The new regulations derive from European legislation designed to give temporary agency workers parity in pay and employment conditions as they would have been entitled to had they been recruited by the hirer directly to do the same job.
Whilst in other parts of the EU, this entitlement comes into effect from day one of an assignment, the UK has a derogation period of 12 weeks.
This means the agency worker needs be engaged for 12 weeks’ of service with the same hirer, in the same role, in order to qualify.
The new regulations will not change the employment status of agency workers who will still not have the rights to claim unfair dismissal, redundancy pay or maternity leave.
Nor will agency workers be entitled to the same benefits such as occupational sick pay, company pension schemes, financial participation schemes and bonus payments based upon organisational or company performance.
These are considered a reflection of the long term relationship between an employee and an employer. Agency workers will therefore remain a flexible labour resource for hirers.