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May 11, 2011

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Advice for employers on agency-worker changes

New guidance is available to help employers and the recruitment sector prepare for the introduction of the Agency Workers Regulations later this year.

The guidance has been produced by the Government in partnership with a wide range of businesses, trades unions and recruitment-agency representatives and aims to help hirers and agencies understand the requirements of the Regulations. Separate guidance for agency workers will be published shortly.

The Regulations implement the EU Agency Workers Directive and come into force in the UK on 1 October 2011. They will give agency workers who complete a 12-week qualifying period in a job the right to the same basic employment and working conditions as if they had been recruited directly by the hirer.

Employment relations minister Edward Davey explained: “The Agency Workers Regulations have been on the statute book since January 2010 and followed negotiations between the CBI and TUC. We looked carefully at the possibility of amending the Regulations to address employers’ concerns but were forced to conclude that we could not do so without putting the 12-week qualifying period at risk. This qualification period is something that is a key flexibility that we know is vital to business.”

Chief executive of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), Kevin Green, said: “There has been a genuine effort to take on board the concerns of recruitment agencies and to clarify how these Regulations will work in practice. Agency work plays a vital role within our economy. Limiting bureaucracy and uncertainty will ensure that it continues to benefit businesses and job-seekers.”

He continued: “Implementation will create some challenges, but the Regulations do not fundamentally impact on the crucial flexibility that agency work provides. The publication of the guidance is the latest milestone – it is now up to agencies and employers to come together and make it work.”

The ‘Agency Workers Regulations Guidance’ can be downloaded free of charge from the Department for Business Innovation & Skills website.

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13 years ago

i believe this is a great thing and should have happened along time ago, i have two guys working alongside me and they have been agency workers for five years in the same position on less benefits, yet our empolyers insist there is no pemanent position available. however these guys are part of a team and we cant operate without them.

13 years ago

i have worked as a agency worker for the same company for 6 im aware from october the agency can take you on as a perrmanent worker rather then a tempory worker so they dont have to pay me the same as a perment worker of the company