Get ready for new agency worker regulations

The Government has issued guidelines on how employers should approach the new rules governing the rights of temporary workers. The regulations, which implement the EU Agency Workers’ Directive of 2008, come into effect on 1 October 2011.

The rights were agreed between the last government, the CBI and the TUC but had been the subject of further scrutiny by the present administration because employers had expressed worries over the complexity of the regulations. However, the Government has decided that introducing any reforms would be too difficult.

The new rules will give agency workers the right to the same basic employment and working conditions as if they had been recruited directly by a company, if and when they complete a 12-week qualifying period in a job.

Edward Davey, the Employment Relations Minister, said: “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. Our focus therefore has been providing the best possible guidance to help everyone affected understand these regulations.”

The guidance can be viewed at: http://www.bis.gov.uk/assets/biscore/employment-matters/docs/a/11-905-agency-workers-regulations-guidance.pdf