The Agency Workers Regulations (AWR) comes into force on the 1st of October 2011.
This is designed by the EU to stop vulnerable workers being exploited and provide temporary workers with equal treatment in terms of basic working and employment conditions where they have been employed to do the exact same job as that of a permanent member of staff.
In all cases Nursing Personnel pay our agency workers over and above what substantive post holders are paid. As a result the agency workers working through Nursing Personnel are better off than substantive post holders in relation to pay and AWR legislation does not directly make much difference.
On the 1st of October agency workers will be entitled to access to canteens, accommodation, car parking and other benefits associated with being a full time or substantive post holder. Agency workers should be aware that in many cases certain benefits will be on a first come first serve basis and there will be waiting lists. An example where a waiting list may be in place is access to Trust car parking. From the 1st of October an agency worker can add their name to the waiting list for a car parking space and this will be processed in the same way as that of a full time member of staff. These benefits will vary from Trust to Trust.
Following the 12 week period agency workers will be entitled to equal treatment including pay, working hours, breaks, and holidays. All agency workers are paid over and above that of substantive members of staff so equal treatment on pay will be irrelevant.
Equal treatment does NOT apply to pension, sick pay, paternity or maternity leave.
Nursing Personnel currently monitor and track all agency workers through our IT software and can identify when the 12 week period has been reached.
Where benefits are available Nursing Personnel will work in partnership with Trusts to communicate this to agency workers.
The AWR legislation is new and there will be updates in relation to its application across the medical / healthcare sector.