The NEW Agency Workers Regulations (AWR) – what does it mean for me?


The regulations have been designed with the goal of giving agency workers the same basic working and employment conditions as permanent employees doing the same job in relation to pay and working time.



When do they start?


The AWR is applicable from 1 October 2011 and below is a brief overview of the rights that will be available to you – but many of them you will no doubt receive from many of our clients already.



From day one


From the first day of your assignment you will be able to: 

  • Access to information relating to vacancies –via the internet/intranet, job boards etc.  The company you are temping for should let you know how to view available job information for the site you are working at.  This right doesn’t mean they have to change their selection process for agency workers.

  • Access to collective facilities

Facilities is a fairly broad term but the government guidelines define them as “collective facilities provided by the hirer either to workers or employees as a whole or to particular groups of workers or employees”.  Examples include: 

  • A staff canteen or restaurant

  • A workplace crèche

  • Company transport (i.e. shuttle bus)

  • Car parking

  • Vending machines

The client is not required to give you access to things where there is “enhanced “ access rights – e.g. a waiting list for a crèche or discounted benefits/products which are only available through long-term service.



So what’s next ... new rights after a 12 week qualifying period:


Firstly what is the 12 week qualifying period – an agency worker working in the same job with the same hirer/client for 12 calendar weeks.



So how is this worked out?


The 12 weeks calculating period will start from 1 October so prior temporary work will not qualify.  Therefore the earliest a temp who started with a client prior to 1 October 2011 will qualify for the 12 week rights is 24 December 2011.


Things that will count or be included in the 12 week count include:

  • Just one hour worked in a week will be counted as a week

  • If you have temped with the client in the role via another source you must let us know so we can include it in your 12 week count – if you don’t tell us we simply won’t know

  • The count/clock is paused due to sickness, taking annual leave, jury service, office closure (e.g. Christmas/New Year) and any breaks of less than 6 weeks

The qualifying period continues during maternity, adoption and paternity leave.


If you are moved to a different role then the qualifying period/clock is reset back to zero.



So you’ve hit the 12 weeks qualifying period – what does this mean?


You will be entitled to equal treatment in terms of basic working and employment conditions.


This will cover items that would be outlined in terms and conditions of permanent employees such as pay, annual leave, overtime, working time, shift allowances, bonuses/commission directly related to quantity and quality of work produced, vouchers which have a monetary value such as luncheon vouchers, child care vouchers etc. (that are not salary sacrifice schemes) and additional discretionary bonuses.


Pay will not include for comparison purposes:

  • Occupational sick pay (but we will still process SSP, as applicable)

  • Occupational pensions

  • Occupational maternity, paternity or adoption pay (again we will process statutory payments applicable)

  • Redundancy pay

  • Notice pay

  • Season ticket loans

  • Bonuses not performance based or non contractual bonuses etc.  These would include bonuses which are based around the overall performance of the division/company (not the individual) or bonuses designed to reward loyalty or longevity of service

Temps will be entitled to the same level of pay as a permanent employee in a comparable job.  To help with the calculation of the hourly rate we have set up the attached calculator that will convert a permanent salary to an hourly pay rate:   Click on the button to use the calculator... 




Please note that if you are already paid more than a comparable permanent employee then your pay rate will not increase.



Holiday Pay and Working Time


After the 12 week qualifying period you will be entitled to the same holiday pay level as a permanent employee.  Currently all temporary workers receive the statutory 28 days per annum, including bank and public holidays.  If your company’s entitlement is higher then you will receive the additional leave allowance.  Under the AWR this will be paid as an additional holiday pay amount.  You will then separately be paid your statutory 28 days annual leave.


We have created a quick calculator for the holiday percentage increase.  Simply input the amount of holiday pay the client offers and it will calculate the uplift in holiday pay, if any.  Click on the button to use the calculator...





Pregnant or a new mother (congratulations!)


Once a pregnant temp reaches the 12 week qualifying period you will be entitled to paid time off to attend antenatal medical appointments and antenatal classes when on assignment.


It’s important that you let us know that you are going on antenatal medical appointments and antenatal classes – if we don’t know we can’t pay it.  Directgov’s advice to individuals is “try avoid taking time off work where you can reasonably arrange classes or examinations outside working hours.”


So that’s the basics of AWR covered but if you have any questions then please give us a call – your consultant is happy to help.


We look forward to working with you in October 2011 and beyond!