From the beginning of this week, agency workers’ rights have been expanded as part of the government’s Good Work Plan.
To help guide agency workers through these changes, as well as highlight their pre-existing rights, the REC and TUC have worked together to produce a factsheet for them.
It also contains tips for choosing a compliant recruitment agency and steps they can take if they have a complaint. This will help to protect and empower these workers moving forward, even during these times of crisis, says the REC and TUC.
As of 6th April 2020, the provisions in the Agency Workers Regulations known as the ‘Swedish derogation’ that previously allowed agency workers to be paid between assignments, instead of receiving equal pay after working for 12 weeks for the same client in the same role, will now be unlawful.
Other changes include:
- Agency workers are now entitled to a ‘Key Information Document’ when they register with an employment business, outlining essential information such as the type of contract they are on, the identity of the business paying them, their pay rate and holiday entitlements and other benefits.
- Agency workers are now entitled to a ‘Written statement of particulars’ no later than day one of their employment, setting out the key terms and conditions that apply between the worker and their employer.
Although not covered in the factsheet, the REC and TUC state that during the Coronavirus outbreak it is important that agency workers, employers and employment agencies understand the support available to them.
If work is not available due to the current situation, agencies can apply to furlough workers and utilise the 80% wage subsidy available through the Job Retention Scheme. It is therefore vital that the government quickly provides clarity on how the scheme applies to agencies and their workers, and ensures that agencies have sufficient cashflow to meet their obligations in this very difficult time.