Tuesday, 26 January 2010


The recession ends today (0.1% growth in the last quarter?).  Let's hope it doesn't come back because on 1st October 2011 the Government will throw a spanner in the works of that recession life blood of a business saver - the agency worker.  When times get tough you can recruit lots of agency workers who you can get rid of without having to worry about their employment law rights.  Not from 1st October 2011 when this little baby comes into force:

5.—(1) Subject to regulation 7, an agency worker (A) shall be entitled to the same basic working
and employment conditions as A would be entitled to for doing the same job had A been recruited
by the hirer—
(a) other than by using the services of a temporary work agency; and
(b) at the time the qualifying period commenced.
(2) For the purposes of paragraph (1), the basic working and employment conditions are —
(a) where A would have been recruited as an employee, the relevant terms and conditions
that are ordinarily included in the contracts of employees of the hirer;
(b) where A would have been recruited as a worker, the relevant terms and conditions that
are ordinarily included in the contracts of workers of the hirer,

The agency worker gets those rights after 12 continuous weeks with the hirer.

And then basically they are an employee and after 12 months you can't get rid of them without following anti-unfair dismissal procedures and after 2 years they obtain redundancy rights.  Good bye flexibility; good bye recovery; hello recession again.  But good news for agency workers!


  1. Agency workers can be very useful to help a business get through a busy patch but you do not wish to keep them afterwards. Will the result therefore be more very short term agency deals - i.e. under 12 weeks - or have they blocked that idea as well?

  2. Under 12 week deals will be fine so long as they are genuine and there is a gap of at least 6 weeks between any successive contracts relating to the same worker. It's not just busy patches - businesses use agency workers for up to 11 months to avoid the cost of complying with unfair dismissal procedures - HMG (particularly HMRC and the immigration service) are amongst the worst offenders.