Opinion

New Agency Worker Regulations give temps more power

With the introduction of the Agency Worker Regulations 2010 just over a month away, the Government has now published the Agency Workers (Amendment) Regulations 2011 which makes a few changes to the rulebook.

For those a little hazy on the subject, the Regulations give agency workers - think temporary staff - the same basic employment rights as permanent employees after a 12 week period of hire has elapsed.

In particular, the amendment corrects drafting errors in the definition of an agency worker to ensure that the rules cover agency workers hired to a firm through the agency rather than working for the agency itself.

The amendment also bolsters the defence for the agency for a breach of the regulations if it takes reasonable steps to obtain information from the hirer as to the terms and conditions offered for permanent employees. This could further shift the liability for breaches towards the employer.

This was first published in August 2011

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