Thursday, 25 November 2010

AWR – are hiring organisations ready for this new legislation?

Hiring a ‘temp’ to provide cover for permanent staff or to work on a backlog or project will get more complicated next year, with the introduction of a new piece of legislation called the Agency Worker Regulations (AWR).
Recent research by Adecco found that “61% [of HR professionals] don’t realise that the AWR will come into force in just twelve months time and 80% said they have ‘no idea’ what the consequences of non-compliance are.”  In addition “Seven in 10 claimed they had some level of understanding of the AWR but just 19% had a ‘clear’ understanding”
The AWR makes it a legal requirement that temporary workers have the same pay and conditions as a permanent member of staff doing the same or similar work, after an initial 12 week period.
This means that hiring organisations will have to have the information to hand to tell their recruitment agency the full details of the pay, benefits  and conditions (eg access to staff canteen) of permanent staff when placing a vacancy for a temporary worker.
It could mean that pay rates will need to increase in some cases, and hirers will have to make sure that temps have access to the same facilities as other team members.  The real problems could come if a temp (or a group of temps at a larger organisation, in a class action) felt they were being underpaid and brought a case to tribunal for unfair treatment under the AWR.
Overall the message is – be aware of the requirements and make sure you give your recruiter all the information they need to make sure temps get the right pay and benefits.

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