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The Government has recently published guidance here on the Agency Workers Regulations which are due to come into force on 1 October 2011.
These Regulations are expected to result in a big shake up of how agency workers are used in organisations and for agency worker suppliers. The regulations do not apply to pure recruitment consultancies which place individuals into permanent roles with third parties.
The Regulations provide for:
Equal treatment means that agency workers have the right to the same basic terms and conditions of employment including:
The obligation to provide equal treatment is on the end user of agency workers and not the agency through which workers are engaged.
The Regulations do not change the employment status of agency workers and therefore, they will not create an employment relationship between the end user and the agency worker. There is some uncertainty of the effect on contractors, typically in the IT and related areas. However, it is expected that they will generally fall outside the scope of the regulations because, according to the guidance “the definition of an agency worker excludes those who are in a ‘profession or business undertaking carried out by the individual’ where the hirer is a client or customer of the individual (ie a genuine business to business relationship).”
Organisations have had considerably warning about the Regulations and time to consider the issues and what impact they are likely to have on their business. Any organisations which have not done so should start now so that they will not face any nasty shocks in October.
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