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What are Agency Working Regulations?

23rd July 2010

What are Agency Working Regulations?

This is to help our clients understand the new Agency Worker Regulations (AWR) that will be coming into force as of October 2011. Instead of overloading you with the whole document, we will break it down and include it on the next few blogs to help you, as our client understand how this will affect you.


This briefing document explains what the new regulations on agency workers will mean for hirers whoengage workers via a temporary staffing supplier. With the legislation coming into force in October2011, it is important that hirers:

– Understand the scope and implications of the regulations.

– Assess the potential impact the proposed regulations will have on their business or organisation.

– Start as early as possible to develop plans with their temporary staffing suppliers to minimise the costs and potential disruption the implementation of the proposed regulations may cause.

This briefing has been compiled by the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC), therepresentative body for the UK’s recruitment industry.

What are the Agency Worker Regulations?

The new regulations derive from European legislation designed to give temporary agency workersparity in pay and employment conditions as they would have been entitled to had they been recruitedby the hirer directly to do the same job. Whilst in other parts of the EU, this entitlement comes intoeffect from day one of an assignment, the UK has a derogation period of 12 weeks. This means theagency worker needs be engaged for 12 weeks’ of service with the same hirer, in the same role, inorder to qualify.


The regulations have now been laid before Parliament and should be passed into UK law before thegeneral election in 2010. Despite considerable pressure from trade unions, REC strongly argued thecase that recruitment agencies and hirers need time to prepare for the change and that the availabilityof a temporary workforce will be crucial for businesses emerging from the recession. Taking these arguments on board, the Government has decided to delay the implementation of these regulations to 1st October 2011.

We will next be covering how agency workers rights and benefits will be changing as of October 2011. Look next week for this update.

Many thanks,

Craig Skinner






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