Welcome to Farrer Barnes - Accountancy, HR & Education Finance recruitment specialist 01227 863900

Agency Workers Regulations (AWR)

A Quick Summary/ Guide

The Agency Workers Regulations 2010 (AWR) come into force on 1st October 2011 and will have an impact on our clients' operations - the Regulations are not retrospective and nothing will accrue as an entitlement prior to 1st October 2011.

The Regulations provide two timescales for acquiring equal treatment: -

  • Day 1 Rights
  • After 12 Weeks Rights

This piece of legislation relates to Agency Workers regardless of whether they are on a contract of employment or services:

  • Does include Umbrella Companies
  • Does not include genuinely self-employed
  • Does not include managed service contract
On Day 1 of a temporary assignment the agency worker will have an equal right to access what are described as 'collective facilities and amenities'. These will include such things as canteen, childcare, transport services, parking arrangements. The agency worker must also have the same opportunity to apply for permanent jobs available within a client's operation.

After 12 calendar weeks in the same role the agency worker will have rights to equal treatment such as pay, duration of working time, night work, rest breaks, holiday pay, bonus, shift pay etc. There are some important criteria surrounding the 12 week qualifying period - some are listed below: -
  • The weeks do not have to be consecutive.
  • Any work in a week (even one hour) counts as a week.
  • Where there is a break from the assignment for six weeks or less, those weeks can be carried forward.
  • The break can be for whatever reason.
  • If there is a break of six weeks or more, the clock starts afresh and all previous qualifying weeks are cancelled.

This piece of legislation does not alter the employment status of an agency worker. Temporary workers will not have the right for:-

  • Occupational Sick Pay
  • Company Pension Scheme
  • Share Options
  • Health Insurance

These are perceived as a reflection of a long term relationships between an employee and employer.

There is an avoidance penalty (up to £5,000) where it is found that an assignment has been structured to prevent the agency worker from reaching the 12 week qualifying period.

An employment tribunal will examine where the fault for the breach lies.

  • No maximum limit to any compensation.
  • Minimum award of 2 weeks pay would normally be awarded.

There is no enforcement body and the onus is on the employee to follow up any breach.

There are a number of alternative approaches to minimising the cost and limiting the potential disruption the implementation of the Regulations may cause.

We are meeting with our clients to examine the implications for their businesses so that we can advise on the alternative legitimate solutions for the way forward.

If you would like to know more, telephone or email:

Daniel Gladwin

01227 863900


In the meantime, if you would like to refer to the Regulations, the Statutory Instrument (35 pages) can be viewed HERE. From this page you can also view the Explanatory Memorandum to the Regulations (54 pages) by clicking the Explanatory Memorandum tab in the horizontal bar menu.

Interim, or temporary work is becoming an increasingly popular route into permanent work. We can offer you, the candidate, a selection of interesting assignments across a broad range of Industry Sectors.

Interim work can offer variety, fresh challenges, work time flexibility and the opportunity to work within a role/ company culture before commiting to a permanent role.

You can apply for any temporary/ interim roles through our website, a number of other leading job boards, emailing or telephoning direct. There will always be a specialised Temporary Consultant on hand to offer advice and guidance on any given assignments and we will always try to work around your needs.


You will always be invited in to meet your temporary consultant to talk through your individual needs:

  • We will take copies of identification and exam certificates and ask you to complete a tailored registration form and reference form so we can best match you needs.
  • As far as we can provide company information on assignments, likely duration of placement and talk through rates or payments.
  • We provide a full and efficient payroll service taking this burden away from you.
  • A full pre-interview brief on any given assignment, shoul dyou need one.

As far as we are able, we will endeavour to make tis process as plain sailing and painless for you as possible. We will happily cut throughas much red-tape as possible. For more information or a full list on the current interim vacancies we currently have please refer to current vacancies.