Agency workers: what information you should get and when

As an agency worker, you are entitled to certain additional employment rights and information on these rights. Find out what information you are entitled to and what to do if you do not get it.

Information on day one rights

As an agency worker, you are  entitled to day one rights from the first day of your assignment. These are access to collective facilities and information on job vacancies.

If you do not think you are getting your rights (for example, you have been denied access to the staff canteen), then you should talk to the hirer or agency.

If you cannot resolve the matter informally, you can request written information from your hirer about your day one rights any time after the start of your assignment.

The hirer has to provide a written statement with all the relevant information relating to:

  • the rights of a comparable (similar) worker or employee
  • the reasons for the treatment of agency workers

The hirer has 28 days to reply to your request.

Information on pay and other entitlements

After the 12-week qualifying period, if you believe you are not getting your rights, you are entitled to ask for written information from your agency; for example, if you think you are not receiving equal treatment on pay, holidays. You can of course approach the agency informally to ask questions.

If you do not get a reply within 30 days, you can ask for the same information from your hirer who has 28 days to reply.

The agency has to provide information about:

  • basic working and employment conditions, such as rate of pay, number of weeks' annual leave
  • any relevant information or factors that were considered when determining these conditions, such as a pay scale which sets the rate of pay
  • the terms and conditions of a relevant comparable employee (if relevant) and any difference in treatment, for example, a lower rate of pay because you do not have the same qualifications, skills or experience/expertise

What to do if you have a problem

You can bring a claim to an Industrial Tribunal if the agency (including an umbrella company or other body involved in supplying you) and your hirer:

  • do not give you equal treatment after 12 weeks
  • deny you access to facilities or information on vacancies from day one

In the event of a claim, an Industrial Tribunal may look unfavourably if information or a written statement was requested but not provided.

Try to resolve the situation without going to an Industrial Tribunal. The Labour Relations Agency (LRA) may be able to help you before making a claim or even after you have made a claim.

An Industrial Tribunal will not consider a complaint unless it is presented within three months of the actual breach.

You might claim against all parties involved if it is unclear where liability for your claim might lie. This might include the hirer, the agency, the umbrella company or any other parties.

If your claim is successful then you will be compensated for any loss attributable to the breach including:

  • expenses reasonably incurred
  • loss of earnings
  • an appropriate level of compensation if you have been denied access to a facility, for example

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