A legislation outlining the treatment of agency workers (temporary contractors) in the workplace, including holiday pay, working time.
The legislation came into force on 1 October 2011, giving agency workers the entitlement to the same basic employment and working conditions as if they had been recruited directly, if and when they complete a qualifying period of 12 weeks in the same job.
If you hire agency workers, you must ensure that they have they can access your facilities (such as canteen, childcare facilities, etc) and can access information on your job vacancies from the first day of their assignment.
The equal treatment entitlements relate to pay and other basic working conditions (annual leave, rest breaks etc) and come into effect after an agency worker completes a 12 week qualifying period in the same job with the same hirer. After completing the qualifying period, pregnant agency workers will now be allowed to take paid time off for ante-natal appointments during an assignment.
What this means…
If you are an employer and hire temporary agency workers through a temporary work agency, you should provide your agency with up to date information on your terms and conditions so that they can ensure that an agency worker receives the correct equal treatment, as if they had been recruited directly, after 12 weeks in the same job. You are responsible for ensuring that all agency workers can access your facilities and are able to view information on your job vacancies from the first day of their assignment with you.
After you have worked in the same job for 12 weeks, you will qualify for equal treatment in respect of pay and basic working conditions. You can accumulate these weeks even if you only work a few hours a week. Your temporary work agency is likely to ask for details of your work history to help establish when you are entitled to equal treatment (separate guidance is available for agency workers on direct.gov website).
If you are involved in the supply of temporary agency workers, you need to ask the hirer for information about pay and basic working conditions (when it is clear that the agency worker will be in the same job with the same hirer for more than 12 weeks) so that they are treated as if they had been directly recruited to the job.