Derek Attwell Managing Director Future Education Limited
Jamie Burrows Business Development Manager Future Education Limited
AWR Agency Workers Regulations
Session Objectives • To increase awareness of the effects of AWR. • To understand the entitlements of agency workers during various times of employment. • To understand the responsibilities of your supply agency in order to adhere to the letter and spirit of the law. • To understand the responsibilities of your school in order to adhere to the letter and the spirit of the law.
What is AWR? • The Agency Workers Regulation (AWR) is, in its simplest form, an equality ruling for contract staff working through a recruitment agency. • The regulation allows for an agency worker to receive equal pay and conditions after 12 weeks of continuous employment with a single employer.
History of the AWR • AWR is a European legislation which became law in 2008. • EU countries were given a 3 year implementation period. • The legislation came into force in the UK on the 1st October 2011 (so the end of the first 12 week period will fall on the 24th December).
The Basics of AWR • Same basic employment and working conditions when compared directly with permanent members of staff, working in the same positions. • Rights include access to facilities e.g. staff room, car park, etc. • Self employed staff are only outside of the scope of AWR if they have no direct direction from agencies or members of staff at the school and they set their own working times, etc. This will not apply to supply teachers - even if they consider themselves self employed, they cannot opt out.
The Basics of AWR 12 Week rights Day 1 rights • Clock Given indication from agency Given indication from agency
Day 1 Rights • The agency worker has the right to be informed of any relevant job vacancies to which they consider themselves suitable or relevant. • Access to facilities on the Hirer’s premises including canteens, staff rooms, lockers, car parking, etc. • Plus any other facilities or benefits generally available to other employees and not provided as a consequence of long service or loyalty.
12 Week Rights • A worker will qualify for equal treatment (to that of permanent members of staff) once they have worked in the same assignment/same role, with the same client (even through different agencies) for 12 calendar weeks (regardless of full/part-time workers). • A new qualifying period will begin only if a new assignment with the same employer is substantively different or if there is a break of more than 6 weeks between assignments in the same role, e.g. Teacher – TA.
Equal Employment Rights (12 weeks onwards) Included (not applicable to schools = *) • Basic pay. • Overtime payments.* • Shift/unsocial hour allowances.* • Annual leave(same as schools). • Rest breaks. • Bonuses.* • Monetary vouchers/stamps/luncheon vouchers, collective agreements, handbooks, school policies. • Staff training.
Equal Employment Rights (12 weeks onwards) Excluded • Profit sharing. • Pension contributions. • Redundancy pay. • Notice pay. • Benefits in kind, e.g. laptop, car. • Advances in pay/expenses, etc.
AWR Avoidance • Agencies and schools must not try to avoid equal treatment, by moving workers between a series of 11 week assignments. • Anti-avoidance deterrents have been put into place to avoid abuse of AWR. • A worker can bring a claim to an employment tribunal (towards the school and the agency). • An award of £5,000 compensation can be awarded to the worker. • A minimum award of two weeks pay will be paid by the school, the agency, or both.
Those Groups Liable Any party in the chain of working relationships can be liable to a breach of the AWR legislation, depending on the extent that they are to blame. • The schools will be liable for the access to employment and facility claims (the agency has no control over these). • An employment claim would be based on a worker not being given access to internal vacancies. • A facility claim could be based on the worker not being given access to the schools’ facilities (staff room, etc). • Agencies will need to gather information from schools, to work out what terms should be applied to workers.
Limiting Risks • If a worker believes that they have not received their equal treatment entitlements they can make a written request for information from the agency after the 12 week qualifying period has elapsed. • The agency and the client school will have 28 days to respond to the request (from the date the letter is received). The information requested will be: • Access to facilities. • Basic employment and working conditions.
How do we help our client schools? • Comprehensive information on Day 1 and 12 week rights, sent to schools and candidates. • Data will be held with Future Education’s online management system, which will provide a record for client schools and candidates (helps to mitigate risks). • Regular communication with client schools at 8/10/12 week periods. • Comprehensive training for our staff, so that they can be trusted advisors to schools.
Is this true? • AWR will mean that the flexibility of supply teachers will be lost. FALSE • Agency workers will become an employee of the client school after 12 weeks. FALSE • Only agencies will be liable. FALSE • Schools who employ the same workers through different agencies can avoid AWR. FALSE • Schools can get around AWR by rotating workers at 11 week period. FALSE
Questions • Our information has come from BIS, DfE, ACAS as well as our own legal team (Peninsula). • We are happy to take questions during your coffee break. • You can email us with any questions that you may have. • We would like to offer a free one-to-one consultation at your school about AWR, from one of our dedicated members of staff. email@example.com 0800 871 3778