Despite rumours prior to AWR starting that there may be last minute changes this did not happen and on the 1st October 2011 the new Agency Workers Regulations came in to force.
By now we all know what the Agency Workers Regulations are but here's a short summary:
The new Agency Workers Regulations derive from European legislation designed to give temporary agency workers parity in pay and employment conditions as they would have been entitled to had they been recruited by the hirer directly to do the same job.
The New Entitlements are:
Day 1 rights for all agency workers: If you hire agency workers, you must ensure that they can access your facilities (such as canteen, childcare facilities, etc) and can access information on your job vacancies from the first day of their assignment.
After 12 weeks in the same job: The equal treatment entitlements relate to pay and other basic working conditions (annual leave, rest breaks etc) and come into effect after an agency worker completes a 12 week qualifying period in the same job with the same hirer. After completing the qualifying period, pregnant agency workers will now be allowed to take paid time off for ante-natal appointments during an assignment.
It is not retrospective and for those agency workers already on assignment, the 12 week qualifying period will start from 1 October 2011.
Click here for further AWR details.
What's happens now?
As it has now been more than three months since the 1st October 2011 the full provisions of the Agency Workers Regulations are starting to kick in as many worker will have passed the qualifying period and will be entitled to the equal treatments related to pay and other basic working conditions.
What effect is this having?
According to a poll of recruiters conducted recently almost a third have suggested that clients will terminate contractors and temporary workers early because of AWR. Even without the worry of losing on-going workers there has been an added burden imposed on companies placing contract and temporary workers to gather all the comparison data crucial from the compliance perspective and to keep this up to date.
In contrast to the poll of recruiters figures from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) appear to refute claims that employers will lay off large numbers of temporary workers. The December release of the REC's jobs outlook figures shows that 81% of employers plan to either grow their agency workforce or keep it at existing levels. Of those businesses, 31% planned to increase the size of their temporary workforce in the short term, compared with 22% at the same point last year.
Agency Workers Regulations not hitting use of temporary staff full article.
For the most part we haven't felt anywhere near the impact that many feared, however it is still early days and too soon to say what may come out of the first claims.
As and when more information comes to light I'll be keeping an eye out and passing it on to you.