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First 12 week qualifying period fast approaching


Leading time and attendance software provider Auto Time Solutions is urging businesses that failed to prepare for the new Agency Workers Regulations prior to its introduction in October to review their management procedures as soon as possible.

The Agency Workers Regulations represented the biggest change regarding the employment of temporary staff, with workers receiving the same pay and working conditions as permanent staff at the same employer after 12 weeks on assignment.

The new regulations came into force on 1 October, which means the first agency workers will qualify for the new entitlements after 24 December, when the initial 12 week qualifying period ends.

Most businesses prepared for its introduction in the months leading up to October by reviewing their existing workforce practices and optimising their business efficiencies wherever possible.

In contrast, others preferred to adopt a & lsquo;wait and see’ approach and did little to prepare for its introduction until they gained a clearer view of its impact.

But despite AWR now being in effect for over 8 weeks many businesses still don’t have the right management tools in place.

Failure to comply with AWR can lead to serious serious financial and reputational damage, with compensation awards of up to &pound5000 possible in an Employment Tribunal.

With the first qualifying period now just weeks away many risk overlooking their obligations, warns Christian Berenger, Business Development Director at Auto Time Solutions.

He says: “lt is better for businesses to address the impact of Agency Workers Regulations sooner rather than later. We’re expecting to receive an influx of business enquiries at the end of the first qualifying period when the first qualifying group make claims and managers realise they have failed to administer AWR calculations.

“The first qualifying period coincides with the run up to the busy Christmas period and this may lead to many employers overlooking their obligations. By calculating employee hours retrospectively in the New Year companies also risk making mistakes.”

Christian Berenger adds: “Although a review of the regulations is expected in the coming months, the reality is that AWR will be with us for some time yet.

“Instead of risking long-term damage to the company by miscalculating the hours worked by temporary staff, employers need to install IT solutions to determine the accrual of the 12 week assignment period. This is a fundamental part of complying to the new regulations, and by using solutions like workforce management systems managers can be easily alerted when an individual is approaching the 12-week marker to ensure they don’t breach the new law.”


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