EMPLOYERS STILL CONFUSED ABOUT IMPLICATIONS OF IMPENDING AGENCY WORKERS REGULATIONS
EMPLOYERS STILL CONFUSED ABOUT IMPLICATIONS OF IMPENDING AGENCY WORKERS REGULATIONS WITH LESS THAN TWO MONTHS TO GO UNTIL ENFORCEMENT DATE
Many employers are still confused about the implications for their business of the forthcoming Agency Workers Regulations (AWR), despite there being only two months to go to get adequate compliance processes in place, reveals new research from Adecco, the UK's largest recruiter.
Adecco's latest survey of nearly 500 HR professionals found that respondents were particularly unclear about the impact on temporary workers' benefits (including holidays) and bonus eligibility, as well as who is ultimately responsible for ensuring compliance with the new rules, which come into force on 1st October.
Over half (55%) wrongly think that the regulations entitle temporary workers to exactly the same benefits in kind as permanent staff and almost a quarter mistakenly believe that they will accrue all the same employment rights from day one. Nearly a third are under the impression that agency workers will be entitled to the same bonus arrangements.20
In addition, more than a quarter (26%) incorrectly believe that the responsibility for ensuring adherence to the new rules lies solely with the temporary staffing agency who provides the workers, whereas in fact the duty is shared.
12-week qualifying period may mislead some into thinking they have extra time to prepare
Steven Kirkpatrick, managing director of Adecco General Staffing, stresses that from day one, agency workers will be entitled to equal access to collective facilities and amenities, which employers might subsidise and would normally reserve for permanent staff, such as parking, canteen or childcare. They will also be eligible to receive information about internal job vacancies. 20
He says, "Some employers may think that because workers only become eligible for certain entitlements after a 12 week qualifying period, they've still got quite a lot of time to sort out what they need to do before the new rules really hit home, but in fact this is not the case.
"For those organisations that rely on the flexibility of agency workers, they need to be taking steps to prepare now to ensure that they are compliant from day one. Even for those elements which apply after the 12 week qualifying period, it will still take time to ensure that the necessary processes, such as tracking and monitoring systems, are in place and working properly."
Kirkpatrick concludes: "Employers should start talking to their staffing agencies now, if they have not already done so. Recruiters such as Adecco are best placed to help employers find the right solutions to negotiate this new legislation so that they can continue to make the best use of the flexibility, the temporary workforce affords."