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Agency Worker Regulations (AWR)

This guide has been put together to enable employers and candidates who need help to understand the new legislation and have enough information to decide whether to take further advice. This guide should not be considered legal advice and candidates needing further information or have an issue relating to their business or circumstance, should seek independent legal advice.

The Agency Workers Regulations (AWR) were implemented in the UK on 1st October 2011. The purpose of the regulations is to provide temporary workers with equal treatment to permanent employees in terms of basic working and employment conditions after a 12-week period, but temporary workers also have rights from their first day of employment.

On the first day of a temporary position the hirers of agency workers must ensure the candidate has access to the same collective facilities and amenities as a permanent employee working in a similar position and is kept up to date regarding any new job opportunities/vacancies with the hirer. Collective amenities and facilities include:

  • Childcare facilities.
  • Transport Facilities.
  • Canteen or other similar facilities.

The consultancy that placed the temporary worker in the position will not be held responsible for these liabilities as they have no control over the hirer's supply of these facilities.

Following the 12-week qualifying period the temporary workers will be entitled to equal treatment regarding pay, working hours, overtime, breaks, holidays and access to training as their comparable permanent colleagues.This is often referred to as equal treatment although equal treatment is not quite the same thing. The legislation is structured so that temporary workers who would not previously have been afforded these rights, will now do so. But it doesn't mean that those agency workers who have better employment conditions have to be treated equally eg; if an agency worker is currently being paid a higher rate than a comparable permanent employee, that won't be affected.

Employment conditions are:

  • Pay; includes any amounts payable to a comparable permanent employee such as basic pay, holiday pay, bonus or commission payments related to the amount or quality of work, risk payments, shift allowance and overtime payments subject to the number of qualifying hours worked.
  • Annual Leave; the agency worker is entitled to the same number of annual leave days as a comparable permanent employee.
  • Hours of work.
  • Night work.
  • Rest periods and breaks.
  • Right to hear about vacant posts with the hirer.
  • Right to use collective facilities such as the canteen, childcare facilities or transport services.

The main employment conditions excluded from AWR legislation are:

  • Occupational sick pay; agency workers are still entitled to statutory sick pay.
  • Pension payments.
  • Parental leave.
  • Redundancy payments.
  • Share schemes and long service award schemes.
  • Advances or pay day loans.
  • Bonuses that are not directly linked to the amount or quality of work completed by the agency worker.
  • Payments related to financial participation scheme.

To download the Radley Green AWR employer guide click here.

If you have any further questions regarding AWR please do not hesitate to contact us.

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Registered address: 3rd Floor 5-10 Bury Street, London, EC3A 5AT