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Legal Loophole Means Agency Workers May Lose Out

BY Miranda Hughes
Employment Law & HR

The Resolution Foundation has carried out a study into agency workers and has revealed that agency workers are being paid £400 million a year less than permanent staff they work with and individual workers are losing up to £1000 a year. This is in spite of the fact that 85% of these workers had been in their agency job for more than three months, which by law means they should be paid the same as their full-time equals. 

The Agency Worker Regulations were introduced in 2010 and mean that those who have worked for 12 weeks or more in the same position for the same employer are entitled to the same terms and conditions as the permanent staff, including pay. However, a loophole in the legislation means that agency workers can sacrifice their right to equal pay in return for a contract that offers payment between assignments.

Currently, employers are well within their rights to take advantage of this loophole and some agency workers may prefer the flexibility that such a contract provides. However, there has been a call for change due to the disparity in pay between those working side by side, completing the exact same work and for the same number of hours.

We will keep you updated if and when there are any developments in this area. In the meantime, if you have any questions about hiring agency workers or are unsure on the law surrounding equal pay under these regulations, please get in touch with your dedicated Employment Solicitor today and they will be able to advise you.

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