AgenciesEmployment businesses are companies that supply temporary workers to employers and are often referred to as “agencies”. However it is not the same situation as a recruitment agency supplying a permanent or fixed term candidate for employment to their client, who will engage the individual directly.

Agency workers supplied through employment businesses tend to either be PAYE temps who are under a contract for services and paid by the agency, or they might come through intermediaries like umbrella companies, or they might be employed directly by the agency itself.

There are number of things to remember when engaging agency workers through an employment business. The agencies themselves have a number of legal obligations when placing temporary workers. They must:

  • Give you details of fees applying and when/if any rebates or refunds will apply
  • Tell you what the procedure is if you are not satisfied with the worker
  • Check the worker’s identity
  • Check that the worker has any necessary qualifications, experience or training required for the role
  • Give you information about the worker, including the contractual relationship between the agency and worker (e.g. contract for service, contract of employment or similar).

As the ‘end user’ organisation hiring the worker, there is also information you have to give to the agency;

  • the identity of the organisation and the nature of your business
  • the date on which you need the worker to start and how long you expect the assignment to last
  • information about the position available, including the type of work, where it will be, what hours will be involved
  • details of health and safety risks involved in the positon and what steps you have taken to reduce and address those risks
  • information about what qualifications, training or other requirements there are for the job
  • any expenses that the worker will incur or will have reimbursed.

If the assignment goes over 12 weeks you will need to provide the agency with some additional information in order the ensure compliance with the Agency Workers Regulations 2010 which give agency workers equal rights in a number of areas as compared to workers employed directly by the end user. The agency will need to know what comparable employees earn, in basic pay, bonuses and anything else financial such as luncheon vouchers, and also what they get in terms of holiday.

Agency workers also have a number of ‘day 1’ rights under the Agency Workers Regulations, mainly relating to access to workplace facilities and also information about vacancies. At any time you may be asked to provide more information to an agency about these, about pay arrangements or similar, and about reasons for treating agency workers differently if applicable.

If you would like more information about using agency workers or about the Agency Workers Regulations and how they affect your business, please get in touch.