LONDON and BIRMINGHAM, England, October 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
Staff supplied by agencies will from today 1st October qualify for the same pay and perks as the full time staff they work with. All agency workers will have access to canteens and other facilities from day one but must work for a period of 12 weeks to qualify for equal pay, holidays and other rights enjoyed by staff on permanent.
Employment experts at Birmingham based DBS Law are urging employers to ignore the qualifying period to save on administration and costly tribunal claims. The problem for employers lies in the calculation method of the qualifying period. Agency staff are entitled to equal rights if they work for a part of any twelve weeks. It could be as little as twelve days if these are worked in separate weeks.
Strict and detailed record keeping will required if employers are to avoid tribunal claims against them for unfair treatment of agency workers. On top of the costs and any back dated award the tribunal could also order a fine of £5,000 for noncompliance.
Head of Employment Law at DBS Paul Griffin said, "Attempting to make savings from agency workers during their first 12 weeks of employment could easily turn out to be a false economy for employers. The record keeping will use up valuable time of managers and companies could still end up in the dock. We think it would be better to give equal rights to from day one and continue to enjoy the flexibility of agency staff without any extra hassle."
The new rights which include time off for ante natal visits for pregnant agency workers were introduced after a long battle between trade unions and the then Labour Government. The main point of contention was the unions key demand for rights from day one.
DBS Law offers a free employment health check to all its business clients which features dealing with agency staff.
SOURCE DBS Law