Rights of agency workers

Print this page Email a link to this page

The Problem

A ‘day one’ right which all agency workers have the benefit of is the right to be informed of permanent vacancies in the place of work where they are currently working.  But does this right extend to giving the agency worker a preferential position when being considered for a permanent role?

The Principle

The EAT in Coles v Ministry of Defence said ‘no’.  The right to be informed of vacancies in the company for which they work is in regulation 13 of the Agency Workers Regulations 2010 but the EAT noted this is simply a right to information, not preferential treatment.

The Practice

The EAT went on to note that whilst agency workers should have ‘the same opportunity as other workers in that undertaking to find permanent employment’, this does not mean that they must be able to apply for the vacancies on an equal footing.  ‘Same opportunity’ means simply that the information must be provided in just as useful a form and at just as convenient a time to the agency worker as it is to other workers.

So, if nothing else, take comfort in the fact that an attempt to extend the scope of the Agency Workers Regulations has failed.  You may, however, like to take this case as a reminder to check your company’s practice and position regarding agency workers and ensure they are compliant with legal requirements.

For further information, help or advice please contact Tim Davies on 0191 211 7927 or [email protected].