Horizon Solicitors can help agency workers to ensure that you are treated fairly and lawfully under the Agency Workers Regulations winning your 12 week rights and checking the enforceability of your Swedish derogation / pay between assignments contract.

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Agency Workers’ Rights
Horizon Solicitors can help agency workers to ensure that you are treated fairly and lawfully. The Agency Workers Regulations (2010) introduced new rights for agency workers from day one and after completing 12 weeks’ qualifying service, unless you are employed by your agency on a “pay between assignments contract” aka “Swedish derogation contract” (more about this below).

Day one rights: From the first day of an agency worker’s assignment, he or she must be given the same access as full time employees to facilities and amenities, which includes the canteen, childcare facilities (such as a crèche) and car-parking or transport services. Agency workers also have the right to be informed of any relevant job vacancies at the end user company, to give them the opportunity to find permanent employment. Enforcement of these rights will be against the hiring company, where you work, not the recruitment agency itself.

Week 12 rights: An agency worker will be entitled to parity of the same basic conditions as they would have been entitled to for doing the same job, had they been recruited as a full time employee by the end user company. This applies once you have undertaken the same role, whether on one or more assignments, with the same hirer / end user for 12 continuous calendar weeks.

The equivalent terms and conditions that agency workers are entitled to after the qualifying period are:

  • pay (including basic pay, holiday pay, individual performance-related bonuses, commission or overtime);
  • duration of working time;
  • night work;
  • rest periods;
  • rest breaks;
  • annual leave

What are pay between assignment contracts?

If you are on a pay between assignments contract you are an employee of the agency and your rights are slightly different to those of other agency workers. You will not be entitled to parity of pay after 12 weeks but the agency must pay you for 4 weeks if your assignment ends at a rate which is either 50% of your previous pay or the national minimum wage, whichever is higher.

To be valid, a pay between assignments contract must state:-

  • you have a contract of employment with the agency which is not employed on a fixed-term contract
  • the minimum pay rates you will receive
  • where you will be expected to work and if you’re expected to travel
  • your expected hours of work during any job you’re sent to do
  • the maximum hours you will be expected to work on a job
  • the minimum hours the agency will guarantee to pay you while on a job (this must be at least one hour)
  • the type of work you will be expected to do

If the contract is deficient, then it may be unenforceable, meaning that you are entitled or were entitled to parity after 12 weeks. For example, instead of stating the hours you work per week, the contract states “any 5 from 7”. If this is the case, you may be entitled to compensation.

The agency must also try to find and offer you suitable jobs when you are between assignments. The agency cannot end your contract until there have been at least four weeks between jobs when you were not working but were paid by the agency at the 50% or NMW rate.

Pay between assignments contracts only apply to pay. You will still be entitled to equal treatment in relation to the duration of working time, night work and rest periods, rest breaks and (unpaid) annual leave after the 12-week qualifying period and to the “day one rights” with regard to access to facilities and information about permanent vacancies.

We can support you if your rights are being infringed, contact us and come to a new Horizon !

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    Horizon Solicitors is a trading name of Horizon Solicitors Limited and is a company registered in England and Wales under Company Reg No. 11633910 and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. SRA No. 653837 Registered office: Eastlands Court Business Centre,
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