Agency workers

Topic Index
Day 1 rights
Equal treatment after the qualifying period
How equal treatment is established
Calculating the qualifying period
Anti-avoidance provisions
Swedish derogation
Information request from agency workers
Liability for breach


  • Andrew Young, solicitor at law firm Seddons, considers the scope and effect of the Agency Workers Regulations (AWR) which came into force on 1 October 2011.
  • The AWR apply to any agency worker who is assigned to do temporary work through a temporary work agency (TWA) for a hirer.
  • The AWR provides an agency worker with ‘Day 1 Rights’ entitling them to access to a hirer’s collective facilities and access to information about job vacancies.
  • After 12 weeks, agency workers will be entitled to the same basic working and employment conditions that they would have been entitled to had they been recruited directly by the hirer, including pay.
  • Time worked by agency workers before 1 October 2011 does not count towards the 12-week qualifying period.
  • The AWR does not mean that agency workers are employed by the hirer and they do not give agency workers any employment rights, such as the right to claim unfair dismissal.
  • The primary responsibility for ensuring that agency workers receive equal basic employment and working conditions falls primarily on the TWA.
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