work for an in-house temporary staffing ‘bank’ where they are employed by the company directly.
  • Those who work under the supervision and direction of the ‘supplier’ (TWA) rather than the ‘hirer’.
  • Workers/Contractors who are hired via their own Personal Service Company (PSC – also called Limited Company Contractors) if they are genuinely self-employed.  There has been a lot of debate about this group, as to whether LCC’s are included under the AWR or not – some believe that because the work has to be done ‘personally’ (to be an agency worker) this cannot include LCC’s.  It is believed, although not yet tested, that if an LCC falls outside of IR35 they it should fall outside of the AWR.
  • Workers who work directly for Managed Service Contractors (MSC) e.g. cleaners, catering staff.  MSC’s provide a service to the customer but the MSC, not the customer, has responsibility for managing and delivering the service and supervising their workers at the customers premises.

See our new Crunch Guide to the Agency Workers Regulations for Contractors/Freelancers – advice on how this will affect Contractors specifically and what the best options for the legal structure of your business will be with the AWR pending!

If there is a dispute about whether a worker is within the scope of the AWR or not, an Employment Tribunal will decide the relationship between the parties involved.

Contractors and Freelancers need to work closely with their Agency/Umbrella Company/Client to ensure their employment ‘status’ is correct and so any obligations under the AWR are understood.  Contractors and Freelancers cannot, however, agree with any 3rd party to be outside of the AWR when this is not true.

‘Equal Treatment’ will mean that ‘Agency Workers’ will have, under the AWR, from 1st October 2011:

The right to the same basic employment and working conditions as permanent staff they are ‘comparable’ to (at the ‘hirers’ company) as long as they have worked for the client for a period of 12 calendar weeks in the same job. For further details on how these 12 weeks are counted please see below.  For further details on what makes staff ‘comparable’ please see below.

The Regulations are NOT retrospective so you start accruing your 12 weeks service with the client from 1st October 2011 (the earliest you could qualify is 24th December 2011).

The terms and conditions included for equal treatment are:

Pay -

Agency Workers who are eligible must receive the same ‘pay’ as comparable workers.  Pay includes basic pay, holiday pay, overtime pay, bonuses linked to individual performance, vouchers that have a monetary value e.g. lunch or child-care vouchers, annual pay awards.  (The  Equal Treatment provisions on Pay will not apply in one situation – see details below).

In relation to those Workers who work through a TWA via an Umbrella company, their pay must also be comparable but it does not mean they should be paid more i.e. where an umbrella workers receives part of their pay as reimbursement for travel expenses this can be included in the comparable rate (e.g. if a directly recruited worker receives £100 per day, an umbrella worker could receive £80 plus £20 reimbursement).

Rest Breaks, Night Work, Working Hours and Annual Leave -

Where companies provide contractual arrangements for rest breaks, hours of work and annual leave that are more generous that the statutory minimum, then an ‘Agency Worker’ who is eligible must receive these enhanced benefits.  Agency Workers must, for  example, have the same amount of working time and annual leave as those who are directly employed workers e.g. if normal working hours are 35 per week, then the Agency Worker must also work these hours after 12 weeks.  Agency temps must receive the same holiday entitlement as permanent employees but any holiday that exceeds the statutory minimum of 28 days can be paid in lieu, we understand.

Paid time off for Ante-natal appointments -

For pregnant ‘Agency Workers’ that are eligible.

From 1st October 2014 or 1st December 2014 (tbc), prospective fathers/partners of pregnant women and intended parents in surrogacy arrangements, will have the right to take time off to attend two antenatal appointments with their partner.  There is no legal right to paid time off and the time off to attend appointments will be for a maximum of 6.5 hours on each occasion.  This applies to all employees and agency workers with 12 weeks service.  ‘Fathers’ must provide reasonable notice of these appointments but there is no need (legally) to provide evidence of the appointment.

The hirer/employer of the pregnant worker will be asked by the TWA to perform a health and safety risk assessment.  If the worker can no longer safely complete the duties of the assignment (and/or the hirer cannot make adjustments to the workplace) for health and safety reasons they will need to be found alternative work, at the same rate (or higher) than the original assignment.  If this is not possible then the pregnant agency worker will have the right to be paid by the agency for the remaining expected duration of the original assignment.

N.B. The ‘Equal Treatment on Pay’ Exception that is written into the regulations says that the Equal Treatment provisions on Pay (only) will not apply to an Agency Worker:

These opt-outs are being referred to as the Swedish Derogation Model (SDM), and are being used by some hirers/Agencies/Umbrella companies to steer clear of the new regulations in terms of ensuring the agency worker receives equal pay – you can read more on that and the possible implications and problems of the SDM in our new Crunch Guide to the Regulations for Contractors.

In September 2013 the TUC lodged a formal complaint with the European Commission against the UK Government, for failing to enforce EU rules in respect of the Swedish Derogation model.

If this minimum pay is paid for a period of at least 4 weeks after the end of the last assignment and the agency has taken reasonable steps to find another suitable assignment for the worker during that period, the Agency can terminate its contract with the Agency Worker without being subject to the equal treatment provisions on pay.

But how many hours a week should the permanent (SDM) contract offer? Some Agency Workers have been offered very low hours contracts.  The Regulations give no guidance on what ‘minimum’ hours are acceptable apart from saying that ‘zero’ hours contracts are unacceptable.

The positive aspect for agency workers of an SDM permanent contract is that you are then an employee so have employees rights – which include the right to claim unfair dismissal after 1 years continuous employment (or 2 years if your permanent contract starts on or after 6th April 2012) and the right to a redundancy payment after 2 years continuous employment.  See our Guide to your Employment Rights here.

An SDM permanent contract cannot exclude other equal treatment rights (e.g. to holiday entitlement, see above).

The terms and conditions that this right to equal treatment DO NOT apply to are:

  • Bonuses (that relate to the hirers corporate performance or are given to award long service)
  • Loans
  • Expenses
  • Company Pension Schemes (Agency Workers will be covered by new automatic pension enrolment schemes that will be phased in by the Government from October 2012)
  • Health or Life Insurance/Assurance schemes
  • Share Option Schemes
  • Family-Leave related pay that is above the statutory minimum
  • Occupational Sick Pay schemes (Agency Workers already have a right to receive Statutory Sick Pay)
  • Payment for time-off for Trade Union activities
  • Occupational Maternity/Paternity/Adoption pay
  • Redundancy Pay
  • Notice Pay (either statutory or contractual that is linked to the loss of employment).

The Regulations also do not require Agency Workers to be integrated into the hirer’s performance appraisal systems.

How the 12 weeks are calculated:

  • You must work for the same Client (‘hirer’) in the same job for a total of 12 calendar weeks from 1st October 2011.
  • It does not matter how many hours you work each week, it can be part-time.
  • It also does not matter if you have worked for the Client (‘hirer’) through more than 1 agency during these 12 weeks.

The continuity of these 12 weeks will not be broken if you stop working for the Client (but return later to the same job) because:

  • You have a break of up to 6 calendar weeks – when you return to the Client to do the same job you start re-counting towards the 12 weeks after your return.
  • You are sick or injured and incapable of work or are doing jury service – up to a maximum period of 28 weeks.
  • You take a break due to pregnancy or maternity – this time off is ‘protected’ from the start of the pregnancy up until 26 weeks after childbirth (or when you return to work), for as long as the assignment was originally intended to last.
  • You take a break on statutory maternity/paternity/adoption leave – where you are entitled to this – you are protected for up to 26 weeks after childbirth (or when you return to work) for as long as the assignment was originally intended to last.
  • You take accrued holiday entitlement.
  • If the ‘hirers’ workplace is shut (e.g. for Christmas or because of industrial action).

N.B.  A pregnant agency worker does not have any further rights under the AWR beyond those they are already entitled to (see our Guide to the Equality Act and our Guide to Maternity) and they do not have an automatic right to return to work after maternity leave.

The continuity of the 12 weeks will be broken, however, if an agency worker:

  • Starts a new assignment with a different client.
  • Has a 6-week or longer break from the same (original) client – you can, for example, work in the same assignment for 10 weeks then not work for the same client for another 4 weeks, but if you then return to the same client in the same job you would be entitled to equal treatment rights two weeks into the second assignment.
  • Starts a new role with the same (original) client that is substantially different from the previous role (e.g. different skills are needed, hours are different, pay is different, different location, different line manager).

Comparable Workers:

Agency Workers will have a right to equal treatment to those relevant terms and conditions above and in relation to facilities and accessing vacancies (see points 2 and 3 below) that are given to an actual ‘comparable’ worker.  Who is a directly employed, permanent member of staff who does similar, although not necessarily the same, type of work and generally at the same location.  If there is not a comparable worker then consideration needs to be given to published pay scales or pay agreements etc that are in place to determine pay/conditions.

In deciding who is to be the ‘comparable’ worker the BIS guidance says that if skills and qualifications influence the rate of pay for direct employees, the same must apply for agency workers.  The Guidance, however, does not address whether length of service or quality of performance should be taken into account.  An Employment Tribunal case in 2013 did confirm that quality of performance issues should be taken into account and the CBI have called on the Government to streamline the complex definition of pay in the legislation, to allow for easier comparisons.

The other Equal Treatment provisions that come into force from 1st October 2011 are called ‘Day-One’ provisions which mean, of course, they are available from Day One of the assignment (you do not need 12 weeks service).  These are:

Vacancies

Agency Workers will have the right to be told of any relevant vacancies at the client’s organisation during their assignment (in whatever is the normal way that direct workers are informed of internal vacancies) and have the right to apply for such vacancies.  The only exception is where internal vacancies are ‘ring-fenced’ for existing staff due to redeployment / restructuring /redundancy situations.

Benefits

Agency Workers have the right to be treated no less favourably than a comparable worker in relation to collective facilities and amenities at the hirers workplace, which could include canteens, toilets/shower facilities, childcare facilities and parking facilities (if there is a waiting list for any such facilities the Agency Worker would join the waiting list along with the hirers direct employees).

Rights

Agency Workers will also have the right not to suffer a detriment for asserting their rights under the Regulations (see below).

Unfair Dismissal

Agency Workers will have some limited unfair dismissal rights relating to a dismissal that they can show was related to reasons connected to the AWR (i.e. they were dismissed because they either alleged an agency or hirer had breached the regulations or they had bought a claim to Employment Tribunal under the Regulations).

Who is responsible for ensuring that agency workers have the same basic terms and conditions as a comparable worker?

The hiring Employer should provide the Agency (TWA) with information about the relevant terms and conditions and the Agency is responsible for ensuring the Agency Worker receives these terms and conditions when the Agency Worker completes their 12 week qualifying period.

Agency Workers have the right to request information from their agency or hirer to ensure they are receiving equal treatment:

  • they can ask the Hiring Employer for information about Day 1 Provisions (above) and the Employer should respond within 28 days, in writing, stating the rights to which comparable employees must have access to, and the reasons for the agency workers treatment in relation to those rights;
  • they can ask their Agency for information in relation to their equal treatment for basic employment terms and conditions, as soon as they have completed the 12 week qualifying period.  The Agency should respond within 30 days of the request.  If the Agency does not reply the Agency Worker can request the same information from the Hiring Employer.  The Hiring Employer must respond within 28 days of receiving the request, in writing, setting out information relating to the relevant basic employment conditions of its workers.

If an Agency Worker believes the hirer or agency has breached the key provisions of the AWR, i.e. that:

  • they have not received the same basic working and employment conditions as a comparable worker (the Agency and Hiring Employer can both be responsible for this), or
  • they have not been able to access facilities or be informed of permanent vacancies (Day 1 provisions, see above – only the Hirer can be responsible for this), or
  • they have been subject to a ‘detriment’ in relations to the Regulations, then

the Agency Worker can bring a claim to an Employment Tribunal, within 3 months of the ‘breach’.  A Tribunal can order payment of compensation and/or make recommendations for action to be taken and can make an award of up to £5,000 against a Hirer or Agency where they have ignored the anti-avoidance measures in the Regulations (see below).

And Finally!

The impact of the AWR will not change the employment status of agency workers – for now they will continue to be employed by the agency rather than the hirer.

An Italian case that went to the European Court of Justice in June 2013 ruled that agency workers do not have rights under the EU Fixed-Term Work Directive.  Agency Workers are not specifically excluded from these Regulations and there are calls for the UK Government to tighten up this aspect.

Agency temps and Contractors already have rights under The Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Business Regulations 2003 – see our new Guide here.

The Government have anticipated that hirers and agencies may try to avoid the impact of the AWR by limiting the use of Agency Workers for assignments periods of less than 12 weeks – although there is nothing in the Regulations that say an Agency Worker cannot be hired for 11 weeks.  To help this situation the Regulations include ‘anti-avoidance’ provisions that address situations where a pattern of assignments emerge that are designed deliberately to deprive an Agency Worker of their entitlements by not allowing them to reach 12 weeks in the same assignment (IR35 part two, anyone?).

For example – if assignments are structured in such a way that a worker works less than 12 weeks and has up to a 6 week break before they start again at the same assignment with the same Employer – this can happen twice under the Regulations but if it happens a 3rd time a Tribunal could take a view that the assignments are being structured in such a way to avoid the agency worker gaining rights under the Regulations.  This is called a ‘prohibited’ structure and the Tribunal can give Employers additional fines.

Changes to TUPE because of the Agency Workers Regulations 2011

With the introduction of the Agency Workers Regulations in 2011 the TUPE regulations were amended to change Employers’ information and consultation obligations under TUPE.

Previously, Employers will required to provide information about the fact, date, reason, legal, social and economic implications of the transfer.  Since 2011 Employers also need to provide information on the number of agency workers working temporarily for and under the supervision and direction of the employer and the part of the organisation where they agency workers are working and the type of work the agency workers are carrying out.  This includes information about all agency workers working for the employer, not just the part of the business that is ‘transferring’ and is subject to TUPE.

 And……..

Agency Workers have discimination rights.

 

Other Employment Tribunal cases about the Agency Workers Regulations since their implementation are here.

From 8th March 2013, to comply with the Parental Leave (EU Directive) Regulations, an agency worker who has at least one year’s service and has returned from unpaid parental leave,  has the right to request flexible working. As your employer is likely to be the agency not the client (end-hirer) it is their decision, although this is complicated as they will need knowledge of whether this is acceptable to the client!

Agency Workers are also included in the new Pensions Auto-Enrolment requirements for Employers – more details are here.

If you are an Employer and need ongoing professional help with any staff/freelance issues, or a Contractor/Freelancer/Employee with a complicated employment related problem, then talk to Lesley at The HR Kiosk  – a Human Resources Consultancy for small businesses – our fees are low to reflect the pressures on small businesses and you can hire us for as much time as you need.

Please note that the advice given on this website and by our Advisors is guidance only and cannot be taken as an authoritative or current interpretation of the law. It can also not be seen as specific advice for individual cases. Please also note that there are differences in legislation in Northern Ireland.

Photo by Phil Whitehouse

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  • Alexhie

    does anyone know how this applies to maternity rights if you are a limited company working through an agency.

  • Lesley Furber

    Hi, I’m probably going to need more details to answer this completely, but from what you’ve said above, if you are a proper limited company then you will be outside of the Agency Workers Regulations and they won’t apply to you.  If you are a Limited Company then you essentially employ yourself and therefore need to give yourself maternity entitlements.  If you have any further questions then please e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley

    • Imran

      Won’t Alexhie be affected because she bills her agency rather than hirer?  Her contract, I imagine, is with the agency rather than the hirer.

      In my case, I work through a ltd company but I have multiple clients whom I invoice accordingly.  My main source of income comes from working at a Bank.  I bill the agency at the end of the week.  Will I be affected by AWR?

      • Lesley Furber

        hi Imran, I’m going to need more information from you to answer this properly, but if you are a genuine limited company then you will not be affected by the AWR.  My e-mail is workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

    • Imran

      Won’t Alexhie be affected because she bills her agency rather than hirer?  Her contract, I imagine, is with the agency rather than the hirer.

      In my case, I work through a ltd company but I haWon’t Alexhie be affected because she bills her agency rather than hirer?  Her contract, I imagine, is with the agency rather than the hirer.

      In my case, I work through a ltd company but I have multiple clients whom I invoice accordingly.  My main source of income comes from working at a Bank.  I bill the agency at the end of the week.  Will I be affected by AWR?
      ve multiple clients whom I invoice accordingly.  My main source of income comes from working at a Bank.  I bill the agency at the end of the week.  Will I be affected by AWR?

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  • Littlelegsjr

    DO WE GET PAID FOR BANK HOLIDATY’S OR NOT

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi, I’m not clear if you’re an agency worker referring to these Regulations or you are just generally asking if you should get paid for bank holidays.  If you work a bank holiday then you should be paid as normal (your Employer does not have to pay you more for working on a bank holiday).  If you do not work then this is taken out of your holiday/bank holiday entitlement.  If you have any more questions then please e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

    • http://twitter.com/My_sexist_boss Julie Anonymous

      WHY ARE YOU SHOUTING?

  • Malc69

    Hi I work for an agency doing 12 hr shifts week on week off i do not recieve any holidays or holiday pay does this now change with the new regulations ?

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi, yes it does change, when you reach 12 weeks service with the same Employer/Hirer – not the agency -  (as long as you meet the other criteria above).  Regards, Lesley, Workline

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  • Welshboywonder85

    Im currently working for a agency working nights for 10 hours, 6 nights a week. Im currently on £6.13 a hour and im 26. How would I be on the same pay as the permanent workers who im with who are on £10 a hour!

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Welshboywonder, thanks for your question.  To receive the same pay as the permanent workers you work with you need to have accrued 12 weeks service with the same employer from 1st October 2011 (the Regulations are NOT retrospective so your previous service there before 1st October will not count).  If you’ve got any more questions then please e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

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  • Stokelass28

    As I work for an agency, can I refuse to work the days over Christmas that the place is open. i.e.  28,29 and 30Th December?? I will struggle to get babysitter and don’t think I will get the time off due to the days been already booked by others before I started the job..

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Stokelass, you need to be careful about ‘refusing’ to work any days, as you could be in breach of your contract (I don’t think it’s going to make any difference that you work for an agency, – do you mean you actually work at the agency – of work through the agency at another employers? although it is going to depend on what time of contract you have with them, i.e. if you are required to do the work that they find you).  Your Employer has the right to refuse your leave requests, as they have the right to tell you when to take your leave.  Can you see if you can reach a compromise with them, if you can’t get all the days off you want, to see if you can get some off? Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Rosco.

    What if I work for two different agencies and one of them insists I follow their interpretation via the Swedish Regulation. To which I am adverse?

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Rosco, I’m going to need a lot more information from you about what you do etc – you can e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

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  • Feel shafted. Com

    Hi. I worked for an agency doing tour management for a month sept-October. It was supposed to be a 6 month contract. They realised that the project was to expensive and cancelled at 11 o’clock at night with immediate effect via email.

    Do I have any rights re pay for the work which has been cancelled ??

    Cheers

    • Lesley Furber

      hi, thanks for your comment.  It’s going to depend entirely on how you were employed, what your contract said about obligations to employ you for the duration etc – you can e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • CheesedOff

    I am an agency worker. And was given employment with a hirer back in february 2011. With an eight week probationary period. To be then properly employed by said hirer. Despite me asking and enquiring. The hirer did not take me on the books. Other agency workers have been except me. They now have confirmed that as of the 19th of December they will give me a contract. But they have moved me into another site of theirs. Put me onto shift work with no shift allowance. Am I eligible to request back pay to April 2011? As I have lost out on ££££’s and been treated unfairly. They even moved an employee from the other site and moved me into his position whilst he took mine. Taking me from my desired day shift onto early and late shifts. Then saying there were too many workers so you either have no job or go on the undesired shifts. Pretty cheesed off. What are my rights. My agency dint seem to be concerned when questioned. Thanks

    • Lesley Furber

      hi, I’m afraid it’s very unlikely you have a right to back-pay in this situation – they haven’t done anything illegal from what you say, just not kept their promises! If you’ve got any further queries you can e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • sickofbeinpaidless

    hi, ive worked for the same agency for 18 months, the place we work has a grading system, grade C is lower wage for 6 months,,,, grade B on a higher wage for a further 6 months,,, grade A  higher wage for a further 12 months,  then after them 2 years, your on  A+ that is top wage,  weve been on £1 less per hour ( for the last 18 months,)  than those permanent staff on the lowest grade, we have been told that the company we work at will only use our agency in the future, and no other agencies, OUR AGENCY HAS TOLD US THAT, to continue working at that company we are at now, we have all got to sign a permanent contract of work FOR OUR AGENCY, or we have got to leave,   The company we work at also have 5 days holiday per year more than we do, AND a annual bonus that we wont get,  We have been told that all of our jobs end on 23rd december 2011, and they restart on 3rd january 2012 , (PERMENANT WITH OUR AGENCY ),  Our agency has informed us all that we will still get paid £1 less than the permanent staff, and holidays will stay at 5 days per year less, because thats what they have agreed to with the company weve been at for 18 months, SHOULD WE HAVE EQUAL PAY AND HOLIDAYS AND BONUS , OR CAN THEY STILL PAY US WHAT THEY WANT BECAUSE WEVE SIGNED PERMANENT WITH THE AGENCY,   hope this makes sense ;-)

    • Lesley Furber

      hi I’ve replied to you by e-mail.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • sickofbeinpaidless

        thankyou for your reply to my issue Lesley, we have all had to sign a permanent contract today with our agency,ready to start a new contract on 3rd january 2012,  weve had to sign to agree that we lose all rights to equal pay, if not we have got to leave, i mentioned that after the 12 weeks we must get the same holidays, weve been told that the permanent guys we work with have 34 days per year, but we will not get the same, we will only get 28 days and thats their final say on it,  if we dont agree and sign, we must leave,  the guys get 28 days were the factory closes, and 6 floating days to use when needed,  were told that we get 28 days when they close , but we must sign out of all rights for the other 6 days or leave, and if we need any other days we must take them without pay,  im told that no matter what ive been told,  your wrong and they are right,  no extra money or bonus is understood using the swedish law thing,  but why have we got to sign out of pay, and holidays, or leave,  sorry if this is hard to understand but im stressed and confused about it, thanks,  do blue arrow  in stoke-on-trent make their own rules up or can they force us to sign our rights away

  • liz

    hi i started as a agency worker back in march 2011,on the 1st of november 2011 i was in pain so i went to one of the managers and told them i was in pain on my leg,they told me to go to my gp or hospital which i done,the hospital told me i had siatica.i was off for 4 weeks but because im agency i was scared i would lose my job,so went back on 5th dec but only lasted 4 hours as to the nature of my job (picker in warehouse)my leg was sore,so i asked one of the bosses if i could go home because i thought i came back to work to early,they said yes and your job will be ok.but today 15th dec my agency called me and told me i was paid off.i feel this is so unfair what can i do about this……thanx   liz

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Liz, I’m afraid there is not much you can do about this as you do not have enough service to claim unfair dismissal.  However what sort of contract do you have with the agency?  Are they keeping you on their books?  You can e-mail me on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • GPC

    I have been working through an agency since sept 2010 as a drivers mate. I have worked continuously since 1st oct 2011. The agency are now placing drivers under the Swedish regs. The drivers must sign a contract or can no longer work at their usual workplace. They now think drivers mates may have to be placed under the Swedish regs. As i have been at the same workplace before and since of the 1st oct 2011 i am now taking the last 2 weeks of december as fully paid holidays. I had a phone call from my agency on saturday 17th december saying that i can no longer work at my usual workplace until the Swedish regs are sorted. As holidays count as part of my 12 weeks, and the end of december will be13 weeks – WHERE DO I STAND!!!!
    Can somebody please advise me of my rights. Thanks. GPC. 

    • Lesley Furber

      hi, I’m going to reply by e-mail as I have some questions.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Richa Hindmarsh

    Anyone want to comment on caterpillars attempt at complying. they havent even issued the paper work but my boss now wants me complete the Perkins personal develop bull#### that the permanent staff do.
    Happy to do this but they offer no commitment to a reward, the lack bonus or STIP ‘short term incentive payment’ is the main thing for me. Does this STIP class as a bonus? they think not.

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Richa, I’m afraid there are a couple of things I’m not clear about – what paperwork have they not issued? I don’t know what the Perkins personal development thing is but if permanent staff have such training then it would make sense that you do too.  Regarding the STIP – unsure why you get a bonus for doing training? Without more information on why this is paid and what criteria are used to pay it then I can’t offer any advice as I’m unclear what it is. You can e-mail me on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • R D

    Hi Lesley, I’m a Self Employed (Ltd) HGV Driver working through various agencies. The intoduction  of AWR seems to throw up a glaring loophole  that the Inland Revenue are bound to close, that is that I can have the benefits of being employed (AWR) whilst also having the benefits of being self employed. Do you think the Inland Revenue will allow this or is AWR likely to become a test for noncompliance on IR35.

    • Lesley Furber

      hi RD thanks for your comments – you are correct I think the AWR is likely to become a test for IR35 (but we’ll wait and see).   The AWR will not apply to you if you are genuinely self-employed, as neither would the IR35, so it’s really a matter of ensuring you are genuinely self-employed.  If you’ve got any further queries then please e-mail me on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • driver

    how is the 12 weeks calculated as i get a day here a few there an nothing for a week then a day then nothing for few days then a week an so on how does this affect me getting my 12 weeks
    my days range fro few hours to 14 hours i a a driver through an employment agency

    • Lesley Furber

      hi please read above as it describes how the 12 weeks is calculated and what breaks you can have from working and still accrue the 12 weeks – obviously this must be with the same employer in the same job though. If you’ve got any queries when you’ve read this then please let me know on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Thanks, Lesley, Workline

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/4TFVOGMVQ3FEXRNVP2YLH77NUY Michele

      Having working for a agency from Aug 2011 with the same employer, i was laid off on the 16th dec 2011 so 11 weeks, counting from the day the new law came in, i was told i was getting took back on after the 6 week break, now they have changed their mind after getting a phone call today saying they dont want to take us back because its to soon after the new law. Now they have the job advertised on the job center website. How unfair is that???

      • Lesley Furber

        hi Michele, sorry to hear about your situation, you are right it is very unfair.  But as you know, there is nothing you can do about this I’m afraid.  Good luck and regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Rita Gustiene

    Hi, I am an agency worker, I signed an AWR contract and I work shifts. Comparable workers who work the same shifts as me, receive a weekly bonus which I do not receive. Should I be entitles to this bonus too?

    • Lesley Furber

       hi Rita, when you say you signed an AWR contract, it depends if you signed a ‘swedish derogation’ permanent contract with your agency – if you did then you do not have the right to equal pay.  If you did not sign such a Contact, then you should receive the same bonus as comparable workers unless it is a bonus that relates to the hirers corporate performance or that is given to award long service.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Shaira5

    i;m currently working staffnurse fulltime bedford nhs trust and at the same time employed also from the NHS Professional for some extra shift and we were told that we do not have any annaul leave entitlement in bank(nhs professional), why some other hospital with nhs professionals can avail anniual leave or convert it to cash

    • Lesley Furber

       Hi, are you saying you’re not getting any annual leave for your Bank work ? As this will be as a ‘worker’ I’m sure then you should be entitled to leave.  Have you checked they haven’t included an amount for annual leave in your hourly pay? They shouldn’t unless they break this down clearly in your contract.  It would be worth checking.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Anthonycraigphillips

    Hi I work for an agency and have done so at the same place for over 5 years on what the agency insist is a managed service contract, so they say because its a managed service Awr will not apply. Iv read the regulations for myself and it states if the customer determines how and when the work is done not the agency its more likely Awr would apply, that is the case with us the customer is in complete control not the agency. Another thing is myself along with 1/2 of the workforce have a temporary contract with the agency but the other 1/2 of the workforce have no contractual relationship with the agency as they were in the job before the agency took the contract on but the agency say they are permanent employees of theirs. Is this really the case? As they have never signed a contract of employment with them. Any info you can supply would be greatly appreciated

    • Lesley Furber

       Hi, I’m going to reply by e-mail as I have some queries.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Kawhite22

    Hi,

    I am currently temping and have been at the same company for over 12 weeks, I have just received my payslip and didn’t get paid
    for the bank holiday, are temporary staff entitled
    to get paid for bank holidays once they have been there for over 12 weeks?

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi, yes as a ‘worker’ (regardless of whether you have 12 weeks service) you are entitled to a pro-rata’d entitlement of bank holidays.  Do you work full-time? You can e-mail me on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • David Probart

        Hi group of work guys all umbrella worked bank hols got d/t but no day in leui plus if not worked it had to take out our “holiday pot” as they call it who pays a bank or stat hol gov agency umbrella comp plz help

        • lesleyfurber

          Hi David, if I’ve understood this correctly, the umbrella company should be giving you the day back in lieu and paying you for holiday (and they would invoice the company you work for). Regards, Lesley

    • Fortel

      Hi
      I am agency worker for 12 moths and work at the same hirer and at the same position all time by same employment agency.
      In last week the hirer said that he prefers another employment agency and if I still want to work on full time I need to register to another agency. I have try to register to another agency and I have heard from this agency that I can’t transfer because my agency is not allow for transfer. I have to be 13 weeks away and then I can to register to another agency.
      Is it accordance with the law?
      In the contract between me and the agency is written:
      ‘- This Contract may be terminated immediately by either party for whatever reason, and no notice is required to be given.
      - The Sub Contractor (agency worker) will not within six months of having worked for the Contractor (agency):
      a)Entice away from the Contractor either on own account or for any other person firm or company, any sub contractor, employee or client of the Contractor.
      b) Deal on employment agency business directly or indirectly with any business firm or other person (including subcontractors) who they know was connected, concerned or dealt with the Contractor.’

      On another websides is written about transfer fee when a worker is transfered from one agency to another agency but in my case my agency says about 13 weeks period away and then I can register to another agency and work at the same hirer.

      I’m sorry for my english.
      Please, could someone tell me what should I do?

      Best regards
      Fortel

      • lesleyfurber

        Hi Fortel, I’m going to reply by e-mail as I have some questions. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Kris 14

    hi can anyone help iv been on statuary sick for 7 weeks and my agency are saying  i cant get my holiday entitilments wich i accrued because where in the new tax year  ps is this right

  • Kris 14

    hi lesley thanks for your time and info very helpfull im going to ring my agency next week

    cheers chris

  • Sam_roberts

    I have been working as a HIV driver for two years and I am employed by pertemps who sent me to a company called the British oxygen company (BOC), how long are you allowed to work on one site, I’ve heard you have to take two weeks or four weeks off a year otherwise the company I’m working for (BOC) are breaking the law if they don’t force me to take the time off, is this true? Otherwise how long can I work without having annal leave or any holidays off? At what point does it breach tempory work on one site, how is it tempory ifim on one site for example if I were there for 3 years would they have to employ me, would really appreciate some expert advice or information, it what mea a lot for me and my coworkers to find out this information because we’ve been searching for answers for 1 year. Thank you ever so much if I get a reply x

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Sam, thanks for your message, I’m going to reply to you by e-mail as I have some questions.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Sam_roberts

    Cc

  • John

    hi i work for an agency but i am not on minimum wage.i spoke to h&r and they said i do not have to be paid same rate as pay after the 12wks as it is up to the company. due to not being on minimum wage is this correct

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi John, you have to be paid the same as ‘comparable’ permanent workers at the company where you work; this is not related to the minimum wage.  Unless you have signed a permanent contract with your agency under the Swedish Derogation Model, which then removes the need for you to receive ‘equal’ pay.  If you have any questions you can e-mail me on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • jay

    hi ive been working for a company for 3 years in December last year the 19th the be precise i start a skilled job with in the company still employed through the agency  i have worked the 12 week period and ask my manager for the same rate as the full time staff my requests fell on deaf ears and had been working 4 weeks over the 12 week period so decided to call acas to find out my rights acas made contact with the company and after work last night i received a phone call from my team leader say that they didn’t want me to go back to work because i had called acas about the problem do i have grounds for unfair dismissal 

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Jay, yes if you are have been dismissed because you have made a complaint relating to your rights under the agency workers regulations then you have a right to take a case to an Employment Tribunal.   You must do this within 3 months of the problem.  I would suggest you ring ACAS with a view to lodging a case a Tribunal.  Good luck.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Stoo

    Hi,
    I’ve come to your interesting article because I’ve just signed up to an agency and they’ve said that for my assignment I need to register as self employed and that a company called choice will call me to arrange details. They said that by registering as self employed I would be out of scope of AWR and I would be better off financially by at least £1 ph. I am deeply sceptical about this especially as I would only be working on the same contract as a driver. I also want to be PAYE for mortgage purposes later on in the year. I feel that by being opted out of the AWR I’m being exposed to being taken advantage of?
    I don’t want to be self employed and I don’t particularly want to be an agency worker but the assignment is exactly the job I want…!

    • Lesley Furber

      hi Stoo, I’m going to reply by e-mail as I have some questions.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Carmenktj

    I am contracted on “zero hours contracted”, normally every year the company gives all staff an annual inflation increase; so every year my hourly rate will increase by 1 or 2 %. We are not on a pay scale, just a set hourly rate.

    Recently the company has decided to change the pay structure. Instead of everyone recieving an annual increase; it will now depend on performance targets, the annual inflation increase will cease. Everyone in the company, full-time, part-time, fixed term contracts, cleaners that work a few hours a week will be included in the pay consultation. Apart from Bank Staff.

    It seems unfair that bank staff members are still targeted on performance yet we are not included in the company pay consultaion. I emailed HR to say this was unfair, my reply was because we are contracted to “zero hours” there is no obligation.

    We dont receive any sick pay yet we still get penalised for being sick? We are expected to reach targets yet we will not be rewarded like all other members of staff?

    Is there anything we can do about this? Your help would be much appreciated.

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi, I’m going to reply by e-mail as I have some questions.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • paymelessbutbegrateful

    hi, ive been at the same place now for over  2 years but with a agency, we got told that we need to sign permanent contracts with blue arrow agency but to carry on working as normal at the same place from 3rd january, we found out about the swedish laws and that were not entitled to the same hourly pay or bonus, even after the 12 weeks, as bad as that is been paid £3 per hour less, and not getting a bonus the same as them , we have now been told that we will get 28 days holiday per year, and the permenant guys get 32, we are allowed to take the other 6 days but we WILL NOT GET PAID FOR THEM,  we had to agree to accepting this when we signed the blue arrow contracts, like it or leave we were told, are we entitled to the same holidays with pay or can the agency use the swedish law on holidays too, i dont realy see the point of the new laws but is there any changes going to be made soon, cos were getting ripped off, same work less pay, same holidays less pay now, sorry im just annoyed,  thankyou

    • paymelessbutbegrateful

      sorry we get 28 days they get 34 days, we have the other 6 but without pay

      • Lesley Furber

        Hi, thanks for your query.  The swedish derogation model only applies to pay and some bonuses and does not apply to holidays.  Therefore you should receive 34 days holiday as well – we understand that  the legislation may allow the extra 6 days (i.e. above the statutory entitlement of 28 days) to be paid in lieu, rather than actually given as days off.  But you should receive pay for them.  It sounds therefore like the agency and Employer are in breach of the Regulations.  If you have any queries you can e-mail me at workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

        • paymelessbutbegrateful

          hi, thankyou for the information, we have been told by a union rep on site that we need someone brave enough to confront blue arrow about this but it would most probably cost that person their job, the union would maybe act for us but that person would be singled out, and in these times with not many jobs around, its more keep quiet and be grateful what we have already, isnt there any checks in place that ensures that all agencies are working to the law, because in my eyes and many others , there is no change in the rights for agency workers , if we ask or question, we will be dealt with, thankyou

          • Lesley Furber

            Hi, I’m afraid I don’t know if the Government are running checks on compliance or not.  I would have thought a Union would be happy to take such a case on for their members, as it could be fairly high profile but I understand what they say about one person being singled out.  I’m afraid that’s often what it comes down to – someone being prepared to stand up for their rights and take a case – but obviously I know that can be a very difficult thing to do.  Good luck.  Regards, Lesley

  • Z Beatson

    hi i have worked for a housing assocation now for 3 years one year as bank staff 2 as full tije but still on my bank staff contract i dont get sick pay i cant take holidays as i dont recieve holiday pay..  the company have said a dozen times my contract is coming i just need to know if this is allowed

  • andy74

    i have judt been laid off from my job after nearly two years of service. I am an agency worker so i knoe that they dont need to give me anything but when i asked. they would not give me a reason why i was picked over other agency workers. i just wondered if it may be because i was coming up to the two years service and if after two years my rights changed in some way

    • Lesley Furber

      Hi Andy, what sort of contract do you have with your employment agency? If you are an employee you have a right to unfair dismissal after 1 years service (if you were employed prior to 6th April 2012) and also a right to ask for a written reason explaining why you were dismissed.  You may not be an employee but you should be a ‘worker’.  As a worker, under the Agency Workers Regulations, you have a right to make a claim for unfair dismissal, at any time, (you don’t need 1 years service) if you have been dismissed because you made a complaint in relation to the agency worker regulations and the benefits you should have received under it.  Apart from those things, without any more information from you about what contract you are employed under, whether you have made a complaint about the way you were treated under the agency workers regulations etc, your rights do not change at two years (unless you are an employee and after 2 years service you have the right to receive a redundancy payment if you are made redundant).  Hope that helps.  If you want to e-mail me I’m on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk.  Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Bruce

    Hi there. I am an agency worker and have past the 12 weeks mark. I unfortunatly injured my back while being told to go do someones elses work which unloading boxes off a very high stacked pallet. As a result I had to go off sick. After 5 weeks being off with a suspected slip disc, my agency calls to say that I have now been taken off my current assignment as I need to be replaced. I told them this is unfair and it cant be done but they went ahead and took me off. Are they able to do this? Its been 10 weeks now and I am ready to go back to work. My agency says they will see if I can go back as my old job is still open.
    Thanks

    • Lesley Furber, Workline

      Hi Bruce, I’m sure the Agency are within their rights to give the job to someone else while you are sick as the job does need to be done. However, if you are off due to sickness this does not break your continuity of 12 weeks service, it would re-start when you return to the job (i.e. you would have the previous service before your sickness). Good luck. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Bruce

  • Delma

    hi i have been workin for 4 years with the same agency we had a meeting to day an was told that we may not get the time an a half we get for bank holidays an double for christmas can they do this can we refuse to work it

    • Lesley Furber, Workline

      Hi Delma, this is going to depend if you’re working for an Employer and have been there over 12 weeks so qualify for the Agency Workers Regulations protections (as above) to ‘comparable pay’ with permanent employees….. and what your contract with the agency says about extra pay for bank holidays etc. If you want to give me more details you can e-mail me on workline@freelanceadvisor.co.uk. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Dark

    hi,
    currently I am working through a recruitement agency for more then 7 years at the same company. I have no idea where I stand regarding this new law. I have no contact with the agency and all I do is fax them my timesheet on a weekly basis. Am I now employed by the recruitement agency? Do they need to pay me redundancy payment if the company I work for gets rid of me? What if they put me then in a new contract somewhere else?? I am lost… :-)

    • Lesley Furber, Workline

      Hi Dark, it sounds like yes you are employed by the recruitment agency and you need to ask them for a contract of employment. They would not pay you redundancy pay if your current company stopped employing you, if the agency could find you further work, which is what they should try to do. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • http://twitter.com/stacesparkel stacey broadley

    Hi,

    I work for an agency and have been on maternity leave and paid maternity pay – should i also accrue holiday pay whilst on maternity leave please ?

    Thanks

    • Lesley Furber, Workline

      Hi Stacey, yes you should! Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • bluearrowripyouoff

    hi, ive been with the agency 30 months, and ive been at the same job for 30 months, i signed a contract with blue arrow as most people did ready for the new laws 11 months ago, ive been unlucky to break my ankle, ive never had a day off in 30 months but after a week they told me that the company ive been at no longer needs me, ive been claiming s,s,p for 4 weeks and ive been told that i need to sign on the dole and claim it from them from now on, i have also been told that they want me to send them a letter handing in my resignation to blue arrow, if they dont find me work im entitled to 4 weeks pay of 39hrs at minimum wage, does that mean that the 4 weeks mimimun wage i am allowed is cancelled if i send this letter in, are they trying to trick me like blue arrow have been doing to their workers for ages now, we dont even get 34 days holiday like the rest of the guys we work with, were told were only getting 28 days like it or lump it, when my sick note runs out and im fit for work again, should they pay me the 4 weeks minimum wage im owed if they cant find me work, AND IS THERE GONNA BE ANY NEW CHANGES IN THE LAWS SOON, TO PREVENT THE SWEDISH LAW, AND GIVE US EQUAL RIGHTS FINALY, THEYRE RIPPING US OFF, NO POINT IN LAWS IF YOU CAN PULL OTHER LAWS SURELY,

    • Lesley Furber, Workline

      Hi, are you saying that your Agency (Blue Arrow) are asking you to resign? They obviously shouldn’t. What sort of contract do you have with the Agency, is it a permanent one? If you are on a Swedish Derogation Contract they can terminate your employment after 4 weeks of losing your assignment. I’m afraid there are no changes planned to the law here as far as I’m aware, although the Government did say they would ‘review’ the law in 2013. Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • bluearrowripyouoff

        thanks lesley, ive recieved a letter from blue arrow telling me that my permanent contract with them is now terminated, and im no longer needed as a permanent worker for them due to my injury, i was hoping that they would still keep me on their books ready for my return to work when my ankle has healed, but they told me that im no longer needed because ive been sick for 7 weeks now, and the 4 weeks pay at minimum wage i would get if they cant find me work has been lost due to being sick and terminating my permanent contract, im still claiming s,s,p from the dole as they told me to da after 4 weeks, but im not entitled to anything else and would need to enrol with them again in the future if i want to work at jcb, thanks again

        • Lesley Furber, Workline

          Hi, I would ring ACAS and talk to them as this may be an unfair dismissal if you have 1 years service on your permanent contract with Blue Arrow. Good luck and regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Lee Harris

    Hi i need some advice on my current postion. I have been working for this recruiment agency for about a 1 1/2 years now and in this time i have been promoted to a new postion within the company i work for. The company asked me to take on a new job role in june 2012, I have been in this new postion now for over 4 1/2 months. The agency who actually employ me know about this postion change. I was told when i took over this postion that my job role would be banded and graded accordingly, I have been waiting for my new job role to be banded so that my pay would be increased. This has not happened yet, which means i have been working in my new postion for 4 1/2 months on my old pay in a lower banded job role. I was wondering if i was entitled to claim any of the money that i would of been paid had my job role been already created and banded? I have been on my old pay all this time without an increase from either my agency or the employer. Can i claim this pay back for the time i have been in my new role? or will i have to wait until its announced then will my money go up? I just think its unfair that im doing a igher paid job but still getting paid for the old role i was doung previous to this.

    I hope someone can help me with this as im really frustrated with my agency and current employer for leaving me in the dark for so long. I have a 13 week old daughter and my wife is not working i need all the money i can get and this would be very helpful.

    Many Thanks. Lee H

    • Lesley Furber, Workline

      Hi Lee. If the job you are doing is new and there are no ‘comparable’ permanent employees at your Employers then this puts you in a difficult situation. Did the company tell you that when the job had be re-banded and re-graded that you would receive back pay? As there is no legal entitlement to a pay rise at any time (only that you receive at least the national minimum wage for all the hours you work) although of course this is the norm if you get promoted. I’m afraid you will just have to keep chasing them. Is there someone in Human Resources/Personnel you can talk to about why it is taking so long? Good luck. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • http://www.facebook.com/usman.ahmed.77377 Usman Ahmed

    hi

    i have a zero hour contract with an agency. and work at RM mail centers. . The entrance to manchester mail center is provided through visitor reception while permanent staff comes through parking lot because they are given swipe cards and we are not. I have not been given access to push bike stand the reasons told [1.we are not provided swipe cards to go to bike stand 2. RM is not obliged to provide parking facilities to its permanent employers so we cant demand it either.]. first one is true but isn’t it royal mails responsibiltiy to provide us with swipe cards. not sure if second statement is true or not. as a result of all this i had to park bike in northern quarter and it got nicked

    +

    • lesleyfurber

      hi Usman, thanks for your message. I don’t know for sure but I wouldn’t think that swipe cards would be defined as a ‘facility’ or ‘amenity’that need to be given under these Regulations. It might be worth going back and asking them again. Regards, Lesley ,Workline

  • lesleyfurber

    Hi PJ, all you can do initially is keep chasing the agency for the payment. Good luck, Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Maria Panteledes

    HI

    i work as a care assistant undertaking night shifts, and they way my nights on fall mean that I have to work over 80hrs in six days, ie work 16th 17th 18th Jan , then day off 19th Janaury, then have to work again 20th 21st 22nd January. I appreciate I have one day off that breaks up the shifts however I am sleeping that day. We do not get any breaks as we are working alone. Is this legal, I have attempted to speak to my manager who told me there was nothing they would do

  • Numbnuts

    Hi, I’ve been working for an agency for 6/7 years, they’ve been making deductions from my holiday pay because I’ve had time off sick in the past 12 weeks and also not paying any shift allowance on any of it, since I’ve been there, so they’ve been paying my holiday pay at alot lower rate.
    Is this legal ???

    Thanks numbty

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi, I’m going to e-mail you as I have some questions. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • dogmadhouse

    Hi. I commenced with an agency 5 months ago, completed a 3 1/2 month contract for them and am paid through an Umbrella company.
    Last week they sent me to my 2nd assignment, which I worked Thursday and Friday but absolutely hated it (for reasons too numerous to mention) and decided I couldn’t bring myself to go back in on Monday. I phoned the agency first thing and explained to a member of staff there as the temporaries consultant I speak with was off sick. One week on and I have not been paid; I can see from my timesheet submission on the Umbrella portal that it’s ‘Waiting for Payment’. My question is whether payment can be withheld for work completed? I did sign an Opt Out Notification, though I’m not sure that’s applicable to this…..

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi, no they can’t withhold payment for work you have completed. The Opt Out was related to the Working Time Regulations and the hours you can work per week? You need to phone them to sort this out. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • smiffysmum

    Hi, my son has been working through blue arrow and last night, Sunday, was told he was no longer employed. What are his rights with regard to notice etc. Thanks

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi, it’s going to depend how long he has been working there and what his contract says. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Carolyn

    Hi,

    We are in desperate need of some advice. My partner is currently employed with an agency and has been positioned within a major car company for almost a year. He has been progressing very quickly within the company and is very well respected by his colleagues and peers due to his dedication to the job. In the entire time he has worked for them he has never had a day off, and never been late, he has accepted every over-time ever offered to him, and even drove the other staff to and from work on a regular basis. He has been described as ‘exemplary’ by his seniors and praised for learning the most departments in the shortest space of time, something he was very proud of. He was due to be made a permanent member of staff next week by obtaining a 12 month contract from the company itself. He had also applied for a new job within the company and been shortlisted from 200 applicants to the only 14 that were interviewed and was due to hear if he was successful on Monday, even though the job wasn’t initially open to agency they made an exception for him due to the experience he had gained for himself during his time there. There was an incident a couple of weeks ago that involved another member of staff firing an elastic band at my partner as part of a jest, the line manager saw it and disciplined my partner, something which was obviously challenged due to him not being at fault. He was apologised to and told the situation would be recitified and wiped off his file. He was also assured by his own supervisor it wouldn’t be an issue. He was made aware there were going to be redundancies happening on Friday but assured by his supervisor not to worry and that his job was safe, he was then offered over-time for the weekend an hour before he left work on Friday. Shortly after leaving work however, he received a phone call from the agency informing him that the car company had terminated his contract and he would no longer have a position, effective immediately. When my partner questioned it with the agency, they had told him it was because he had an unsatisfactory appraisal due to the elastic band incident. My partner is absolutely heartbroken, he had given his absolute all to this job and he feels devastated over the way he has been treated. He lost a member of his family on Tuesday, someone he was very close to and still turned into work because he didn’t want to let anyone down. The part he is most confused by is that there are people who remain employed who have gone awol, had numerous lates, never done any over time and have had bad attitudes… all of whom are still employed, another person who is still employed is the one who actually fired the elastic band at my partner in the first place.

    It seems to have been a bit of a witch hunt on his supervisors part, someone who has always taken a dislike to my partner which has also been obvious to the other members of staff.
    We just don’t understand why he has been terminated because of something that someone else had actioned, something he was later told would be wiped off his file with an apology from his peers, especially after how hard he was worked to get that permanent contract.

    It has been a less than 48 hours since he had the phone call and he is so lost, he has just lost his nan and we have a newborn baby… it all seems so unjustified.
    Do you think there is anything we can do?

    • lesleyfurber

      hi Carolyn, thanks for your message and I’m sorry to hear about this situation. From what you have described I’m not sure there is anything you can do here – if he is an agency worker then he will be employed by the Agency. Generally when Companies make redundancies they should look to cut agency staff first, rather than let go of their own staff, although I know that won’t help you much. Did he ever receive an offer of employment in writing, as that is possibly the only thing you will be able to follow up on, if he was offered work which was then withdrawn. Good luck with everything. Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • Carolyn

        Hi Lesley, thank you for your reply. No, unfortunately it was nothing like that… He was employed by the company through the agency specific to that company. However they were all taken on with the aspect of working towards a permanent contract within the car company itself, so my partner had worked as hard as he could and done everything by the book only to end up having a mark against his name because of an incident he didn’t play a part in… It’s because of this appearing on his annual review that he was then let go, ahead of other agency staff.
        Kind regards

  • elli31

    Hi, ive been employed to a large manufacturing firm through an agency for 2 years and 3 months, one of the other employees who was a friend of the manager had been giving me a hard time pretty much since i first started there, a few of the other employees had been aswell, this was brought to the attention of the manager and i received no help, instead i was forced to apologize for a situation i was the victim of, or i was told i would lose my job, recently (and stupidly i posted a heated rant on a social media site, i didnt name anyone, but it was shown to the manager and tonight at 9pm i got a phone call to say my contract has been terminated, do i have any rights in this situation? there was no grievence procedure to find out what had happened, i dont care about the loss of my job, the people there put me through hell for over 2 years, i just dont want these people getting away with what they done to me for so long.

  • Beco26

    Hi,

    I joined up to an agency in the education sector and they found me work part time as a learning support assistant. They offered for me to be paid through an umbrella company, which I agreed to. I read an article about agency rights, (confirmed in the above article), that after 12 weeks I have the right to holiday pay. I bought this up with the agency who said I was being paid more through the umbrella company than I would be with them and therefore should not get holiday pay. I have checked my payslips and there is nothing down as holiday pay either as part of my regular pay. Is the agency correct or am I entitled to holiday pay paid through my weekly payslips?

    Many Thanks

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi, you are entitled to holiday pay if you are a worker or employee of the umbrella company (regardless of the agency workers regulations). It would be the umbrella company that is responsible for this and not the agency, so you should speak to them to find out how they administer your holiday pay. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • http://www.facebook.com/codee.banks.1 Codee Banks

    hello, I have just started a TWA. I was wondering if someone could help me here? Do I get compensation or payment from a “Hirer” if they decide to take on the contractor on a permanent basis? Do i get anything if I introduce these two parties and then they decide to go it alone?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Codee, yes such fees are normal but they need to be written into the contract you agree with each ‘hirer’. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Fortel

    Hi
    I am agency worker for 12 moths and work at the same hirer and at the same position all time by same employment agency.
    In last week the hirer said that he prefers another employment agency and
    if I still want to work on full time I need to register to another
    agency. I have try to register to another agency and I have heard from
    this agency that I can’t transfer because my agency is not allow for
    transfer. I have to be 13 weeks away and then I can to register to
    another agency.
    Is it accordance with the law?
    In the contract between me and the agency is written:
    ‘- This Contract may be terminated immediately by either party for whatever reason, and no notice is required to be given.
    - The Sub Contractor (agency worker) will not within six months of having worked for the Contractor (agency):
    a)Entice
    away from the Contractor either on own account or for any other person
    firm or company, any sub contractor, employee or client of the
    Contractor.
    b) Deal on employment agency business directly or
    indirectly with any business firm or other person (including
    subcontractors) who they know was connected, concerned or dealt with the
    Contractor.’

    On another websides is written about transfer fee when a worker is
    transfered from one agency to another agency but in my case my agency
    says about 13 weeks period away and then I can register to another
    agency and work at the same hirer.

    I’m sorry for my english.
    Please, could someone tell me what should I do?

    Best regards
    Fortel

  • Kate Williams

    Hi
    I am an agency worker and was asked to work for the local council for a month, a couple of weeks into that my contract was extended by another month (without discussing it with me, was done electronically and I found out via an email from comensura). I’m planning to go on holiday for a week next month and technically I’m not contracted with the council to be working but what happens if they decide to extend the contract again without discussing it with me? I’ve tried to speak to a manager about it but nobody seems to be that interested… The manager has recently given her notice so will be gone by then. What happens if they extend my contract and try to refuse my leave? I can’t book it in as I’m not contracted with them for that period and nobody knows whether my contract will be extended, communication there is poor.

    Also, I had worked for the council but its ‘arm’s length’ housing section, I worked there for 8 months and realised my pay was never increased to match my colleagues there… Can I claim anything retrospectively? And am I counting as being over the 12 weeks in this role or would the council and the ‘arms length’ co be classed separately?

    Thanks

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Kate, I would tell your agency that you want to book leave and do it that way (not via the council). Re your second questions – It’s going to depend how long ago you worked at the council before; there is a limit, which is normally 3 months, to make a claim at tribunal and your ‘service’ could be have been broken if you had a break between these two assignments. Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • Kate Williams

        Oooh good thinking, will email the agency now!
        I finished the last council/housing contract in January. I started here in this new dept March. The assignments were with different agencies. Should the last agency placement have upped my wages to match the permanent team members while I was there? prob too late to fix now but at least i am aware of how it works now so wont let it happen again!!l how would I have stood with flexi? I ended up losing quite a bit of time as the perm staff could accrue flexi where I could not even though I ended up losing 30-40mins a week… The manager told me to leave early once a week but that wasnt possible as it was too busy there. Say I end up here for 12+ weeks, would I be entitle to claim flexi? I know the council won’t pay over 37hrs a week so I can’t book the time as paid but I don’t want to give my time for free again! Thanks x

        • lesleyfurber

          Hi Kate, if you worked in your last assignment for 8 months (which would be seen as different and seperate to the one you are doing now I would expect) then you should have equal rights and can make a claim within 3 months if you do not get this. You should also be entitled to flexi time (in your last assignment and current one) as this is likely to be a basic contractual condition that is ordinarily included in the hirer’s normal employment contract. Good luck. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • mary

    Hi, I must be an agency worker, applied through the company website but was posted by the agency. Right I have an issue, My employer I feel dislikes me and well I took one day sick after my 12 weeks, due to tonsalitus and went in the next day and she said “i don’t deal with sickness or your out” I kind of laughed it off and said yeah that’s why I came in the next day. Due to my days changing frequently wasn’t aware that I was suppose to be working, texted managers to confirm days I was working that very same day. No response. But then I found out I was suppose to be working. What do I do. I’m afraid they will sack me.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Mary, thanks for your message. Have you tried speaking to your agency and asking them, as surely they should know what days you are working? Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Ashley Von Schlieffen

    Hello,

    My agency have recently told me that I have to go self-employed because the contracts that they have won’t accept any agency drivers that aren’t. And if I don’t do it in the next 3 weeks, I can no longer work for them. I work part-time (1-2 days a week) because I’m a student and becoming self-employed is the last thing I want to do.
    I assume this is because these companies don’t like the idea of an agency driver having the same rights as their own employees.

    What are my rights and options?
    I’ve worked for morrisons as an agency driver for a long time now. So what rights do I have?

    Feedback appreciated
    Use email please (Gween861@yahoo.co.uk)

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Ashley, obviously I can’t say why the employers would prefer drivers to be self-employed (although this is quite common in the industry I understand). The rights you have will depend what contract you have with the agency. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • jim dawson

    hi my name is jim i am an agency worker last week i did a job driving i worked 8hrs20mins i got back to the depot to sign out and told i had to go and do pick ups i refused as i was not told at the begining of the job and i had worked my 8 hrs now they are refuseing to pay me can they do that

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Jim, basically no, they need to pay you for the work you have done. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Nick

    Hi, I don’t know if my last post got in, I can’t see it, so, here it is again.
    I’ve been working for Pertemps for 6 months in a placement with a large aerospace company, Pertemps are telling me that I can only accrue holidays for days I’m actually at my placement, so, if I have a paid lieu day or a sicky or whatever then I only accrue four fifths for that week. what his means is that I cannot actually anything like my legal entitlement. Is that legal?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Nick, if you work full-time then you should accrue full-time holiday entitlement (regardless of if you are off sick or taking a day in lieu). Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • francesca petho

    Hi my names francesca.
    Iv been working for a national health service for 9 months through agency. We are paid weekly by the agency and the permanent employees of the national health service are paid monthly. We agency workers are told that we cannot take advantage of the overtime rate unless we physically work 37.5 hours Monday – Friday however we are rota’d compulsory weekend shifts once a month and our day off is then given in the week which subsequently means we are not fulfilling our mon-fri 37.5 hours. This also applies to holidays taken as they are not being physically worked. After speaking to permanent employees of the company I understand they are not penalised and any hours worked outside there contracted shift jump to over time rate. Should this come under the comparable law? Or is this different purely because of the way we are paid? How can they base their week mon-Friday when we are delegated compulsory weekend work? Many thanks for any response this has been a huge problem for many of my colleagues aswell as myself.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Francesca, as far as I understand this you must have the same working hours/working time as permanent comparable employees (after 12 weeks), so therefore if you are doing different hours/shift patterns and so are unable to have the same overtime opportunities then I believe this cannot be correct. As an agency worker you must fulfil the same conditions to qualify
      for overtime as the direct recruit, for example working a certain number
      of hours before overtime is payable. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Kyle Fernandez

    hi my name is legion because we are many .

    ive been working for the local council for 4-5 years now on the agency im wondering a few things .1

    im a refuse loader and this is a physical job, which eventually will affect my health because of the physicality of the job.the council is directly using agency to abuse theyre bodies without repocusions,is this allowed for such a duration in this field? ,(people have been there longer on temp terms ).2 ive been in the same crew all this time a position needs to be filled yet we keep hearing excuses from the management about budgets,40% of the staff are agency and positions are there to be filled ,and have been since i started is this legal ?.3we are not provided ppe i.e safety boots which we require to work or uniforms which u should be given regular staff receive it but were told we must get our own or get the agency to provide at our own cost is this allowed? .4we dont receive pay for bank holidays even though the management close up on the day and pay regular staff ,angency have to use holiday but regular staff get paid to stay at home this is not equal is it ?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Kyle, your first question is a health and safety issue and you would need to find out what the councils policy is to their permanent employees doing the same jobs. The Council can choose how they fill positions, whether temp or perm. Regarding the safety boots and uniforms the Council should provide these. And you should receive the same holidays as permanent staff. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • http://www.facebook.com/sanamdeepvaid Sanamdeep Vaid

    HI ,,MY NAME IS SANAMDEEP .I HAVE BEEN WORKING FOR AN AGENCY AT AIRPORT CONSTRUCTION JOB FOR 8 MONTHS .IN MY SECOND MONTH I GOT PERMOTION AND PAY RISE BECAUSE OF MY QUALIFICATION .THAN MY 4 MONTH I DONE SOME MORE COURSES AND I GOT MORE MONEY RISE BUT THEY DIDNOT GAVE ME MY CONTRACT COPY WHICH I SIGNED .LAST WEEK MONDAY I GOT CALL FROM MY DIRECTOR DONT COME TOMORROW AT JOB .HE DIDNOT TELL ME ANY REASON AND THEY DIDNOT PAY ME MY 2 WEEKS MONEY .COULD YOU PLEASE TELL ME WHAT SHOULD I DO NOW ?? .

    • lesleyfurber

      HI Sanamdeep. As an agency worker you can be asked to leave a job but they must pay for you for any work that you have done. You need to speak to your Agency about this. Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • http://www.facebook.com/sanamdeepvaid Sanamdeep Vaid

        i asked them but they refused ..they said do whatever you want we not gonna pay you
        we are 9 guys who are watting for our money

        • lesleyfurber

          Hi again, they must pay you for the work you have done, it is their responsibility under the Conduct of Agency Businesses Regulations 2003. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Amy

    Hi, I have been working for a domiciliary care agency for the past 7 years and I never received any bonuses (Christmas bonus etc). Am I entitled to them? Do domiciliary agencies receive them for their staff?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Amy, as an agency worker you are entitled to receive bonuses that are related to your individual performance (but not bonuses that are related to the performance of the company you work for). So you need to find out what these bonuses are given for. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • em

    Hi I have been working through an agency in my current job for 10 months. It was initially a maternity cover, but she only worked 3 days a week, but I was taken on as full time. I have been offered a permanent contract worth the company, however when I received the paperwork they are offering me my current job at considerably less money (about £4000 less, an over 15% pay cut). I have seen similar jobs advertised at the rate I am currently on. Are they allowed to do this? Should I just apply for other jobs?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Guest, yes if they are offering you a permanent job they can offer this at the rate they want/think is appropriate (as long as you being paid at least the national minimum wage). It is fairly normal for employers to offer permanent jobs at a lower rate to what you receive as a temp, as the employer has ‘add-on’ costs on top of your salary for the benefits that they offer. So, it will need to be you decision whether you take the offer of not. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workine

  • Mike

    Hi
    An agency I have been working at for more than a year has owed me £75 since 3rd May. They accept the error but say it was an IT problem. I have a text on my phone sent 3 weeks ago that says ‘your wage query is with IT who need to find out why you were paid the wrong rates’. It appears they admit the error so how do I get the money and still keep getting work? If I threaten small claims they could just stop providing work, although I do have an another agency offering me work. I have spent pounds today trying to contact my union who cant even tell me who my officer is, let alone help with the problem. I have sent countless emails to the agency but the last one was receipted as read but not replied to. I would appreciate any advice you can give.
    Thanks
    Mike

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Mike, thanks for your message. I’m afraid there is not much advice I can give you as you have been doing what you need to do – i.e. keep chasing. You are obviously due pay for all the work you have done, so another option if you are an employee or worker, apart from a small claims court is to take them to an employment tribunal for an ‘unauthorised deduction’ from pay – more details are here http://www.freelanceadvisor.co.uk/go-freelance-guide/pay-and-wages-pay-cuts-protection-from-unauthorised-deductions-from-your-pay-2/
      In the meantime I would keep chasing them, until this is sorted out. Good luck. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Anon

    Hi, I am an agency worker working through an umbrella company (6+ months in this post). My workplace are changing my hours from full-time to part time. Is there a minimum notice period for them to inform me/my agency/umbrella of this change?
    Thanks, A

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Anon, thanks for your message. As you probably have no contract directly with the hirer then, no, there is no minimum notice they need to give you. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Dozo

    Hi, I have been working for a company through an agency and umbrella company for 2 years. Now the hirer offered me a contract which I accepted. The conditions of the new contract are far better than that through the agency and umbrella company. ie 35 hours instead of 37.5 per week, better pay and holidays, bank holidays etc. included whereas through the umbrella company holidays were on my own account (i.e. no work no pay).

    Should the agency and/or umbrella company have given me similar conditions ? Can I still claim back for any ‘under’ payments ?

    Thanks.

    • lesleyfurber

      hi Dozo, the ‘equal’ rights that are due under the Agency Workers Regulations relate to an ‘average’ and ‘comparable’ worker – so if the company have told the agency what their ‘average comparable’ rates are for the job you were doing, and you received this, then that will have been ok. There is nothing to stop the company offering you an ‘enhanced’ package if they offer you a permanent job; although I think that’s quite a rare occurence. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • sana

    Hi, my agency was paying me £ 7.98+£0.89 holiday pay hourly. I have finished 12 weeks and continuing my job with same hirer and same project as telemarketing executive. My agency just given me new contract showing increase in holiday pay to £7.89+£1.03. i want to know my permanent employees are getting pay £18k/annum. I believe my basic pay should be increased as well, but i am not sure as i have never worked with agencies before. Please guide and and tell me Will I not be entitled to get same pay and same treatment after this 12 weeks.

    • lesleyfurber

      hi Sana, you are entitled to the same pay as ‘comparable’ workers at the company (doing the same job). Without knowing your full-time weekly hours I can’t work out the hourly rate of £18k, but you have worked this out already? Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Emma Short Dan Godber

    I am currently hired by an agency, but I read that the umbrella company should be billing the agency for the cost of the margin (umbrella company services) instead of it being deducted from my pay. Due to me paying the Margin out of my own pocket as well as paying the umbrella companies Employer NIC, does this class me as a self employed contractor? surely what they are doing is not legal?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Emma, sorry I can’t help you with this, I have no idea how umbrella company charges work. Have a search on Freelance Advisor to see if anything comes up about this which is helpful. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Mike

    Hello, I have just been informed by my agency that to continue working at a company I have been at for over 2 years I will need to sign a derogation contract by 6th August. We have been given about 3 weeks as a ‘consultation period’. My question is are we entitled to any notice and is there a minimum notice period? If we are under AWR can we use AWR to say we are entitled to the same notice as permanent staff IE 3 months for a contract change? Needless to say this is yet another company using the SDM to cut their agency bill and the new contract is much less favorable. I get it from a business point of view but is it legal with 3 weeks notice? Also the agency have stated we are not being made unemployed if we don’t sign – they will look for other assignments so I guess any claim for jobseekers is out too? They are offering guaranteed hours of 7.5 per week, about the minimum they can legally get away with I guess? Thanks for your thoughts.

    • lesleyfurber

      HI Mike, thanks for your message. When you say notice, do you mean to leave or for this change? 3 weeks notice for the change would be adequate – not too short and not long. Here are more details of how your terms and conditions can be changed – http://www.freelanceadvisor.co.uk/go-freelance-guide/written-statements-and-contracts/
      You are either entitled to contractual notice (what is written in your contract) or the statutory minimum notice period, as long as it is at least the statutory minimum applicable to your length of service. Under AWR, notice periods are not included as equal treatment benefits so you are not automatically entitled to the notice periods that comparable permanent staff get.

      I’m afraid I can’t comment about eligibility for jobseekers as I have no detailed knowledge of that. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • Mike

        Hi Lesley, I did mean notice for the change which is the way you have interpreted it ( as I didn’t make it clear) so thanks for your reply. Was the Swedish Derogation Contract originally designed to be used in this way or has it just become a loop-hole employers have found to get around AWR? It seems to me that AWR is not particularly well drafted legislation despite it’s good intentions. A friend of mine who is a driver has just signed a 40 hour week derogation contract after what can only be described as consistent ‘pressure selling’ from his agency. Prior to that every 11 weeks he was told he was not required for week 12 at an employer he has been at for 2 years. Now he has signed he has been promised as much work as he wants at that employer without the gaps. Regards. Mike.

        • lesleyfurber

          Hi Mike, yes the Swedish Derogation Contract was included in the legislation so that you don’t need to get equal pay with permanent ‘comparators’ where you work, but you do get a permanent contract with the agency. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Michael

    Hi – a quick one hopefully.

    I’m employed as a contract resource but as a permanent employee of the agency in question (due to TUPE) – I carry out on-call work and have a rate in my contract for this. I’m now being told that if I want to continue to do on-call I have to accept a lower rate that matches that of the “comparable workforce” who are permanently employed by the company in question.

    The AWR seems to be fine when it comes to getting you equal rights for some things but can it also be used to lower my rate in this way?

    Essentially I’m being told to accept the lower rate or lose the on-call – this just doesn’t seem right.

  • Ben

    Hello, I am a temp with REED and I have been working with the same company for 18 months. I was unaware of the 12 week period and REED did not make me aware of this. I found out about it from an agency worker for REED.
    Basically, I earn £3 less than permanent employees, receive less holiday (I have to accrue hours), no sick pay etc.
    Do I contact REED directly and ask them about this? Will I receive a refund for the last 15 months of work? They owe me £6000! …I don’t want to lose my job but this seems like a lot of money to miss out on. Please help!

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Ben, yes you need to contact REED first. You can ask them for information in relation to your equal
      treatment for basic employment terms and conditions, as soon as you have completed the 12 week qualifying period. The Agency should respond
      within 30 days of the request. If the Agency does not reply you can request the same information from the Hiring Employer. Ultimately you can take them to an Employment Tribunal for not receiving your rights under this legislation. Check your contract with REED first though, to make sure they have not put you on a swedish derogation permanent contract (which means you are not entitled to equal pay). Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • ian

    Hello, I have worked at my current company from 4 may 10 to 4 march 12, this was through a Agency where I worked full time for my current company, the Company in turn payed a Umbrella company. On 4 march 12 I was laid off due to the company loosing some contracts, this is normal procedure as I understand. On 24 Jul 12 I was fortunate to get another contract with my same company. At this time I was told by my Agency that i had to sign a “opt out” contract. When I queried this with the Agency I was told this was to protect my rights, think I have the email somewhere still. As I never had this in the past I was not happy to sign. Finding out quite quickly this was the swedish degradation rules. On 1st Sep 12 my Agency terminated my contract and that of all other contractors for my current company. My current Company then took us all on at the same time but still paying us through our respective umbrella companies. This I would assume the Agencies had asked for more finance from my company and they refused, to take the job on themselves. The official response I got from my company was It did not suit their business needs. No reason was given by my agency either. From 1st Sep 12 to current I am still working directly for my company who in turn pay my umbrella company who pays me. I have asked numerous times about AWR through my company and when I was with the Agency, but was always told this did not apply to me. I asked my company once again today was given verbally that in my case I decide when to take my Holidays thus making me self employed. For my company I have always had to apply through a portal for holiday and was Granted or refused by my line manager.

    Any time I have taken holiday I have never been paid for this and not even received SSP when I had been ill. As far as I can make out I do not offer my services to my current Employer, rather I am told what I tasks I have to do and which hours to work along with my Hourly rate. This makes me employed by the company, eg I do not run my own company and offer my services out.

    I have not been able to find any answer to my question before as Companies Agencies seem to avoid the subject most saying they do not know what AWR is, but we know this is not true. I have not approached a Business lawyer as of yet worried of the cost for perhaps other places I could try first.

    I have been a contractor for over 20 years so many times not getting paid by Agencies when the contract had Ended, my previous contract paid me a month in arrears and did not pay me my month when I started with my current contract, many emails to them and I never received payment. most annoying. This has been the first time I have ever seen anything positive in our favour. Holiday pay I havent had in 20 years +. Still companies seem to be avoiding this issue. I have asked numerous times for a permanent position, but told there are none.

    Any light you can put on the subject, I would greatly appreciate. So many people I know in the same position.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi, I’m going to reply by e-mail. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Julian Kingsland-Bonshor

    Hi my son has worked for an agency for about 9months doing different but the last 3 he has been in one place, he had a accident and been in hospital for 4 weeks and is now home but will not be able to work till next year starting claiming SSP for about 6 weeks and now they are saying his contract has ended and he must go to job centre to claim sickness benefit so no more SSP is this correct please advise all help appreciated as his last SSP was £44.15 thank you

  • Brad

    Hey, I worked through an agency doing 2 different assignments over the course of a month and a half. Anyways, one of the assignments offered me a permanent job at the end of the assignment. After working for a month and half, they’ve now fired me because they didn’t want to pay the agency fee. Is there anything I can do about this?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Brad, thanks for your message. This is surprising because they should have been aware there would be a fee! I’m wondering if your Agency followed the rules they need to (on providing details of transfer fees to the client) under the Conduct of Employment Agencies Regulations (more details here – http://www.freelanceadvisor.co.uk/legal-advice/the-conduct-of-employment-agencies-and-employment-businesses-regulations-2003/ )

      If your new Employer had a contractual disciplinary policy that they didn’t follow you may have grounds to take a breach of contract claim. Other than that I can’t really think of anything else you could do about this (unless you have a valid discrimination claim). If I think of anything else, I’ll come back to you.
      Good luck. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Jay

    Hi, I just worked a weekend through an agency, nearly 24 hrs In total, but on the Monday had a phone call for a full time job, so rang and let the agency know I would not be returning, now three weeks later I still haven’t received any money fom the agency for the hours I worked, I called them they said, I was told I would have to complete 4 shifts before I would be paid, as I only did two I don’t qualify for any pay. I have never heard of this before and feel its far from right, I’m just wondering if anyone can tell me if this is legal, and what I can do about it, if anything. Thanks

  • Karen

    I have worked continuously for one company as an agency temp for over 12 months, what should I be entitled to?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Karen, all your entitlements under the Agency Workers Regulations are detailed in the article above. Let me know if you have any further queries. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • sharon

    Hi. Ive been working for a agency at the same company for 3 and half years. Ive been off sick for 6weeks due to a bad back. Ive been told now that they dont need me and replaced me so ive lost my job now. Can they do that? I didnt damage my back at work but working there has not helped my back over the years?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Sharon, what sort of contract do you have with the agency? And is the agency going to look for other work for you or is that just the end of your relationship with the agency? You can be replaced from the job you were doing but the agency cannot sack you completely just like that if you have a permanent contract with them. Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • sharon

        Hi Lesley I got perm contract through the agency last Oct when the law changed when u had been in the same job for 12 weeks. They have sent me my p45 now and said i need a doc note saying im fit enough to go back. But I will end up back to beginning again to temp contract.

        • lesleyfurber

          Hi Sharon, if you got a permanent contract with the agency then when you do not have work you must be paid minimum pay for a period of at least 4 weeks after the
          end of the last assignment. If the agency takes reasonable steps to
          find you another suitable assignment during the 4 week period, then the
          Agency can terminate your permanent contract with you. If they have not done this then you may have a case for unfair dismissal at an Employment Tribunal. Regards, Lesley, Workline

          • sharon

            Well they wouldnt pay ssp i had to go through dole and get it throughy ni contributions. So they arnt even paying me sick pay. So cos I havent been paid for 6 weeks from the agency they sent me p45?

          • lesleyfurber

            Hi Sharon, they should have paid you SSP if you meet the qualifying conditions – http://www.freelanceadvisor.co.uk/go-freelance-guide/sickness-and-statutory-sick-pay-ssp/

            It might be worth talking to ACAS to see if you have a case to take the agency to Tribunal. Good luck. Regards, Lesley, Workline

          • sharon

            Hi. Well just read ssp rules and dont see any reason why they havnt paid me ssp? Ive sent fit notes and phoned in and been working there for over 3years. But the agency say because they have had to replace me with other temps my job as been covered by someone else and I cant go back till someone leaves and I supply a back to work note saying that i am fit to do my job. Cos of health and saftety?

  • luke firth

    Hi Lesley ive been working through the agency for the same company for over 2 years and have managed to get my wage to the same as the permanent staff however there was a shortfall of £4000 pound just on last years earnings the agency have acknowleged this and have strung me along for abt 6 months now saying they are trying to get my money from the company I work for. Is there anything I can do abt it as I fear they have strung me along to get past the 12 week deadline to avoid paying me I have heard that you have 12 weeks again once the assignment ends is this true and what if anything can I do ?

  • luke firth

    hi Lesley thanks for the reply i was aware that the 12 weeks ended a while ago and was just having to go on the agencys good faith. But the company i work at are in the process of taking me on permanent and i wanted to know if I could start a claim at that point if the agency still havnt paid me my shortfall

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Luke, you generally have to make a claim to Tribunal within 3 months of the ‘act’. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Barry McQuillan

    Hi Lesley,
    I have been working via an umbrella company for almost five months now. I am considering an offer I have had for permanent employement. My contract finishes on 31 October and if I was to take on the permanent role it could potentially start on 1 November. If I inform my umbrella company that I will be finishing on 31 October with them they will stop me reclaiming the tax on my expenses from now. Obviously, I have not advised them yet, least of all as I haven’t reached a decision on my future. My question is are they legally able to stop my expense claims immediately if I was to tender my resignation now even if I see out my contract for another 2 weeks?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Barry, thanks for your message. I’m not completely familiar with the way umbrella companies operate internally but I would have thought they should continue treating you as they do now until you finish working with them. Do you have to give them notice to end the contract? Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • Barry McQuillan

        Thanks Lesley I only have to give notice if I am leaving during the contract but the contract expires soon and my new job offer commences the following day. I can’t see anything in the terms and conditions that I signed upon commencement, which tells you that you won’t be paid expenses when you advise that you are leaving. I will still incur expenses until the end of my contract and I don’t see why that should be any different to any other time throughout my contract. Regards, Barry

  • ash

    Hi Lesley
    I have been working through a recruitment agency temping for one client of theirs for 18 months.
    I have currently been receiving smp from them and was told I had been replaced by there client and there wouldn’t be a job to return to however I would receive with my last payment and all of the holiday pay for the time I accrued off on maternity leave as whilst on leave the government quotes you still build up entitlement whilst on leave. this was all agreed and the payment was due a week ago , however they are now refusing to pay advising me you dnt build up holiday pay if you haven’t worked .
    can you please advise

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Ash, thanks for your message. You continue to accrue holiday entitlement all the time you are on maternity leave, so they are incorrect. Good luck. Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • lesleyfurber
      • ash

        Hi Lesley
        thanks they have been back in contact saying as I am on a contract for services this isn’t the case and will not be paying any money, how does this work under the AWR , as I have read all employees should be treated the same after 12 weeks

        • lesleyfurber

          Hi Ash, if you working under a contract for services then you must be a Contractor? Are you working through an umbrella Company? If you are then you should be entitled to holiday. Regards, Lesley, Workline

          • ash

            Hi I was a temp on a contract of services working through a recruitment agency for one of their clients

          • ash

            thanks for all your help

          • lesleyfurber

            Hi Ash, if you were entitled to holiday under your contract, then you are entitled to accrue holiday entitlement during maternity leave. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Sandra

    Hi Lesley,
    I have been working for an agency for nearly 4 years. I’m on a permanent contract currently.My assignment is coming to an end of year as job is being moved offshore. There is another role which I went for an interview within the same company today and agency advised the wage is 10k less. I thought I would be paid the same, can they do this and what are my rights.They are trying to find me another role in the company before I can apply for redundancy. They have advised the month I am not working I will not get paid.

    Can you assist and advise

    Kind Regards

    Sandra

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Sandra, thanks for your message. I presume you mean permanent with the agency? If you are employed on a swedish derogation permanent contract then you have the right to be paid between assignments (see above). If you are going for a different role in the company then yes they can pay less than your current one. It’s unlikely you’d be eligible for redundancy from the company you work at, so I’m not sure what you mean by that. Does that help? Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • Sandra

        Hi Lesley
        Thanks for your reply, I don’t think I made myself clear. The agency is in house to the company I work for. My current contract had no end date but can give contractual one months notice. They found another role within the company but its completely different to what I do now. I went for the interview and was not suitable but the manager advised there is a role suitable more to me. They advised if I did not take up offer I will jeopardise a redundancy payment. It’s a 10k drop effectively more than 35% of my currently wage. Are they able to go this?

        • lesleyfurber

          Hi Sandra, if you are employed on an in-house staff bank, which it sounds like you are, and you have a permanent contract, then you are eligible for redundancy payment if they are unable to find you a ‘suitable’ alternative role – a salary drop of £10k would not make the job suitable. You can choose to take it but they can’t make you; if you don’t take it because it’s not suitable then you are eligible for a redundancy payment. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • matt

    hi i have been working for an agency in the same place for 22 months now how long do i have to work an till i get offered a full time job ? thanks

  • Iain

    Hi, I was employed as an IT contractor with a university for approx 18 months (through an umbrella company.) I was then invited to apply for a similar role with the university in a permanent capacity, in the same department, in which I was successful. My question is this; Does my previous service as a contractor count towards sick pay entitlement? The uni has the usual sort of scheme, ’5 days after 6 months service’ sort of thing.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Iain, I think it’s very unlikely your previous service as a Contractor would count for any service-related benefit. But there’s no harm in asking as they may feel it is appropriate. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • aga

    Hello,
    The company I work for employs its own contractual workers (employees) and agency workers. Two of my friends – agency workers have been on maternity leave recently. Both have been working for the same agency over 2 years without brakes and during their pregnancies. One of them have just returned to work, another one probably soon. They have been told by the agency that they have lost the annual leave entitlement, due to the fact that they didn’t claim it during maternity leave, and that the agency won’t pay them. In my opinion the agency is wrong. What is your opinion ? Many thanks.

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Aga, the agency is incorrect – they are entitled to accrue holiday entitlement during maternity leave – but this would obviously have to be taken before, or after, the maternity leave period. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • SERENA

    I work for a media company as an agency contractor. As I have not opened a limited company, I am hired through an umbrella company. Being this my 13th week of work with the same employer, I have now reached the qualifying period, according to par. 6 of the Agency Workers Regulations.
    The agency has never mentioned me about the rights I am legally entitled after 12 weeks and I had to ask persistently few times before being listened and answered on the matter.
    They state that I am not entitled to any holidays as I go through an umbrella company.
    I have spoken to ACAS and they have confirmed that, having started on 25th Sep, I am entitled to 7 days of paid holidays this year, even if I am going trough an umbrella company.

    The holiday pay from the umbrella company is allocated from my weekly pay, less the deductions and taxes, which means that it is just an optional distribution of my salary. Whereas, the holiday accrued after the qualifying period are extra paid days for holidays purposes (that should be paid by the Client).

    Please see below the email from my umbrella company

    Under the Agency Worker regulations, you are entitled to equal holidays after 12 qualifying weeks – we have been in touch with XXX (the Agency)and they have not advised that a permanent comparator is entitled to more than 33 days holiday.

    XXX (the Agency)have uplifted your rate after you have reached 12 qualifying weeks on the client’s site. This rate takes holiday pay and employers NI into consideration. With the uplift in rate, we have calculated that you will be no worse off than a permanent employee.

    You can choose to put your holiday pay aside for when you actually take the day off. The fact that the holiday pay is advanced to you rather than paid when you actually take holidays is where the confusion may have come in. If holiday pay wasn’t taken into consideration, the rate that XXX (The Agency) sent through to us would be much lower.

    Once your day rate is uplifted to £136 per day, this equates to a salary of £35609.60 which is considerably more than a comparable employee as holiday pay and employers NI has been factored in.

    Please could you help me to clarify that?

    Thanks!

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Serena, I’ve just replied to your other post to say that I will reply to your original e-mail. Please do not expect a reply today though. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Stephen Langley

    I have worked as a agency worker for a company since April this year. I was recently informed on a Monday that my contract would end on the Friday because a manager felt underminded by my actions. I stated that to ensure the manager did not feel underminded I would leave that day. Am I entitled to claim the weeks work??

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Stephen, unless your contract contains a notice period for this work then no, you would only be entitled to be paid for the work you have done. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Destiny SOULMATE

    If a job is advertised by an agency company for a forklift reach truck driver at the rate of 6.52-7.62 and after 15 months of working for them you are told you will not be paid the higher until you have drive all manual equipment as well as forklift reach truck and you were NOT told about this when you first started the job.Is this legal ?
    Could you also tell me what is classed as a comparable worker ? thanks

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Destiny, thanks for your message. Companies can set different pay rates according to experience/skills, it is entirely up to them – they only thing they have to do is pay at least the national minimum wage for all work done. A comparable worker is someone who does the same or very similar job, with the same responsibilities, usually at the same location. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Sarah

    I have a limited company. I work with other agencies to find work. When I requested a rate increase they cancelled my contract – can they legally do this? If I work for an agency, but I am paid through my Limited company, am I entitled to holiday pay if I have a year’s contract?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Sarah, it’s going to depend what your contract says about how it can be terminated (in what circumstances), but yes in theory they could do this. With regards to holiday pay, this is complicated – if you have a limited company then effectively you employ yourself, so need to give yourself holiday. But it’s going to depend, again, on what sort of contract you have with the agency, what ‘status’ they recognise you as having and so whether they think it is their responsibility or not to pay you holiday. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Tim

    Hi, I have recently been laid off by my agency because they do not have much work at the moment.
    Now that is all fine and understandable, but I have been told that I am not getting any work at all because I only work one or two days a week and that they are giving preference to those workers who work for them ‘fulltime’. Their belief is because I carry out other work during the week (my counterargument being that they do not know how much or how little other work I do) that I have money coming in (not always true) then I am automatically pushed to the bottom of the list. I am PAYE employee on the agency.
    Could this be construed as discriminatory?

  • ashvin modhoo

    Hi there,I am an Hgv driver for an agency and i have been driving for a distribution company for nearly a year.They promise me the job after 3 months i started i filled all the application form but unfortunately i fell from the tail lift of the truck wile i was in work.i was sick for two month then went back.After a month my dad died and had to fly out for a month I was still keeping in touch with the supervisor and manager i came back after 40 days and resume work straight away. Ive been working for more than one month now the manager told me he has hired another two drivers full time when he told me at the beginning that am on probation for 3 months.Is that fair to bypass me for another one?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Ashvin, as you are driving through an agency and have had to take time off then I’m afraid I can’t see anything wrong with the company taking on other drivers during your absence. Have they said you will get another chance soon? Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Sami

    Hi Lesley,
    I have been in the same job role with a company for 3 and a half years, employed through a temp agency. The agency i originally got the job through was replaced just after the new regulations came in, meaning i was not entitled to equal pay because the new agency my employer uses introduced the contract that pays us between assignments. How long are employers allowed to keep you as a temp through an agency before you are entitled to the same pay with the ‘pay between assignments’ contract? I have been under this contract for 2 and a half years.
    Thanks

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Sami, thanks for your message. If you remain a temp through an agency, employed on the ‘pay between assignments’ (swedish derogation) model then at no point are you legally entitled to the same pay as comparable under the Agency workers regulations. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Alana

    I have tired applying for work with one particular agency which for the second time have told me they would not put me forward for a position because I do not have a car and therefore they feel I would be a risk at getting to the job. I would not have applied for the job if I had not been able to get there. Does anyone know the regulations for a discrimination against being put forward for a position because this is the second time this agency has done this too me? Kind Regards Alana

  • Tara

    Hi I am currently on maternity and I accrue holidays however I will still be on maternity when my holiday year ends, do my employers have To carry them over or pay them or will I lose them, because I don’t see the point in accruing them if I can’t use them

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Tara, thanks for your message. Yes, your Employer should let you take your holiday entitlement before you return from maternity leave (or carry them over), they won’t be able to pay them unless you leave. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Georgina Wickens

    Hi Lesley,
    I have been working for an agency in the same company for nearly 6 years now. I get to hear about job vacancies but I am not always aloud to apply for them. I understand that the jobs are advertised for ‘At Risk’ people first, but why would I not be able to apply for them after that. Would you be able to shed some light on this for me?
    Many Thanks
    George

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi George, thanks for your message. I don’t think I can help you here, if the jobs are for ‘at risk’ staff that yes that makes sense that you couldn’t apply. You’ll need to ask the HR department I think, about why some jobs you cannot apply for, they must have a policy that will explain this. Good luck. Regards, Lesley, workline

  • Lucy

    Hi, im working for agency more than 3yrs. Agency gave us contract for 2yrs but this contract has now expired /expired 3mnths ago/. And now we are working without any contract is it ok?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Lucy, thanks for your message. It’s not ideal, but the ‘contract’ still continues while you still work there; but they should update the situation. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Nenad

    Hi, I am working for Agency trough my Limited Company, self employed. And I am payed under minimum wage, although hirer is paying minimum wage to agency,but agency doesn’t pay me minimum? Is that o.k.?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Nenad. You must be paid at least the national minimum wage (before tax and NI contributions), so the agency is acting incorrectly. Your question about whether you are an agency worker or self-employed is difficult – you should be self-employed as you have a Limited Company but in reality this will depend on how you work – whether they have control over what you do etc. There are a lot of details about this in the article above. Do you have a contract with the agency and how does it describe you? It may give an indication of the ‘status’ the agency think you have (although this may not reflect the actual reality of your working relationship). Good luck. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • adamm

    I have been working for a company for neally 3years throught agency the contract was for 3months.. I got told 1week ago not to come back in because that night they said I was argumentative about them sending me home after I clocked in for a 12 shift …I was not argumentative I just stated I can’t go home the supervisor said you have to go home because basicly I picked you to go home and then they rang the agency about I was argumentative?? Can I clam and also there was 2girls just started there first week but couldn’t said them home because the work place want a government grant ?? And they don’t even know the job and I was ready to work that night but swapped me for the girl …can I claim compensation ?

    • lesleyfurber

      HI Adamm, thanks for your message. Unless you can demonstrate you are an employee of the company then I can’t think there is anything you can claim for. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • bringbackdavros

    gary
    hi id just like some brief advice , Ive been working for a company now for around 9 years .they employ both full time contracted workers and agency staff within the car manufacturing industry and recently announced redundancies !!! can they release the full time employees whilst still using agency workers ? or do they have to release all the agency workers before any full time contractors ?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Gary, thanks for your message. This is something they would need to agree with the permanent workforce (and any Trade Unions you have there) but it would be normal to release the agency workers first, if this could avoid redundancies amongst the permanent workforce. Hope that helps. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Jon

    Jon
    Hi i was just wondering something. Basically i had been working in a warehouse as and agency employee for 8 months and had found another job. Stupidly i took it and ended up leaving because i hated it and going back to my previous job as an agency employee. Even though it isnt recruitment season for about another 3 months, would i have to start my contract over? my details were still on the systems and i am allowed to operate the MHE as in LLOPs and FLTs. Or does my contract carry on as i only left for a week?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Jon, if you have a 6 week or longer break from the job then you would have to start over again to accrue rights under the Agency Workers Regulations. Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • Claire

    Hi, I have been working for the same company for 2 years at the end of this month. This has been through an agency and an umbrella company (although my agency has made me switch umbrella companies twice in the 2 years). Do my rights change once I have been with the same company continuously for 2 years please?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Claire, thanks for your message. You don’t gain any more rights after 2 years if you are an agency worker. Are you an employee of the umbrella company though? As you would have rights with them. Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • Claire

        Hi Lesley, thanks for your response. Yes, I am an employee of my umbrella company. In what way would I have rights changed with them please?

        • lesleyfurber

          Hi Claire, your rights as an employee stay the same but you are entitled to claim unfair dismissal and be eligible for a redundancy payment after 2 years. Regards, Lesley, Workline

          • Claire

            Thanks Lesley :-)

  • Joe Dark

    Hi FA

    Q1: Can a difference in job title/description allow an agency to refuse implementing AWR?

    I have been informed by my agency (of almost 2yrs) that my job title is different from the hirer’s full time staff and that the job description is also different therefore i am not doing the same job as the full time staff, however I AM doing exactly the same job as full time staff.
    In the agency’s handbook it clearly states that I MAY be called upon to perform the very differences they mentioned in the job description just as the full time staff might be, this has never happened because none of the agency or full time staff are trained to do these potential requirements.

    Q2: If I take my agency to tribunal am I legally classed as a temporary worker?

    *There is no SDM with this agency. If i don’t work I don’t get paid.
    *I do not get SSP or any kind of future redundancy pay but I do get Accrued Holiday Pay.
    *There is no indefinite contract. Once the hiring company gets “quiet” there is only sporadic or no work for several weeks or months. If the hiring company does stay busy then there is regular work from the agency. (Rarely a full week however)
    *There is no contract at all other than a signed Handbook listing the Job title and requirements, the agency’s policies and procedures. Nowhere in the handbook does it state what type of contract I have with the agency.

    Thanks for any help with these questions.
    ¦)

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Joe, thanks for your message. If the differences in the title and job description where genuine then yes you would fall outside of the AWR. However, if the differences are there to stop you being eligible for AWR rights then this could be ‘avoidance’ of the regulations which you may be able to take a claim to a Tribunal for I think. Although you dont’ have a proper contract with the Agency you must be at least classed as a ‘worker’ (although maybe not an employee) so you have rights to SSP (if you meet the qualifying conditions) and holiday; you wouldn’t have rights to redundancy if you were only a ‘worker’. Hope that helps. Good luck. Lesley, Workline

      • Joe Dark

        Many thanks

        ¦)

  • Joe Dark

    New Problem

    I’ve established that I am an Agency Worker with no formal contract of employment other than a verbal agreement to work a given day when asked by the agency.

    I’ve since found out from other agency workers that when they have tried to claim SSP, the agency writes to them saying “End of Contract” and that they must claim ESA or Income Support etc.

    WHAT contract are they talking about?
    Is this legal and what can I do if it happens to me?
    I would definitely qualify based on the SSP info on the .GOV.UK site.

    Thanks

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Joe, you will have a contract with the agency even if this is not in writing, although it’s hard for me to say what type of contract this is without more information; but it would at least be a ‘workers’ contract. Which means you would be eligible to claim SSP if you meet the qualifying conditions. Your Employer must pay SSP if you are eligible – more details are here http://www.freelanceadvisor.co.uk/go-freelance-guide/sickness-and-statutory-sick-pay-ssp/
      Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • Joe Dark

        Cheers for the reply

  • shavon

    hi there, my boyfriend has been employed by an agency to the same company for almost two years. is there a fixed amount of time you have to work for the same company before you are made permanent. please help. as we are struggling to find a mortgage broker that will accept us because of the agency part. TIA

  • CATHY

    I am working for an agency there are two of us The company we are working for was in need of 20 temps the other 18 ARE FROM ANOTHER AGENCY ALL STARTING THE SAME TIME BEING TRAINED ON THE VERY SAME THING THE 18 PEOPLE FRON THE OTHER AGENCY ARE MAKING 19.50 AN HR. THE TWO FROM THE OTHER AGENY WHICH IS ME ANOTHER PERSON ARE ONLY MAKING 17.00 AN HR! I CALLED AND ASK THE COMPANY WHY THE SAID THER IS NOTHING THEY CAN DO!

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Cathy, thanks for your message. Do you mean you called your agency? It would be up to them to negotiate the rate, and there may be a genuine reason why they did not get such a good rate as the other agency. Can you join the other agency instead? Regards, Lesley, Workline

  • lee shaw

    If you turn up to start days work through an agency and find out it has been cancelled who has to pay the wage for the day .thanks lee

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Lee, you need to check the contract you have with the agency and see what it says about short-notice cancellations. Regards, Lesley, Workline

      • lee shaw

        It was my first day with new agency no contract was disguised .they found out night before it had been cancelled by hire company i found out turning up to site .

        • lesleyfurber

          Hi Lee, you need to talk to the Agency and find out happens in this situation; they should have certainly told you before. Regards, Lesley

  • deck

    Hi, i’ve been working for a medical packaging company through brookstreet for 4 & a half years now. There are 2 rates of pay, for operating machines and packers. I’m on the higher rate as ive been operating for over a year now
    now. Therefore i have more responsibility than half of the staff that work there (including permanent and agency staff). Ive applied for a job twice directly through the company and was unsuccessful. Can they just keep me through the agency as long as they want, or do they have to offer a job past a certain time?

  • Chris

    Hello. I have been working (via an Agency) at a callcentre since May. Each week the Agency take an amount of money out of my wages for ‘holiday pay’. I was under the impression that paid holiday is a lawful entitlement and therefore not deductible. Can I demand this money back and would it be from day 1 or week 12?

    • lesleyfurber

      Hi Chris, thanks for your message. I think you need to ask the Agency why they are doing it – I’ve heard of Umbrella Companies doing this – and they ‘bank’ the holiday pay so you can be paid it when you take holiday. This is probably what they are doing but they should make it clear. Regards, Lesley, Workline