Last week, ACAS (the Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service) published a report claiming that many agency workers are reluctant to raise concerns over their employment rights due to fears over job security.
The report, entitled ‘Three Sides to Every Story: The Impact of the Agency Worker Regulations’ found that agency workers were rarely aware of their rights in relation to notice periods, holiday pay and following the 12 week qualifying period, being entitled to comparable pay and conditions as those employed directly by their end client.
Around 2250 calls were made to ACAS’ helpline on the topic of Agency Worker Regulations, showing that both employers and employees have concerns about these often misunderstood regulations.
Sir Brendan Barber, the chairman of ACAS commented that agency workers can feel a sense of insecurity and fear around their contracts, and that they are afraid to raise their rights, or in some cases completely unaware of their entitlements. In fact, many compared their situation as being no better than calls raised to ACAS by employees on zero hours contracts. Sir Barber also raised the issue of workers being placed on tasks they were not qualified to deal with, and also that some clients and employers were ignoring the law completely in order to dismiss an individual without any notice.
Of the calls made to ACAS, over half were made not by the agency workers themselves but other parties, indicating that these regulations may well be poorly understood and suggesting a requirement for further guidance for agencies and their clients.
If you are either an agency worker or a recruiter and you need assistance with understanding the rights provided under the Agency Worker Regulations and how to ensure that they are being complied with, please contact us here at Green Lantern on 0207 164 2116 and our team of experts will offer a consultation to assist you.