The Agency Workers Regulations (AWR) came into force on the 1st of October 2011 and profoundly impacted the contracting sector and temporary workers. Continue reading to discover what the AWR’s mean for you.
What are the Agency Workers Regulations?
The AWR legislation safeguards temporary workers hired through an agency or those working via an umbrella company. After 12 weeks in the same role, agency workers have equal rights to the same pay, holiday entitlement and working hours as permanent staff members. It also ensures that low-cost agency workers do not undercut permanent employees.
Are there any exemptions to the Agency Workers Regulations?
There are only two exemptions to the AWR:
- The status of the agency or hirer is that of a customer or client of a professional service. A professional is usually certified by a professional body such as an accountant, lawyer or doctor. A professional providing services to a customer or client or not usually working under that person’s supervision or direction.
- Contractors and freelancers operating outside of IR35 legislation and operating through their own limited company will generally be out of the scope of the AWR’s.
Documents your agency must provide you with
Before you are offered the role
Before you are offered a role, your agency should provide you with the following documents:
- A Key Information Document (KID)
- Written terms of engagement, e.g., a contract
Key Information Document
A KID is a short explanation of the amount you can expect to be paid and the deductions made to your pay.
It should include the following information:
- The minimum rate of pay you can expect
- Who will be paying you
- If you have any fees to pay
- An example payslip or take home pay after tax deductions, for example, Income Tax and National Insurance Contributions
Terms of Engagement
The terms of engagement should include:
- Whether you’re employed under a contract of employment or a contract of services
- Your notice period
- Your pay
- Your holiday entitlement
When you are offered the role
Your agency must provide you with a written document that provides you with the following information:
- Your start date
- The duration of your contract
- The type of work you will be doing
- About any expenses you may be required to pay
- The location
- Your hours
- About any health and safety risks
- About any training, qualifications or experience you need for the role
What do the Agency Worker Regulations mean for contractors?
Day 1 rights for all agency workers
From the first day, you are entitled to workers employment rights. You will also have the same rights as your colleagues employed in a permanent role. This includes access to shared facilities and services provided by your client, such as:
- A food or drinks machine
- A workplace creche or mother and baby room
- Transport facilities or a car park
After 12 weeks in the same role for the same end client
After 12 weeks in the role, you will qualify for the same rights as a permanent staff member. This is known as ‘equal treatment’. Your rights include:
- ‘Equal pay’ – the same rate of pay to a comparable working in a permanent role doing the same job
- Automatic pension enrolment
- Paid annual leave
What happens if I change recruitment agencies whilst working on the same assignment?
If you were still working in the same role for the same end client but moved to a different recruitment agency within this timeframe, you would still be entitled to the 12-week AWR. If, however, you changed agency and moved to another workplace or role, then AWR would not apply.
Request a free and impartial take home pay illustration
Umbrella Company UK has helped hundreds of contractors with their payroll, and we look forward to welcoming you to our service. To find out more about Umbrella Company UK and to request a free, tailored take home pay illustration, please complete the short form here or contact our Sales Department on 01707 669023.