If you work in recruitment then the term Agency Workers Regulations (AWR) should be a well-known term in your work-life vocabulary. A recent tribunal resurrected the issues surrounding AWR and the importance of making sure the regulations are properly understood.
Gary Redman, Managing Director at Now Careers, said: “AWR regulations need to be better understood by anyone who deals with agency workers, and this case has highlighted that it can be very costly if not complied with.
“Especially within the construction sector where businesses are frequently using agencies to hire temporary workers to support their projects, those in charge of hiring need to ensure that salary guidelines are adhered to and work together with their agencies to do this”.
AWR terms stipulate that after the 12 week qualifying period, an agency worker must, amongst other requirements, be paid the same or comparably to that as if they had been directly employed by the client to do the same job.
The case, Stevens v. Northolt High School, awarded £10,878 to an agency worker who wasn’t paid the correct salary in accordance with the AWR regulations after the first 12 weeks of employment.
The tribunal found that the client, not the agency, was liable to pay the compensation to the employee. However, if the regulations aren’t applied correctly then it can fall upon the agency to pay the compensation to the agency worker.
To avoid an AWR dilemma, employers should ensure that there are thorough systems in place to comply with AWR regulations. This is vital for recruitment companies, as it is very easy for responsibility to be passed onto the agency rather than the direct employer.
Lack of records will appear in a court of law that no suitable action was taken.