Business people can get free employment law advice at Villa Park on the 15th June. DBS Law is exhibiting at the Birmingham Business show and will be running an employment law clinic though out the day.
There will be a strong focus on the complex issues surrounding the employment of agency workers. DBS Law have published a basic guide to the Agency Workers rights but are warning businesses they face heavy costs if they fail to adhere to the complex regulations. As well as back pay and legal costs there is a potential £5,000 award for each agency worker who is deemed by a tribunal to have been discriminated against.
Employment Lawyer Leslie Martin “The agency workers regulations are complex but there are simple solutions for businesses that want to avoid getting tangled in legal knots. My advice to any business using agency workers is to get some legal advice; prevention is cheaper than the cure.”
DBS Law will be running the employment law clinic from 10.00 am at the Birmingham Business Show at Villa Park on 15th June www.thebusinessshow-midlands.co.uk
Guide to the Agency Workers Regulations 2010
The Agency Workers Regulations 2010 (the “Regulations”) came into force on 1 October 2011 and were introduced to give effect to the Temporary Agency Workers Directive.
1. Two sets of Rights
The Regulations granted agency workers two sets of rights: day-one rights; and 12-week qualifying period rights.
a) Day-one rights
These allow workers to access all the employer’s collective facilities such as parking, canteen and childcare facilities. There is also an obligation to inform employees of any internal vacancies.
Some points to consider:
· Whether all facilities and amenities will need to be provided to the agency workers;
· Whether agency workers will need to be given equal consideration as other employees when applying for vacancies.
b) 12-week qualifying period rights
After a 12-week qualifying period agency workers will have the same “basic working and employment conditions” as ordinary employees. These conditions include pay, work time, holiday, rest periods/breaks and night work.
Some points to consider:
· Who the agency workers should be compared to;
· The rate of pay that will be applicable if there is more than one comparator;
· Whether any bonuses will need to be included;
· How holiday will be calculated.
The Regulations contain anti-avoidance provisions preventing employers from deliberately depriving an agency worker of his/her entitlements.
3. Swedish Derogation
There is an exemption to the principle of equal treatment where a temporary agency worker has a contract of employment with the temporary work agency that pays the temporary agency worker in between assignments. However the derogation only applies in respect of the “equal pay” rights so the temporary agency worker will still be entitled to all the other day-one rights and those that he/she accrues after the 12-week qualifying period. Further, as the temporary work agency will have contracts of employment with the workers, they will be subject to unfair dismissal legislation and may therefore pass the cost of bearing the extra risk onto the employers.
The person responsible if there is a breach of the Regulations will depend on whether there is a breach of day-one rights or a breach of 12-week qualifying period rights.
a) Breach of day-one rights – The hirer will be responsible.
b) Breach of 12-week qualifying period rights – The hirer and temporary work agency will each be responsible to the extent that they are responsible for the breach in question. Please note that they may both be liable.
5. Contact Us
If you would like advice on any of the points raised above or on the impact of the Agency Workers Regulations on your business then please contact the Employment Department at DBS Law.