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The Agency Workers Regulations 2010 will come into force in exactly one month’s time, on 1 October 2011.

The regulations are being brought in to ensure UK compliance with the European Agency Workers Directive, which set out the principle of equal treatment for agency workers and those who are employed directly.

Main impact of Agency Workers Regulations

The main effect will be to ensure that, in terms of basic working and employment conditions, agency workers and directly employed workers are treated the same after a qualifying period of 12 weeks. ‘Basic working and employment conditions’ will include:

  • Pay;
  • Duration of working time;
  • Length of night work;
  • Rest periods;
  • Rest breaks;
  • Annual leave;
  • Maternity provisions;
  • Access to facilities (e.g. canteens);
  • Access to employment opportunities (e.g. being notified about vacancies).

In addition, agency workers will enjoy the right not to be unfairly dismissed or to suffer a detriment as a result of asserting a right under the regulations.

If you require any advice or assistance with implementation of the Agency Workers Regulations 2010, please contact a member of the Employment Law Group.