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The much-debated Agency Worker Regulations 2010 came into force on 1 October 2011. Despite reported attempts by the government to amend the Regulations, drawn up by the previous Labour Government, the final version of the Regulations is unchanged other than minor amendments to clear up drafting errors that were published in September 2011:
â— The definition of qualifying agency worker is changed from requiring an agency worker to have a contract of employment or ‘any other contract to perform work and services personally' to the agency, to ‘any other contract to perform work or services personally'. This makes it clear that the agency worker does not have to work for the agency itself.
â— Clarifying when the ‘Swedish derogation', which disapplies the right of equal treatment where agency workers are contracted and paid by their agencies between assignments, will apply.
â— Amending when agencies are exempt from liability for breach of the Regulations by a hirer, provided the agency has taken reasonable steps to obtain the relevant information.
The Regulations now in force give temporary agency workers, used by a hirer for 12 weeks or more, the same basic working and employment conditions (including pay and holiday) as if they had been recruited directly by the hirer to do the same job. Guidance on interpreting the Regulations has been published by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills.
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