Opinion

Equal treatment for Agency workers does not extend to same hours as permanent staff

29th July 2019

Equal treatment for Agency workers does not extend to same hours as permanent staff

Under Regulation 6(1)(b) of the Agency Workers Regulations 2010 (the Regulations), agency workers are entitled to equal treatment in relation to the duration of working time. A recent case heard in the Court of Appeal has considered whether this extends to the agency workers having the same number of contractual hours as permanent staff.

Any agency worker who has been working for an employer in the same role for over 12 weeks is entitled to the same basic working and employment conditions as they would have received if they had been employed directly.

Yet this decision in Kocur v Angard Staffing Solutions Ltd has highlighted there will be some differences. The Court of Appeal highlighted that the purpose of the Regulations is to ensure equal treatment for agency workers when at work, not for the amount of work received.

The Court of Appeal also held that employers should also deal with annual leave entitlement and rest breaks on a term-by-term approach and an employer cannot pay the agency workers at a higher rate of pay to avoid this obligation.

Employer considerations

This decision should be a relief to employers as it acknowledges the key purpose of using agency workers which is flexibility. However, employers should be reminded that agency workers are entitled to equal treatment for other rights such as annual leave entitlement and paid rest breaks.

 

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