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AWR Overview

The Agency Workers Regulations (AWR) came into force in Scotland, England and Wales on 1st October 2011.

The Agency Workers (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2011 came into effect on 5th December 2011.

The Regulations give agency workers the same basic working rights and employment conditions as a person recruited into a permanent role to do the same job.
Agency workers are granted some rights and entitlements from day 1 of their assignment and others after a qualifying 12 week period.

Day 1 rights for all agency workers include: access to facilities such as canteen and childcare and access to information on job vacancies within the client’s business.

After 12 weeks in the same job: equal treatment of pay and other basic working conditions (annual leave, rest breaks etc.). Pregnant workers are also allowed to take paid time off for ante-natal appointments during an assignment.

According to the guidance provided by the Department for Business Innovation & Skills, those who are likely to be outside the scope of the Regulations include freelancers and contractors who find work through a temporary work agency but are in business on their own account (where they have a business-to-business relationship with the hirer who is a client or customer).