What do I need to do if I have a temporary worker who has already been working with me for a period of 12 weeks or more?
You should review the basic terms and conditions of the temporary worker and compare those against a permanent comparator. If there is a discrepancy you should contact the Agency who supplied the temporary worker to make them aware of it and to discuss what action needs to be taken.
How would a claim be made?
It is up to the temporary worker to make a request to the agency they work through as to the rates of pay and benefits that permanent employees enjoy in your employment. The agency will then contact you to provide the information requested.
How will a temporary worker’s rates and benefits be compared with a permanent employee’s?
At what stage will the temp be able to ask for a comparison to be made?
The temporary worker will need to have been with you for a period of 12 weeks, however that period of 12 weeks may be split into two or more period of employment and, provided there is no more than a 6 week gap between the different periods of employment the agency worker will acquire rights under the legislation.
Can I penalise any permanent employee who tells a temporary employee what their salary or benefits are if that then leads to a claim from the Temporary Worker?
What should I do to make sure I understand my position and can monitor temporary workers going forward?
Check with the agencies you use whether their temporary workers are employed under an umbrella company. If they are then the comparison is against other temporary workers employed by the umbrella company – this is also called the Swedish Derogation.
Keep a record of the names and working dates of all temporary workers so that you can see well in advance when they are approaching 12 continuous weeks employment.
Check that all temporary workers have access to the same facilities as outlined above.
Check the pay rates of temporary workers with more than 12 weeks continuous service as compared to a permanent comparator so you know whether or not you can expect a claim.
Make sure that all temporary workers have the same opportunity as permanent employees to apply for permanent jobs with your organisation.
Is there anything else I can do to treat temporary workers the same as permanent employees?
Yes – one of the things you probably do anyway is to make your employees aware of any vacancies that are available in your business. Make it your policy to ensure that all temporary workers working within your business have the same access to, and opportunity to apply for, any vacancies that become available during the period they are working for you on a temporary basis.
Is there anything I can do about the agencies I use?
Check with the agencies you use whether their temporary workers are employed under an umbrella company or not. If not agree with the Agency the procedure that will be followed if a temporary worker makes a claim.
Remember that it is the Agency who controls the rate a temporary worker is paid at and that the Agency will be charging you more per hour than they are actually paying the worker. Ask any agencies you work with what their procedures are going to be when deciding the rate at which a temporary worker will be paid when they first start with you, when a temporary worker makes a claim and what impact a successful claim will have on the rate you pay to the Agency for that particular worker.