No one can deny that the use of agency workers is part of the fabric of employment in the UK. The current figure is 865,000 agency workers and this is expected to rise to 1 million by 2020 according to data from an ONS Labour Force Survey.
As a business using agency workers you need to understand that when an agency worker is on assignment with you they are temporarily under the supervision or direction of the hiring organisation, that means your organisation, but they are still employed by their agency.
We tend to use the word ‘agency’ as a catch-all term but the term ‘agency’ can apply to temporary work agencies, recruitment agencies, staffing companies and entertainment and/or modelling agencies.
As an organisation using personnel from agencies you need to understand their rights and your responsibilities to provide a good and productive working environment.
Did you know an agency worker can have one of three main types of employment status which means they have different rights? They can be an employee, a worker or self-employed.
Workers have employment rights such as paid holiday and the National Minimum Wage, but they normally have few responsibilities to the agency and can normally decline work offered to them. An agency worker who is classed as an employee is usually employed under a contract of service. They have additional rights such as getting paid if work isn’t available, but they have more obligations to the agency than people classed as workers. Such as they might have to accept work offered to them and be available for a minimum amount of hours each week.
Agency workers who are genuinely self-employed are often referred to as contractors. They don’t have any employment rights, but have even fewer commitments to the agency, such as they can send someone in their place to do the agency work.
As a business, organisation, school or college using agency workers it is prudent for you to know workers employment status with their agency and how this could impact upon you and your reason for needing agency staff.
Our head office is in Birmingham, but we have clients all over the UK who rely on us for help and advice on all matters related to Payroll and HR please get in touch.