Agency workers regulations


Agency Workers Regulations, which came into force in October 2011, ensure agency staff receive equal treatment to staff recruited directly.

What employers need to know

The regulations mean that agency workers in the UK receive equal treatment compared to directly recruited staff after being employed for 12 weeks.  In other words, their basic terms and conditions of employment must be no less favourable than the terms they would have been entitled to had they been recruited directly by the NHS.

Agency workers are also entitled access to on-site facilities and job vacancy information from day one of their assignment.


Who do these Regulations apply to?

  • Individuals who work as temporary agency workers. 
  • Individuals or companies (private, public and third sector) involved in the supply of temporary agency workers, either directly or indirectly, to work temporarily for and under the direction and supervision of a hirer.
  • Hirers themselves (private, public and third sector).

Agency workers: 

  • are entitled to the same pay, holidays, working time, overtime, breaks and rest periods as comparable to permanent workers
  • have equal access to collective facilities (e.g. canteen, childcare facilities, transport services) 
  • have access to information about permanent employment opportunities and access to training.

The regulations do not cover occupational social security schemes, including sick pay, pensions or financial participation schemes.

Comprehensive guidance is available on the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy section of the GOV.UK website. Our frequently asked questions section answers the most commonly asked questions by employers. 

Chartered Institute of Personnel Development guidance 

The Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) has a free guide for employers on the Agency Workers Regulations 2010.  You can download a copy from their website, however, you must first register (free) to access this information.

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