‘Equal Treatment’ will mean that Agency Workers will have, under the AWR, from 1st October 2011, the right to the same basic employment and working conditions as permanent staff they are ‘comparable’ with (at the ‘hirers’ company) as long as they have worked for the client for a period of 12 calendar weeks in the same job.
Agency Workers who are eligible must receive the same pay as comparable workers. Pay includes basic pay, holiday pay, overtime pay, bonuses linked to individual performance, vouchers that have a monetary value e.g. lunch or child-care vouchers, annual pay awards.
In relation to those Workers who work through a TWA via an Umbrella company, their pay must also be comparable but it does not mean they should be paid more, i.e. where an umbrella workers receives part of their pay as reimbursement for travel expenses this can be included in the comparable rate.
Rest Breaks, Night Work, Working Hours and Annual Leave
Where companies provide contractual arrangements for rest breaks, hours of work and annual leave that are more generous that the statutory minimum, then an Agency Worker who is eligible must receive these enhanced benefits.
Paid time off for Ante-natal appointments
For pregnant Agency Workers that are eligible, and the hirer is asked by the TWA to perform a health and safety risk assessment. If the worker can no longer safely complete the duties of the assignment they will need to be found alternative work, at the same rate (or higher) than the original assignment. If this is not possible then the pregnant Agency Worker will have the right to be paid by the agency for the remaining expected duration of the original assignment.
- Bonuses (that relate to the hirer’s corporate performance or are given to award long service)
- Company Pension Schemes (Agency Workers will be covered by new automatic pension enrolment schemes that will be phased in by the Government from October 2012)
- Health or Life Insurance/Assurance schemes
- Share Option Schemes
- Family-Leave related pay that is above the statutory minimum
- Occupational Sick Pay schemes (Agency Workers already have a right to receive Statutory Sick Pay)
- Payment for time-off for Trade Union activities
- Occupational Maternity/Paternity/Adoption pay
- Redundancy Pay
- Notice Pay (either statutory or contractual that is linked to the loss of employment).
The Regulations also do not require Agency Workers to be integrated into the hirer’s performance appraisal systems.