Introduction to the Agency Workers Regulations

AWR Implementation Guidance

Background Information
The information below provides some very broad background information on the new Agency Worker

The Regulations in context
Following many years of debate in Brussels, the Regulations will come into force in England, Wales
and Scotland on 1 October 2011 (Northern Ireland will have its own regulations, expected to come
into force on the same date). It is important for clients and recruiters to begin preparing for
implementation in order to minimise any impact on the effective supply of flexible staff.

The aim of the Regulations is to ensure that the principle of equal treatment – which already applies
to fixed-term and part-time workers – is extended to agency staff once they have completed a 12
week qualifying period. Equal treatment measures cover pay and working conditions but do not
fundamentally affect employment status or the dynamics of how agency staff are placed and

The initial priority is to assess any potential impact on direct costs, risks and working relationships
with clients – in particular by looking at whether current pay rates might need to be reviewed. Whilst a
high proportion of temporary and contract staff earn the same or more than equivalent permanent
staff, there may be greater impact on some sectors and job categories.

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), the representative body for the UK
recruitment industry, is working with Government to ensure a workable implementation of the
Regulations. Official guidance will be published over the coming months but employers and their
recruitment partners are already starting to work together ahead of the October 2011 deadline.

We have documents that you can view and download here