Frequently Asked Employment Questions

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Document updated/added on 30.09.2019

Topic: Contracts

How do we stop agency temps from accidentally becoming employees?

Use your agreement with the temp's agency to: (1) state that you're not assuming the role of employer; (2) retain the right to use another worker; and (3) ensure any disciplinary action that's needed is taken by the agency. Also, ensure any related documentation refers to temps as “agency workers” and not “employees” and don't do anything that integrates the temps into your workforce. Ideally, the agency will have accepted, and confirmed in your agreement with it, that it is the temp's employer. Though you should take the above precautions, be aware that the appeal of using temps on a long-term basis has been reduced following the coming into force of the Agency Workers Regulations 2010. Under these Regulations, the equal treatment principle requires that, after twelve calendar weeks in the same job with the same hirer, an agency worker must be granted the same "basic working and employment conditions" that would apply if they had been recruited directly to that job. This equal treatment principle applies to key elements of pay and any enhanced rights relating to the duration of working time, night work, rest periods, rest breaks and paid annual leave, but it doesn't apply to other terms of employment, e.g. pensions are excluded from this arrangement. From day one of their assignment, agency workers are also entitled to have access to information about job vacancies and equal access to "collective" facilities, such as a workplace crèche or staff canteen.