The equal treatment measures for temporary staff under the Agency Workers Regulations (AWR) kicked in over the Christmas period. Although this does not appear to have resulted in a significant initial flurry if queries and requests for information from workers, recruiters have flagged concern over a lack of co-operation from some clients.
The first 12 weeks qualifying period was reached on December 24th. There has been significant interest in how this milestone might impact on recruiters and their clients.
Commenting on developments over the Christmas period, Lewina Farrell, REC Solicitor and Head of Professional Services say:
“As predicted, the world did not suddenly come to an end on December 24th. we will monitor the situation closely over the next few weeks and continue to ensure that recruiters are properly briefed in terms of handling any queries or claims from workers. Relatively few calls came into the emergency legal helpline over the Christmas period which is a good sign. However, the feedback from members confirms that some clients remain reluctant to share relevant information for equal treatment purposes with their recruitment partners. An immediate priority is to continue reinforcing the message that the AWR is an issue for both agencies and clients. Clients who do not provide the relevant information to their agencies will be held liable by the employment tribunal for any breaches of the ASWR which result from their unwillingness to co-operate. Therefore it is everyone’s interests to develop effective communication channels and imperative that clients pass the appropriate information to their recruitment partners in a timely fashion.”