Limited companies within AWD Regulations

The much anticipated Agency Workers Regulations 2010 were laid before parliament in January. The regulations are intended to give agency workers equal entitlement to pay and leave arrangements as if they had been recruited directly by their hirer, following an EU Directive finalised in December 2008. The Regulations are due to be adapted into law by March 2010 with application from October 2011. The good news is that the proposal to introduce a reasonableness test for charging of transfer fees has been dropped. Adrian Marlowe, MD of Lawspeed and chairman of the Association of Recruitment Consultancies (ARC), said “We saw this recruiter specific proposal as highly dangerous for the temp contracting industry, leading to a potential blood bath as hirers switch workers from one agency to another, and we mounted a detailed and well publicised campaign to stop it. I am therefore very pleased to see that the Government statement…

Agency Workers Regulations 2010 laid before parliament

The much anticipated Agency Workers Regulations 2010 were laid before parliament in January. The regulations are intended to give agency workers equal entitlement to pay and leave arrangements as if they had been recruited directly by their hirer, following an EU Directive finalised in December 2008. The Regulations are due to be adapted into law by March 2010 with application from October 2011. The good news is that the proposal to introduce a reasonableness test for charging of transfer fees has been dropped. Adrian Marlowe, MD of Lawspeed and chairman of the Association of Recruitment Consultancies (ARC), said “We saw this recruiter specific proposal as highly dangerous for the temp contracting industry, leading to a potential blood bath as hirers switch workers from one agency to another, and we mounted a detailed and well publicised campaign to stop it. I am therefore very pleased to see that the Government statement indicates…

ARC reports on the Agency Workers Directive Part 2

The 2nd Consultation on the Agency Workers Directive brings some key issues sharply into focus, says the Association of Recruitment Consultancies. Whilst the overall objective of the Directive itself is to promote flexibility within the workforce, and the Directive recognises the difference between employment and agency work, the translation of the Directive into UK Regulations as currently suggested seems to counter that objective. ARC has highlighted many examples in its response to Government. Adrian Marlowe, Chair of ARC explained “The principle that agency workers are to receive in terms of pay and working time arrangements many of the benefits that employees only achieve because of the long term nature of employment goes against common sense. If this is not recognised as it should be, where an employee earns less than an agency worker, how long will it be before employees demand the same rates? The problem largely is the test…

Company opt outs to be retained – 12/11/09

Good News The government has published the response to its consultation earlier this year and the good news is that the Limited Company opt-out has not been touched, neither for limited company contractors nor for umbrellas. A change had been widely feared, and so this news is very welcome. Changes are proposed to modelling recruitment companies and for those companies operating online. Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses will no longer have to state what type of recruitment company they are in advertisements, but instead state whether the vacancy being offered is ‘temporary’ or ‘permanent’. Also, Employment Agencies will no longer have to carry out suitability checks for permanent candidates unless it is for a position where there will be contact with children or vulnerable adults nor will they have to agree terms with candidates or hirers before an introduction- although it will make commercial sense to continue to do so.…

Departing employees? – protecting client relations

Brian, a recruitment consultant, is in the process of being made redundant from an agency. During the redundancy process, unknown to his employers, Brian has been sending details of clients and candidates to his personal email account. He has also set up a limited company with a view to starting up his own competing business. We are sure you have all heard this story before, but it is worth reviewing the options available to the agency. First the legal options. 1.            You stand no chance of being able to stop the employee from competing after employment ends unless you have suitable and reasonable restrictive covenants in place in Brian’s employment contract, so check that has been done. If not, contact us. 2.            Make sure you have the actual evidence of “theft” of your client and candidate details. 3.            Instruct your lawyers. 4.            If you have money to spare, go and…

ARC wins gold plating argument

ARC (the Association of Recruitment Consultancies) today 26thOctober 2009 welcomed news that Government plans to “gold-plate” the  Agency Workers Directive in key areas, have been dropped.   ARC warned right from the start that adding unnecessary benefits to workers, would have a devastating effect on the recruitment industry and would cost much needed jobs.   Adrian Marlowe, chair of ARC, said:  “ARC first drew attention to the proposed gold plating in June this year and the likely damage it would cause to the recruitment industry. We worked hard to convince other organisations of the danger and the need to lobby the government.   “Although the change of heart is welcome, there is no room for complacency. There is still much that is wrong with the proposed legislation in its current form, and more work is required. It is not a bed of roses, and the delay in implementation clearly highlights that…

2nd consultation is published – first impressions not good

The Government has now published its long awaited response to the first consultation on the Agency Workers Directive and the draft regulations they intend to introduce. On first glance it appears that the draft Regulations are far wider than the EU Directive, giving rise to the widely expressed fear that the government is going to gold plate the legislation.  Specifically the comparison is to be the agency worker compared with another person working on the hirer site, an issue that the Directive avoided and we warned against. The entitlement is to the same pay and conditions as are normally included by the hirer in the comparable worker’s contract, regardless of whether the terms are of a binding general nature as required by the Directive. However the regulations are not proposed to be in force until 11th October 2011. The consultation seeks views on the draft regulations and closes on 11th…

Delay to Agency Workers Directive a welcome first step

Amongst a series of other proposals to delay new laws, the government has announced that it intends to delay implementation of the Agency Workers Directive in the UK until late 2011. However it is understood that the legislation will be laid before Parliament as soon as possible after conclusion of a 2nd consultation which is expected to end early in 2010. Adrian Marlowe, Chairman of the Association of Recruitment Consultancies, (ARC) commenting on the Government proposals said: “The delay in implementing the Agency Workers Directive is welcome news. We and many others had pressed for this and there is no doubt that many businesses will breathe a sigh of relief. However, it is crystal clear that the real deal is to get the terms of the legislation right, to minimise the potential damage to businesses. In its proposed “gold-plated” form it will do untold damage to the industry and to…

“Vulnerable” Workers Helpline

The government has just announced a telephone helpline for workers called the Pay and Work Rights Helpline. The helpline is set up to give all workers including agency workers easy access to information about their rights. In the accompanying announcements from both government and the REC it is referred to as a “vulnerable workers helpline” and the REC has in an article published this week welcoming it as such. As it is described as a helpline for “vulnerable” workers the implication is that all agency workers are vulnerable. This is not a view that most recruiters share. What is more, the term “vulnerable” within the context of agency workers has negative connotations for recruiters and invites more measures and legislation. Language is key and can affect policy. ARC welcomes the helpline save for the fact that the press announcement, and therefore presumably the thinking behind it, considers all workers to…

Periods of sick leave and annual leave coinciding

Will and Holly were both sales consultants employed by an agency. In April, they went on holiday together to Goa. Unfortunately, 4 days into their 2 week holiday they both caught a nasty tummy bug and were laid up for the remaining 9 days of the holiday. Upon their return they claimed they were entitled to a replacement 9 days’ additional paid holiday to compensate for the period they were ill. Are they crazy? Surely this is courting the employer’s wrath? Under a recent ECJ decision, the employer agency may be forced to give them the additional 9 days. Bizarre or what? The conclusion that Will and Holly could claim additional holiday follows a recent European Court of Justice (highest Court in Europe) decision in which a lorry driver who had become sick just before his holiday was due to start, was entitled to a replacement holiday. Since holiday is…