BIS's (non-statutory) guidance on the Agency Worker Regulations (coming into force on 1 October 2011) was published in final form on 6 May – and then amended slightly to clarify a couple of points. It is available here.

All employers who use agency workers need to be aware of their obligations from October:

  • to provide agency staff with comparable access to collective facilities and information about vacancies, and
  • (once the worker has completed 12 weeks of the assignment, ignoring time before 1 October 2011) to confirm to the relevant agency the pay and certain other employment conditions the worker would have received had he been recruited directly.  

It is for the agency to pay the worker at the right level, but hirers will need to ensure they provide the right information. They will need to assess how much of their remuneration package comes within the definition of "pay" and, where this includes a performance-related bonus, how to appraise agency worker performance.

The next four months are likely to see agencies approaching hirers to discuss revising their standard terms of engagement in view of the increased costs and risks.

We will be providing a client briefing and training on this issue shortly – please contact us if you are interested.