think that this has slipped under the radar slightly (I certainly missed it!) so thought that it was worth highlighting.
The Government announced back in July that the contentious Agency Workers Regulations 2010 are to be reviewed – before they are introduced in October 2011. The Regulations are complicated and have been criticised from various quarters including employers’ groups and other interested spectators who feel the legislation is vague and ambiguous in parts. The Government has indicated that they are aware of the differing points of view and that they are considering how best to deal with this.
The Regulations are designed to give effect to European Directive 2008/104/EC (temporary agency work). Member States must comply with this Directive by 5 December 2011. Consequently any alterations to the Regulations may be slight because of the danger of overstepping the boundaries of the Directive which could result in a legal challenge at some point in the future.
The main provision is the requirment to provide agency workers with a right to equal treatment after 12 weeks on an assignment in respect of basic terms and conditions including pay.
Pay will essentially mean basic pay plus other contractual entitlements directly linked to the work undertaken by the agency worker whilst on assignment.
The Regulations include provisions to counter avoidance techniques such as moving an agency worker to another assignment or ending their engagement and re-engaging them to avoid them obtaining 12 weeks' service.
It will be interesting to see what the outcome of this review is and details will be released in due course.