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Which Employment Rights Do Agency Workers Have?

An agency worker is someone who has a contract with an agency such as a recruitment agency or a ‘temp agency’ and works for a hirer on a temporary basis.  As an agency worker in Scotland, you may think that you are not entitled to the same kinds of employment rights as those deemed ‘employees’. However, agency workers in Scotland are actually entitled to more than you think, at least where the law is concerned. Below, we explore some of the common rights that agency workers have from the moment they start working somewhere.

Workers’ Rights When You Start

Did you know that when you start a job as an agency worker, you’ll have some rights set out by law? This includes:

  • the right to be paid at least the national minimum wage.

  • The same access to shared facilities as permanent employees

  • statutory holiday pay

  • the statutory minimum length of breaks

  • working no more than 48 hours per week unless you have agreed to opt out of this right

  • being protected against unlawful discrimination

  • being protected if you report any wrongdoing in the workplace

  • part-time workers receiving the same rights and treatment as full-time employees

Agency workers are also entitled to be safe in the workplace, as any other full-time employee. This means that there is a right set out that guarantees safety in the workplace. This also includes limiting the number of hours that are worked each week to ensure you are not overworked.

Rights When You’ve Worked For 12 Weeks

Agency workers don’t always stick around in the same company for more than 12 weeks but if you have, you’ll have more rights. Those who have been in the same job for 12 weeks or more will get the same rights are those who were hired directly by the organisation.

The good news is that any week that you have done some work will count. This means that there can be breaks in between as long as the break is 6 weeks or less. However, you should note that if you move to a new organisation as an agency worker, you’ll have to start the 12 weeks again.

Are You An Employee Of An Agency?

It is also important to recognise that as an employee of an agency, you’ll have the same rights as all employees. This includes statutory notice pay and unpaid time off for emergencies.

After you’ve been working for the same agency for 2 years, the rights that you have will be increased from those of an agency worker to the same as an employee. This includes the addition of redundancy pay if this is relevant.

How To Check

When you start a new job, it is important that you read over your contract or terms of employment. This will help you to determine what rights you have. If you aren’t sure that things are correct, you should get in touch with a solicitor.

Additionally, as an employer, it is important that you offer rights to agency workers as described by the law. If you are found to be breaking these laws, you could face further action down the line.

Contact Us Today

If you have any questions surrounding employment law or the rights of agency works, MM Legal is happy to help. Get in touch with our team today and we’ll help you find the right course of action. We’ll assess the problem and help you find the right solution. Agency workers should get what they deserve.