The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) has unveiled new guidance on agency workers, developed with the input of the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo).
The updated guidelines are designed to help all those involved in this working relationship to understand the rights and responsibilities of agency workers or those using the services of a recruitment company. Acas made the decision to review and amend its advice on this subject after discovering that one in four calls from agency workers to its helpline flagged that workers were being paid incorrectly, with many not aware of their legal rights.
The new advice provides clarity around the 12-week qualifying period, which allows agency workers to receive the same pay as those directly employed. It recommends that individuals know their employment status – whether that be a worker, an employee or self-employed – as this is essential to understand rights around pay, holidays and other entitlements. The updated guidance also offers support around working for an umbrella company, pay between assignments and permanent opportunities with the hiring organisation.
Samantha Hurley, Director of Operations at APSCo, commented: “With the BEIS consultations currently open, there appears to be a strong and widespread appetite for greater transparency around employment status, and the rights and limitations associated with different working arrangements.
“Acas’ decision to strengthen its guidance around the rights on agency workers is an admirable one, and we at APSCo were only too happy to provide input into the development of the new guidelines when approached. We are always supportive of initiatives which endeavour to provide clear information and guidance for the benefit of not only the wider recruitment profession, but also employers, candidates and other stakeholders. This new guidance is indicative of a growing trend towards greater transparency across the sector, which we at APSCo wholeheartedly support.”