Agency Workers Regulations 2010 – revised guidance

The Department of Business Innovation and Skills has published revised guidance to the Agency Workers Regulations 2010 addressing a number of minor inconsistencies in the previous version.

One key change is in the area of ‘Pay between assignments’ (Regulation 10 or the Swedish Derogation as it is better known). The guidance now makes clear the position that where the agency worker terminates a ‘pay between assignments’ contract, the obligation on the temporary work agency to pay a minimum amount for up to 4 weeks is removed as this requirement only applies where the temporary work agency terminates the contract. The section previously titled ‘A ‘reasonable’ offer of employment’ has been re-titled and expanded to reflect the wording in the legislation and to highlight that if an agency worker refuses a suitable offer of work they are effectively unavailable for work meaning that the temporary work agency is under no obligation to pay them between assignments.

In the area of ‘Pay’ the original guidance has been corrected so that it is clear that an agency worker will not be entitled to discretionary bonuses awarded to direct recruits unless they are made with such regularity that they have become custom or practice.

The updated version has also lost the few paragraphs in the earlier version dedicated to ‘Supply Teachers’ and it remains unclear whether this is going to be replaced with discreet advice elsewhere.