The Agency Worker Regulations 2010 come into effect on 1 October 2010 and require that on completion of a 12 week qualifying period temporary agency workers receive the same basic pay and conditions as comparable employees in the hirer organisation. Agency workers will also be entitled to equal access to facilities such as canteens, parking spaces and crèche facilities provided by the hiring organisation from day 1 of any work assignment.
“Basic pay and conditions” includes basic salary, bonus which is linked to individual performance, luncheon vouchers (except where part of a salary sacrifice flexible benefits scheme) as well as equal treatment in relation to work hours, overtime payments and holidays. Occupational sick pay, maternity pay and pensions are excluded, as are employer share schemes. In the absence of a suitable comparator within the hirer organisation, the employment agency must look at collective agreements and standard contractual terms to establish what basic pay and conditions would have been offered had they been hired directly by the hiring organisation.
Employment agencies have primary responsibility for establishing equality of basic pay and conditions although the hiring organisation will bear primary responsibility for “day one” rights such as access to details of job vacancies and access to facilities. The Department for Business Innovation and Skills guidance outlines the various rights and responsibilities under the Regulations and offers guidance on compliance. A copy of the guidance is available on the BIS website, see link below.