Temporary Workers Terms of Engagement

01 May 2023

If you are an employment business working with temporary agency workers, you will need to supply your agency workers with terms of engagement before finding work for them.

Here is a brief overview of some requirements for taking on temporary workers, including terms of engagement.

Difference between an employee and an agency worker

Unlike an employment agency that finds permanent jobs for their clients, an employment business, places agency workers in temporary roles for clients.

The worker will be contracted by your business, but will be working under the supervision of a third party – the hirer. It is you as the employment business – rather than the hirer – who is responsible for paying the worker for any work completed – even if the hirer has not yet paid you. 

Therefore, as the employer, you are obliged to provide workers with adequate information before putting them forward to a perspective hirer, so that the worker understands their rights and responsibilities in their temping position. You must also be careful to advertise the temping position accurately.

Your responsibilities towards temporary agency workers

 Before supplying a temporary agency worker to a client, the employment business must provide the worker with the following:

  • Key information on the assignment 

This document gives the worker information on the temping position that they will be taking on, including the rate of pay, who will be paying the worker, any fees that may be deducted and an estimate of the workers take home pay following deductions.

It should mention the start date, hours, location and likely duration of the work, as well as setting out the type of work to be carried out and any experience or training required for the role. Lastly it should cover the health and safety risks of the post, and the steps taken by the hirer to protect the worker.

  • Written terms of engagement.

The employment business must also supply the temporary workers terms of engagement. These terms set out the arrangements between the employment business and the temporary worker, including the type of work that they will look for on their behalf and the fact that the employment business will be operating as employer to the agency worker.

The temporary workers terms of engagement cover various terms and conditions under which you agree to find work for the agency worker. It should include the following:

  • Whether the worker is employed under a contract of employment or a contract for services.
  • The type of work that will be sought
  • Details on remuneration
  • Holiday entitlement
  • Notice period

Equal treatment requirements for agency workers

Agency workers are protected by the Working Time Regulations 1998, giving them entitlement to earn a minimum wage and to accrue annual leave during the periods that they work.  In addition, as set out in the AWR 2010, agency workers are entitled to equal treatment rights after an initial qualifying period of 12 weeks.

Temporary worker rights from Day 1

From the first day of an assignment with your client, your worker has rights to access on-site facilities in the same way afforded to any of your client’s salaried employees of an equal level. For example, if only managers have access to a parking space, and they are not a manager, they would not be entitled to this right. But they should have the same access as their salaried co-workers to:

  • canteen facilities
  • Toilet and shower facilities
  • Staff common room
  • parking
  • prayer rooms
  • Food and drink machines
  • mother and baby rooms or on site crèche.

Temporary worker rights after 12 weeks

After working in the same role for the same client for 12 weeks, the temporary worker then qualifies for the same pay and employment conditions as if they were directly employed by the client, in relation to:

  • basic pay, holiday pay, overtime and performance related bonuses;
  • working hours and annual leave entitlement; and
  • rest breaks during the working day.

This means that, as the employment business, you are required to pay your worker in line with the salary your client pays their own employees at an equivalent level. If there are no comparable employees within the client’s business, equivalent pay can be established by company pay scales and industry standards. 

Under the old Swedish derogation model however, the agency worker entered into a permanent contract with the employment business, by which they continued to be paid a minimum amount between assignments. They therefore no longer qualified for equal pay, even after the first 12 weeks.

Please note: the Agency Worker (Amendment) Regulations 2019 removed the Swedish derogation provisions from the 2018 Regulations on 6 April 2020.

With effect from that date, all agency workers will be entitled to pay parity.

If you previously had workers whose contracts contained Swedish derogation provisions, you must, by 30 April 2020, provide them with a written statement informing them that these provisions no longer apply. You must also notify employees, within the same, of their new pay entitlements. A failure to do this can result in a claim being brought against the agency in an employment tribunal.

Your Temporary workers Terms of engagement

You can download a template temporary workers terms of engagement contract from The Legal Stop, in order to easily draw up the terms of engagement for your employment business. The document can be edited in Microsoft Word to tailor it to the needs of your individual business. A  Booking Placement Form is also included, to make it easy for you to supply your workers with key information on each of their placements.

The contents of this article do not constitute legal advice and are provided for general information purposes only.

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