Agency workers: entitlement to equal treatment from day one

From the first day of an assignment, all agency workers are entitled to certain rights.

Day one rights

As an agency worker you are usually considered to be a 'worker' rather than an employee. You receive the same employment rights as a worker as well as some additional rights to help protect you.

If you're an agency worker, from the first day of your assignment, you are entitled to:

  • access to collective facilities and amenities provided by your hirer
  • information on job vacancies with the hirer

The entitlement is based on what a comparable employee or worker receives. That means there must be someone doing the same job or broadly similar work to you, usually at the same workplace (but may be located elsewhere). This entitlement applies if you are working part-time as well as full-time.

If there are no comparable workers or employees, then there is no entitlement to equal treatment.

Access to collective facilities

From day one of your assignment you are entitled to be treated no less favourably than a comparable employee (or worker) about access to collective facilities and amenities.

Facilities and amenities can include:

  • access to a canteen or other similar facilities
  • a workplace crèche (may be dependent on a waiting list – same as for comparable employee or worker)
  • transport services (local pick up service, inter-site transport)
  • toilet/shower facilities
  • staff common room
  • mother and baby room
  • prayer room
  • car parking (may be subject to certain restrictions which apply to comparable employees or workers)
  • waiting room
  • food and drinks machines

These facilities are usually on-site where you are working, but may be elsewhere. The hirer may provide information on facilities to your agency as part of the information about the assignment. Hirers can only refuse access to facilities where they can objectively justify denying you access.

Cost alone is unlikely to be an enough reason to leave you out. Even where there is justification, you might be offered access to certain facilities on a partial basis, rather than being excluded altogether.

Information on job vacancies

From day one of an assignment you are entitled to be treated no less favourably than a comparable employee or worker about information on relevant job vacancies. You will only be entitled to see vacancies in the establishment where you are working.

Your hirer will tell you how to get information on vacancies. It might be displayed in public areas or be available on your hirer’s intranet. Where your hirer is redeploying staff to avoid a redundancy situation, it is not necessary to advertise these jobs.

The obligation to provide you with information does not mean a hirer cannot decide how they will treat your application or requirements about:

  • qualifications or experience
  • time served in the organisation

Where to get help

The Labour Relations Agency (LRA) offers free, confidential and impartial advice on all employment rights issues.

If you are a member of a trade union you can get help, advice and support from them.

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