Who is an agency worker?
- You’re an agency worker if you have a contract with an agency but you work temporarily for a hirer or if you look for work through entertainment and modelling agencies.
- You’re not an agency worker if you use an agency to find permanent or fixed-term employment.
What is an agency?
- Agencies can include recruitment agencies, for example ‘temp agencies’.
- Recruitment agencies cannot charge you a fee for finding or trying to find you work but can for certain services eg. CV writing, training or transport.
- You have the right to cancel these as long as you give notice within the prescribed period (10 working days’ written notice to the agency to cancel living accommodation and 5 working days’ notice for all other services, such as training courses).
Before you’re hired
- Before looking for work for you, your agency must give you:
- Information about the work they’re trying to find you.
- . Your agency does not have to give you a key information document if you’ve already agreed on the terms of engagement with them before 6 April 2020.
- Written terms of engagement – also known as a contract – that detail whether you’re working under a contract for services or an employment contract, as well as the notice period, pay, holiday entitlement, start date, type of work, contract length, any expenses, location, hours, health and safety risks, and experience and training or qualifications required for the job.
- An agency cannot change your terms and conditions without telling you.You should be provided with a new document that contains all the changes and their date of implementation.
- An agency cannot give information about you to any third parties (including current employers or hirers) without your permission.
Equal treatment for agency worker
- From the day you start work you have a worker’s employment rights. You also have the same rights as your permanent colleagues to use any shared facilities and services provided by your employer.
- After 12 weeks in the job you qualify for the same rights as someone employed directly. Equal compensation – the same salary as a permanent colleague doing the same work, automatic pension enrollment, and paid yearly leave are all examples of this. You do not have to be at work for 12 weeks in a row – some types of leave count and there can be breaks. The qualifying period will pause for sick leave or breaks. Do not count days on sick leave or a break. Your 12 week qualifying period will continue through time off you have for pregnancy, paternity or adoption.
- Start from zero for a new job role.
- Your 12 weeks will start again if you get a new job at a different workplace, have a break of more than 6 weeks between jobs at the same workplace, stay at your workplace but take a new role that’s ‘substantively different’(A substantively different role is one that’s completely new, different work. It could be a combination of different skills, or requiring new training, pay rate, location or work hours).
- Even if you don’t record your hours on a timesheet, you are entitled to the National Minimum Wage.
- After 12 weeks you’re entitled to be paid the same as a permanent employee doing the same job. Your agency should contact you to explain that after 12 weeks you’re entitled to the same pay as a permanent employee doing the same job.
If your agency withholds your pay
- It’s okay if your agency delays paying you while they get proof of your work hours, but only for a reasonable duration.
- Your agency cannot refuse to pay you because your hirer’s unhappy with your work – this is a contractual issue between your agency and the hirer.
- You can make a claim to an employment tribunal if your agency is refusing to pay you.
- You may be able to get Statutory Maternity Pay, but you cannot get Statutory Maternity Leave. As an agency worker, you have an employee’s pregnancy rights after working in your role for 12 weeks. If you have experienced discrimination because of your pregnancy, contact ACAS.
If there’s a risk to your health
- Your hirer should make reasonable adjustments so you can do your job. If this isn’t possible your agency must find you alternative work or pay you at the same rate for the expected length of your contract.
Antenatal care for agency worker
- Those who cannot arrange antenatal care outside of work time can take a 12-week paid time off in order to take it. Antenatal care includes antenatal classes, appointments and parenting classes. If they’ve been recommended by a doctor or midwife. If the trip takes place during working hours, you must be paid as well.
Entertainment and modelling agencies
- Modeling agencies and entertainment agencies charge a fee to find jobs or publish your details online or in publications. If there is a fee, they must notify you in writing.
- If an agency plans to publish information about you, they have to tell you before the article goes live. Once the cooling-off period has passed, you still have 7 days to opt out of publishing the information. If you’re happy, you must pay after 7 days. You may claim a refund if the agency published your name but did not charge you. Dispute unfair charges with Acas by contacting them.
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