How do you treat your agency workers?

A recent report from The Resolution Foundation found that many agency workers are unaware of the key facts about their job and could be missing out on what they are legally entitled to.

The report has highlighted areas where some employers fail to give agency workers the information they need and that workers were largely unaware of what they were entitled to. It has called on both the government and on employers to encourage transparency so that this sector of workers does not lose out.

What did the report say?

The report uncovered a number of areas where agency workers were unaware of their rights, and where employers were not offering the salary and benefits that they should. These include:

  • Workplace pensions – certain agency staff have the right to participate in a workplace pension scheme. However, most people working agency jobs were unaware of this and employers are not automatically offering this benefit to those who qualify.
  • Lack of written terms and conditions – employers tend not to give agency workers a written statement of pay and benefits. The Resolution Foundation believes that all workers should be made aware of the role they are being asked to fill, and their pay and benefits during employment.
  • Holiday pay – the report suggests there is a lack of clarity in how to treat holiday pay for agency workers. It estimates that workers miss out on around £500m of holiday pay every year.
  • National Minimum Wage – all workers, regardless of employment status, should be paid the National Minimum Wage. Employers should also abide by legislation covering working hours. Indeed, the report suggests that many agency workers were paid less than their permanently-employed equivalents.

The findings show that not only do agency workers not fully understand all their rights – and so are losing out; they also feel unable to question their pay and benefits because they are worried about the long-term effect on future agency work. You can read the full report here.

Maintaining standards and reputation

As an employer, it’s important that you ensure all your workers are getting everything they are entitled to, and this includes those working on an agency basis. Upping your game in this area will improve your reputation, increase loyalty and make sure you meet your legal responsibilities.

To find out more about how you can put a clear, fair and consistent policy in place for agency workers, contact us today.

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