Agency Workers – Rights After 12 Weeks
Summary of rights after 12 weeks
After 12 weeks of being engaged in the same role with the same Hirer an agency worker is entitled to the same basic terms and conditions of employment as if they had been employed by the Hirer, this includes:
Click a topic below for more information.
Calculating the 12 week qualifying period
The 12 week qualifying period is based on a worker being engaged with the same hirer in the same job for 12 calendar weeks. Weeks are based on any seven day period starting from the workers first day and is not based on the number of hours worked within a week.
The 12 week rule only comes into effect after the 1st of October, so the 12 weeks would be calculated from then onwards.
Reasons that break the 12 week Qualifying Period
- The worker begins a new assignment with the a new Hirer
- The worker stays with the same Hirer but starts a new job
- The worker has a break of 6 weeks or more between work with a Hirer in the same role
Reasons that pause the 12 week Qualifying Period
The qualifying period can be paused if a worker stops working for a Hirer and then rejoins them, as long as the following conditions are met. In this case any previous period of work for the Hirer is seen as being continuous.
Example. A worker works for a Hirer for 7 weeks and then stops working for 4 weeks. They then rejoin the Hirer – in this case the worker already has 7 weeks of qualifying time banked with the Hirer.
Reasons that pause the Qualifying Period:
- The worker returns to the same Hirer in the same job within 6 weeks after leaving for any reason
- The worker has a break of up to 28 weeks as they cannot work because of sickness
- Any break that arises because the worker is on leave that they are entitled to
- A break of up to 28 weeks because the worker is on Jury Service
- A break caused by a regular and planned shut down at work
- A break caused by a strike or other industrial action
Reasons where the Qualifying Period Continues
The clock will continue irrespective of the length of break if the worker:
- Has a break due to childbirth, maternity or pregnancy
- Has a break due to taking maternity leave, adoption leave or paternity leave
What counts as a new job
Where a worker changes roles, in order for it to be classed as a new job, and so not count towards the 12 week qualifying period it should contain some of the following elements:
- Use of different skills or competencies
- Different rate of pay
- Different location
- Work for a different line manager
- Work different hours
- The work requires additional training or a different qualification
- Use different equipment
Treating workers equally
The term equal treatment simply means treating agency workers the same as any other employee if they had been recruited as an employee by the Hirer.