New Agency Worker Regulations – 1 October 2011   9 comments

From the 1 October 2011 new regulations come into force regarding agency workers in the UK. After 12 weeks agency workers are entitled to similar benefits as those of permanent staff i.e. car parking, crèche facilities, staff canteen discounts, overtime payments, holiday and bonus payments.

Can SME’s really afford this at the present time or will it be an added strain and expense to their business? Failure to comply with the new regulations could lead to an Employment Tribunal awarding compensation of any amount as there is no limit.

Maybe the new regulations will make SME’s think twice about taking on temporary staff but at busy times is there an alternative? What do you feel about this, will it affect your business in any way? Are you put off by the new regulations? Would you consider taking on someone who is self-employed and available as and when you need them. Would that be an easier option or would you be concerned whether or not they could provide the support you need at the relevant time? Then again would it be better just to have someone as and when required without any regulations to keep to?

I personally think this is a good thing for the Agency workers.  It gives them more rights and having worked as a locum previously the benefits are always good to have especially for long-term bookings. I do think though that some SME’s may be put off taking on agency staff for any length of time. Are you one of these and what other options would you consider?





Posted September 25, 2011 by cmm in Blog

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9 responses to New Agency Worker Regulations – 1 October 2011

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  6. Hi Cathy

    Yes I agree, especially with the agency fees as well. I'm not that familiar with how agencies work but my husband told me that a few years ago if an employer wanted to take on an agency worker on a permanent basis the employer had to in effect buy the agency worker from the agency. We're not sure whether that's still the case but if there are agency fees involved as well it could be a very expensive exercise.


  7. Really interesting article. Like you I think this is good news for agency workers, although as you say perhaps not for SMEs.

    These new regulations wont affect me as I am self-employed and am available as and when needed and perhaps SMEs will prefer to take this option.

    It will be interesting to see how things go after 1 October 2011.


    • Hi Sarah

      Glad you found the article interesting. I am the same as you self-employed so it might be a good thing for us!

      I do think agency workers will benefit but then many SME's or even largers businesses might be more wary of taking on temporary staff in the long-term; i.e. maternity cover, sick leave etc as it will be extra expense overall.


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