REC praises final Agency Worker guidance document

Mrs Econopouly said in a statement on the REC website that “Whilst we did not get all the improvements we had hoped for, several issues have been clarified within the guidance and we are pleased that BIS has taken into account some of the critical questions raised by REC members. These include further clarification about in-house banks, which explains the impact of the Conduct Regulations; asserting that the 12-week clock is only re-set by breaks of more than six  weeks (rather than six weeks or more); and a clear statement on workers placed in a permanent job being completely out of scope.”

“However the REC cautioned that concerns still remain, in particular about the \’Pay Between Assignments\’ or \’Swedish\’ derogation. The latest guidance indicates that workers on a Pay Between Assignments contract are entitled to equal treatment in relation to working time and annual leave, after the 12 week qualifying period. This means that under such a model, the worker\’s entitlement to leave over and above the statutory minimum is entitlement to the leave only and not to payment for the leave. The clarification on annual leave entitlements under the Pay Between Assignments (Swedish Derogation) model could make those who considered this as a possible option think again about the commercial impact. Whilst in one way this helps make the rules clearer, the requirement for such contracts to be subject to a minimum of one hour per week remains muddy, and could have been much more explicit.”

Recently research from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) suggested that more and more companies in the United Kingdom are beginning to plan for the upcoming Agency Worker Regulations (AWR) which are set to be introduced this October. According to new research conducted by the recruitment industry body ‘awareness levels’ of the new regulations are now at 70%, far higher than they were some 18 months ago. However the REC warned that only 10% of UK employers were planning to make specific changes to their businesses now to combat the changes, with a further 42% weighing up their options.

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