Agency Workers Regulations qualifying period – how will you manage it?

Businesses are gearing up for the Agency Workers Regulations, but understanding and managing the 12 week qualifying period is proving to be a challenge.
Jan. 31, 2011 - PRLog -- October 2011 has been coming for a long time, but now it’s just a matter of months away and companies must start considering how they are going to manage the minefield of regulations.

The 12 week qualifying period is key to the regulations; however there are many factors which affect the period that can make it very difficult to track. The qualifying period does not necessarily refer to 12 weeks of work; therefore a temporary agency worker could work one day per week over a 12 week period and still qualify under the Agency Workers Regulations.

Breaks in the period are also an issue for companies to manage; any period of up to six weeks without work will not reset the term. Breaks when the clock stops ticking, include sickness, jury service and industrial action – so for example a temporary agency worker could work for six weeks, have two weeks off work for jury service, then return to work for a further six weeks and qualify for equal treatment. Breaks when the clock keeps ticking include childbirth, adoption and paternity leave.

There are obvious issues when it comes to monitoring the length of time a temporary worker has been working for a company, and when the qualifying period is complete. The supplying agency will be liable for any breach of a right in relation to equal treatment for which they are responsible. However, they will have a defence if they have taken ‘reasonable steps’ to obtain the necessary information from the hirer. But this will prove even more difficult if the temp is doing different assignments for you, through different agencies, over the 12 week term – although it must be the same role.

Our unique web-based system, e-tips® means agency workers will accrue qualifying time when they work in the same role for the same client. They do not have to be supplied by the same agency. e-tips® can track time accrued by agency workers working through more than one agency and at different client locations and thus uniquely protect clients from unknown breaches of the AWR. It is also possible to obtain real time information as to the amount of qualifying time accrued by an agency worker. e-tips® can also be used as the starting point for a client when ascertaining qualifying time and breaks that effect accrual of qualifying time.

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de Poel are the number 1 procurers of temporary workers, saving its clients over £500M every year. For our customers we cut costs, reduce administrative burden, bring visibility and transparency, raise compliance and improve cashflow.
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Tags:Agency Worker Directive, Agency Workers, Legislation, Agency Workers Regulations, Managing Temporary Agency Workers
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