Guest Post

Agency Workers Regulations: Do you understand?

I read with interest the other day in Recruitment Consultant that Adecco revealed that 61% of HR professionals did not know the implementation date for the EU’s Agency Workers Regulations (AMR) also referred to as Agency Workers Directive (AWD).

Well if you are unclear I will clarify for you, following a review of the Agency Workers Regulations 2010, the Government announced in October 2010 that these new rules will be coming into force as previously drafted. The implementation date will remain 1 October 2011.




Adecco went onto say that 80% of those they surveyed said they had “no idea” what the consequences of non compliance are.

One of the main principles underpinning AWR are to give temporary agency workers equal treatment with regards to pay and working conditions after 12 weeks of service in the same assignment.

Out of 100 HR decision makers questioned, only 19% said they had a “clear” understanding, while 48% said they were “concerned” about  understanding exceptions to the regulations which is a key area in which they could become non-compliant.

Astonishingly, despite these concerns, 50% of those questions state that they would not be seeking professional guidance.  This is a significant piece of legislation and getting it wrong could have major resourcing, financial and legal implications.  For example, failure to provide recruiters with the right information on temps’ working and employment conditions could result in a costly employment tribunal, which could have major cost and reputational consequences.

Is anyone excluded from the regulations?
As things stand, it appears that if you are “genuinely one of the following: the self-employed; those working through their own limited liability company; or those employed on Managed Service Contracts”, you will be excluded from the regulations.

If you want more information on AWR, Bar 2 have a useful article worth a read.  REC have plenty to say on the matter, and there is plenty of information aroung the interweb.

Are you ready for AWR?  Do you know what impact it will have on your business?  We are well versed in the implications to us and our customers, so if you wanted to discuss this further with us, please feel free to call me to discuss.  We are always happy to help.


  1. With so few HR professionals comfortable around this change, it is vital that recruiters advise, engage and support their clients ahead of AWR introduction. But how many are truly ready for that task?
    I put that question to the test this week. The majority of this year for us at Seminars & Solutions has been spent delivering our certified AWR training to some of the UK’s largest headcount employers and leading recruitment companies alike. However, I was asked by one of our manufacturing plc clients – (who spend millions on agency labour) to mystery shop one of their main temp agency suppliers, to spot test their consultants AWR knowledge and compliance plans.
    Testing consultants knowledge?
    Our testing activities involved many aspects, however, I started by calling four of their main branches and asked the account consultants on the phone if they could provide me with some answers to basic AWR questions – how will you calculate and “flag up” the 12 week qualifying period? What plans have you in place to reduce admin burden in communicating with us? What are the issues surrounding liability? One consultant, pleasant and helpful as she was told me she would speak to the senior team who have been spending a lot of time reading up on this and get back to me. The other, sent me through reams and reams of information from the REC and Apsco and told me to read through it as it would probably answer my questions and queries. I rather expected the recruiter to have done that already! I am still awaiting a call back from the other two branches.
    Subsequently, that recruitment supplier is now at risk of being removed from the PSL and the piece has been put out to tender. Herein, lies the problem. A lot of recruiters have spent time and money in sourcing knowledge around the AWR changes, but haven’t educated or empowered their branch consultants – those now having to deal with the increase of questions and queries on the front line.
    Waiting for the guidance document?
    I hear a lot of discussion from recruiters; a large proportion of which are still awaiting clarification in the guidance document, which wont be published until the middle part of next year and will be an overview and not the definitive answer to all that some are expecting. End users are looking to scope out solutions to the AWR now! It is vital that recruiters can give realistic estimates of costs to be factored into 2011 budgets and beyond.
    The risk of MSC?
    A lot of our clients are now putting their agency supply provision out to tender ahead of the AWR and are looking for able, nimble and above all compliant recruitment suppliers. The MSC model is looking very appealing to a large percentage of our retail, call centre and manufacturing clients and as such is a real threat to their current temp recruitment providers.
    Who can answer the questions?
    The question is – how confident are you that your people could deal with the mystery shoppers call?
    If you would like to find our more about how we can assist you on your AWR journey, please do give me a call on 0161 905 1219 and to hear more about what recruiters and industry leaders say about our award winning services visit us at:

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