The Agency Worker Regulations (AWR) have caused quite a stir of late. For good or bad they come into effect on 1 October 2011 and have certainly divided opinion across the industry.
This EU directive seeks to ensure equality between those workers supplied through an agency and those recruited directly by hirers, and it seems there is little that can stop it from being implemented. Such new equality rights may seem incredulous to some during these times of economic hardship, but to gain perspective it is important to remember those people working in sectors of the economy that don’t feature in PRWeek, the Financial Times or the weekly glossies. These are the people to whom these regulations will make the most difference.
For the most part in the digital, marketing and PR industries, agency worker rates of pay are at least on a par with, and frequently superior to, those of their directly recruited comparators. Therefore with AWR being focused on the issue of equality, clients needn’t throw the baby out with the bathwater and decide not to use agency workers at all. That said, ignoring or flouting the regulations can’t lead to anything good either. The focus needs to be on working with your recruitment partners to ensure compliance and finding the best way of going forward.
At Fabric we’ve been speaking to our clients for the last few weeks to ensure that everyone is aware of the regulations and working with us towards full compliance. As part of this process, and in consultation with the REC and senior figures in employment law, we’ve put together a guide - An Insight to AWR - which breaks down the AWR and demystifies it all. If you would like to discuss anything AWR related and see how Fabric can work with you to ensure a transition that is as smooth as possible, do get in touch.
Jody Dunn - Freelance Consultant