What is AWR?
The Agency Workers Regulation is an EU legislation that came in to place October 2011that entitles temporary workers to the same basic employment and working conditions as if they are recruited permanently, once they have worked a qualifying period of 12 weeks in the same job.
This is just the beginning of the Agency Workers legislation, there are qualifying periods, pauses, conditions and much more, with liability issues if agencies and hirers don’t comply.
The AWR guidelines created by Department for Business, Innovation and Skills don’t really give the clarity most people are looking for.
Whilst much of the workings of AWR will be decided by case law, Aspire People are trying to prepare clients so that a pro-active approach is driven forward rather than costly reactive steps.
Aspire People’s top 5 tips to AWR
Number One – Do your homework
There are solutions to AWR being flown around from schools, governors, agencies, umbrella companies.
Brush up on the finer details so you can make your own sound decisions based on the facts.
Number Two – Pass it on
Once you have established the basic workings and principles of AWR pass your knowledge on to someone else within school – the governing body, head teacher. Only then can you determine suitable recruitment strategies to minimise the impacts and operations that cope with the management of temporary worker information.
Number Three – Honest, Open, Free Communication
AWR requires a constant flow of information from both parties. To successfully implement AWR schools and colleges are going to have to build deeper stronger relationships with their agencies and start expecting even more out of them. If you determine your preferred suppliers before October and set parameters for communication, you will have a real head start.
Number Four – Audit Your Agencies
Can your agencies cope with AWR? Do they know the legislation inside out? Can you trust them, otherwise both you and the agency will be liable if you fall short of the legislation. Gone are the days of using lots of different agencies, more and more schools are choosing to have 2 or 3 preferred suppliers. Who is your consultant, have they been trained on AWR? Does the agency have the resources and capabilities to monitor AWR. Are their charge rates transparent? Do you know what you are getting from your service? Can you trust them?
Number Five – Don’t forget Day One Rights
Most people can get fixated on the rights a temporary worker receives after the 12 week qualifying period i.e pay and holiday. From day 1 all temporary workers must have:
- Access to job vacancies
- Access to collective facilities (car parking, staff room, gym facilities, cafeteria etc)
The AWR can be seen as daunting to start with, there are no loop holes and the clock is counting down till October. The important thing to remember is there are solutions and if we all work together we can reach those. For the temporary workers there added benefits to be had and in this industry that is welcomed, especially as some agencies are under paying their staff. Now staff can get paid what they are worth and what they deserve, after all they are an important part of the education system. This will make them even more motivated to work hard.
So be prepared, be open, check your agencies and do your homework.