Information for Temporary Workers
WHAT ARE DAY 1 RIGHTS?
From day one of an assignment, as an agency worker, you will be entitled to the following two rights:
The right to access information on job vacancies
The hirer you are working for must inform you of any relevant job vacancies in their organisation and ensure that you have the same access as other workers to the information available. This does not mean that you will automatically have the right to be employed by the hirer; you must follow the usual recruitment process that they use. (This does not apply in the situation where the hirer has a freeze on external job advertisements where any vacancies are held for internal moves in order to prevent potential redundancies).
The right to access collective on-site facilities
You will also be entitled to access collective facilities such as crèche and childcare facilities, canteen facilities, car parking and the provision of transport services that are provided to the hirer's own workers. This access to facilities can be refused if your hirer has ‘objective grounds' for doing so. In practice this means that if there is a waiting list for childcare facilities or a car park space, you will not automatically be entitled to a place but can be subject to the same criteria to access the facility as someone directly recruited by the hirer. You will not be entitled to ‘amenities' such as subsidised gym membership and season ticket loans as they are considered to be a reflection of the long-term relationship between an employee and a hirer.
The hirer has sole responsibility for ensuring that you receive these Day One rights.
WHAT ARE 12 WEEK RIGHTS?
On completion of the 12 week qualifying period, as an agency worker you will be entitled to equal treatment in respect of basic working and employment conditions relating to:
duration of working time/night work
Equal pay will include:
basic salary/bonuses or commission payments related to the quantity and quality of work carried out by you
shift allowance, unsociable hours allowance, overtime payments
vouchers provided (e.g. luncheon vouchers, providing they have a fixed monetary value and are not part of a salary sacrifice scheme)
Equal pay does not include:
occupational sick pay
advances and loans
share and option schemes
expenses, car allowances, car
vouchers which are a salary sacrifice arrangement between an employer and an employee
pension payments (temporary workers will be entitled to a pension under separate legislation due to come into effect in 2012)
maternity, paternity and adoption pay (over and above the statutory entitlement)
loyalty bonuses or any bonus payments which are not directly attributable to the amount or quality of the work performed by you
Holiday entitlement - As an agency worker you are already entitled to the statutory leave entitlement of 28 days (pro-rata'd). If you qualify for equal treatment you will also be entitled to any additional holiday entitlement the hirer provides to direct recruits. This additional entitlement can be rolled up and paid in lieu of taking the time off, as long as the amount paid is set out clearly and separately on your payslip.
The exact entitlement may vary depending on the type of contract you are engaged on and these regulations do not automatically mean you will be paid the exact same as a permanent worker next to you, the equal treatment is linked to "as if you had been recruited directly by the client"
What if I want/need to take some time off work, will this mean I have to start my 12 week qualifying period again?
The qualifying period will be paused (rather than stopped) if you take:
a break (for any reason) of 6 weeks or less and then return to the same role with the same hirer
certified sick leave for no more than 28 weeks
time off during periods where the hirer does not require you to work because of various types of industrial action
time off during periods when the hirer has temporarily closed down (e.g. Christmas shut down)
time off for public duties (including jury service of up to 28 weeks).
In other cases if you take a break which is related to pregnancy or childbirth, or if you take maternity, adoption or paternity leave, you will be treated as if you have continued working in an assignment.
As an agency worker you will not have to work for 12 consecutive weeks via the same agency to qualify for the right to equal treatment. It is possible for you to accrue the 12 weeks' qualifying period over a much longer period of time and through more than one agency.
What if I've already worked for the same hirer for 12 weeks when the Regulations come into force in October?
The Regulations are not retrospective. Therefore any time spent on an assignment up to and including 30 September 2011 will not count towards your qualifying clock. The earliest date you can qualify for equal treatment is 25 December 2011 subject to any breaks you take.
If I have already worked for the hirer previously, do I have to inform the agency of this?
Your agency may ask you to give them details of previous assignments that you have completed. If they do so, you are not under a statutory obligation to provide them with such information, but if you do not, they will not be able to ensure that they provide you with equal treatment rights. Also, please be aware that if you do not provide them with the correct information this may affect any Employment Tribunal claim you may issue and any subsequent compensation you may seek.
What if I work for two different hirers at the same time i.e. one for two days a week and the other for three?
This would mean that you will have two qualifying clocks running at the same time and you will qualify for equal treatment with each of the hirers after working 12 calendar weeks for them (this is only the case if the two roles are different).