Two sets of Regulations are due to come into force in April 2020 that will have an impact on employment agencies.
The Agency Workers (Amendment) Regulations 2019
These Regulations will amend the Agency Workers Regulations 2010 and will abolish the Swedish derogation. This provides an exemption from the right to equal treatment with regard to pay where an agency worker is given a permanent contract of employment and is paid between assignments.
An agency will have to give a written statement to an agency worker where they have entered into a permanent contract of employment that is in effect on 6 April 2020. It must inform the agency worker that he/she is entitled to rights relating to pay with effect from 6 April, and the Swedish derogation in their original statement no longer has effect. The statement must be given by 30 April 2020 unless the contract is terminated on or before that date.
Agency workers will have the right not to be dismissed or subjected to a detriment for a reason connected with these Regulations.
Agencies will need to check they have records of agency workers who are covered by the Swedish derogation, and ensure they give written statements to them by 30 April next year or alternatively terminate any permanent contracts with them before that date. They will also need to ensure that all agency workers are receiving equal pay with comparable workers from 30 April 2020.
The Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses (Amendment) Regulations 2019
These Regulations will amend the 2003 Regulations and will require an employment agency to give a work-seeker a separate key information document before he/she agrees the terms that will apply between them. Various information must be provided, such as whether the individual will be employed by the employment business and details regarding pay, benefits and holidays. The document has to be written clearly and succinctly, be legible and cover no more than two sides of A4 paper. The agency must be able to demonstrate that the document has been given to the worker. Guidance on the new requirement will be published before 6 April 2020.
Agencies will need to draft suitable documents before April next year and ensure they have a system in place for proving that they have been given to agency workers.