From October the Agency Workers Regulations will give agency temps the right to many of the same benefits as permanent staff.
The first two articles in this series looked at the benefits to which agency workers will be entitled, and the relevant qualifying periods for eligibility. This final article focuses on advice for employers and agencies, including anti-avoidance.
Any claim made by an agency worker of unequal treatment will have to be brought in the Employment Tribunal within three months. The most notable remedy in any claim will be compensation. The ET can also order a declaration as to the rights of the agency worker and make a recommendation that the agency or hirer confer the same benefits on agency staff as for permanent employees.
There will be no limit on the value of compensation which can be ordered. In any event there will be a minimum award of two weeks' pay for breach of the right to equal treatment. Unlike discrimination law however, the Tribunal will not have the power to order compensation for injury to feelings.
If an agency worker is dismissed from employment for threatening, bringing or supporting a claim then their dismissal will be automatically unfair; and the usual requirement for twelve months' continuous service won't apply. There is also protection against subjecting an agency worker to a detriment for asserting their rights (in which case the minimum compensation of two week's pay again applies).
For more details please visit http://www.hrmagazine.co.uk/hro/features/1019810/agency-workers-regulations-advice-employers