Agency Worker Regulations

The AWR legislation came into force on 1st October 2011, giving agency workers the same entitlements and working conditions as if they had been a permanently employed worker. There are rights which must be available on “Day 1” of the assignment and then there are further rights which must be available after 12 weeks. These are detailed below.

Day 1 Rights

Facilities

The hirer of the agency worker must ensure that the worker has access to facilities including but not limited to:

  • a canteen or other similar facilities
  • a workplace crèche
  • transport services (e.g. in this context, local pick up and drop offs, transport between sites – but not company car allowances or season ticket loans)
  • toilets/shower facilities
  • staff common room
  • waiting room
  • mother and baby room
  • prayer room
  • food and drinks machines
  • car parking

This does not mean that the hirer must provide all of the above facilities, rather, it applies to collective facilities provided by the hirer that are provided to current employees.

Vacancies

All agency workers will be entitled to be provided with information about any relevant job vacancies within the hirer that would be available to a comparable employee or worker. Hirers can choose how to publicise vacancies, whether it is via the internet/intranet or on a notice board in a communal area. But the agency worker should know where and how to access this information.

Liability

The hirer is responsible for providing equal treatment for day 1 entitlements and is liable for any breach of this obligation.

12 Week Rights

After the 12 week qualifying period has been completed by the worker, additional entitlements must be available to the worker which include:

  • key elements of pay
  • duration of working time e.g. if working is limited to a maximum of 48 hours a week
  • night work
  • rest periods
  • rest breaks
  • annual leave
  • pregnant agency workers who have completed the 12 week qualifying period, will be entitled to paid time off for ante natal appointments

Comparative Pay

When the AWR were introduced a lot of companies decided to use the “Pay Comparator” model. However, the companies found that there was a huge amount of work involved in maintaining parity between contractors and comparable workers. There was also the of an equal pay claim in cases where calculations were not done correctly.

Derogation Model

At Brolii each of the contractors under our umbrella is placed onto a permanent over-arching contract of employment which includes a provision for pay between assignments which is known as the derogation model. The derogation model is an agreed opt-out of section 5 of the regulations which relates to the equal provision of pay.

In simple terms, at Brolii we pay each and every one of our contractors even between assignments and this means that the “Pay Comparator” model is no longer relevant.

Compliance

With the Brolii contract of employment we ensure that we are fully compliant with the new legislation and a Brolii contractor can only begin an assignment once the contract of employment has been signed.

The contract of employment will contain the following information:

  • minimum pay rates and their basis of calculation
  • location of work, reflecting where the contractor is willing to travel
  • minimum and maximum expected hours (e.g. an agency worker may only be available for 2 days per week so a 5 day assignment would not be ‘reasonable’)
  • nature of work
  • a statement that makes clear that the agency worker is foregoing entitlements to equal treatment in so far as they relate to pay

The rest of the AWR will still apply. The contractor will still have entitlement to equal treatment when it comes to the following:

  • duration of working time e.g. if working is limited to a maximum of 48 hours a week
  • night work
  • rest periods
  • rest breaks
  • annual leave
  • pregnant agency workers who have completed the 12 week qualifying period, will be entitled to paid time off for ante natal appointments

Under the Brolii contract of employment, the contractor will also have the following rights:

  • statutory maternity pay
  • paternity pay
  • adoption pay
  • sick pay

As a responsible umbrella company we will work very closely with agencies and the end client to ensure compliance with AWR and with our over-arching contract of employment, we make the process of using a Brolii contractor as simple as it can possibly be.

If one of our contractors is between assignments, we actively work with agencies to find their next assignment as quickly as possible.

Find out more

If you would like to review the full HMRC guidence on AWR, please click here 

References

AWR Guidance