AWR – Is your business protected?

The Agency Worker Regulations 2010 (AWR) are 5 years old, but have they become part of your internal processes?  Could your business have become complacent?  

We have seen very little case law on this area.  However, Lawspeed has experienced a recent increase in clients receiving complaints and cases based on the AWR.  What can an employment business do to ensure that it is compliant?

Recruiters, umbrella companies and hirers could all be liable under the AWR.  Hirers could be liable for access to facilities on site or job vacancies from Day 1, but all in the supply chain could be liable if an agency worker does not (after completing a 12 week qualifying period), receive the pay and basic working conditions that would have applied, had the worker been engaged directly by the hirer at the start of the assignment.

Recruiters can protect themselves by ensuring that relevant information is requested from hirers, applied and passed down to all in the contractual chain.  Beware of hirer contracts which transfer liability under the AWR to the recruiter, such as indemnities that cover AWR claims.

Contractors may be outside the scope of AWR, e.g. if they are carrying on a business undertaking and the correct contractual provisions are in place.  However, this is not automatic; just because a person operates via a personal service company does not mean that they do not have AWR rights.  Therefore checks are required to ensure that the contractor is carrying on a business undertaking of which the hirer is a client and that there are provisions in the contract to reflect this.

Are your workers within the scope of AWR?  Do you have processes in place to ensure that you are compliant and that your business is protected from costly claims?  Lawspeed can help with all aspects of the AWR – call us on 01273 236 236 for advice.