Under the Agency Worker Regulations 2010, an agency worker is entitled to the same basic working conditions as a directly employed employee after 12 weeks service.
In the matter of Kocur v Royal Mail, Mr Kocur was engaged through an agency to work at a Royal Mail site. Mr Kocur was entitled to 28 days leave and 30 minute lunch breaks, whereas the Royal Mail's employees were entitled to 30.5 days leave and one-hour paid lunch breaks.
Mr Kocur brought a claim alleging that, due to his status as an agency worker, he was not receiving the same entitlements as equivalent Royal Mail employees. Royal Mail acknowledged that he did not receive like for like benefits but argued he received an enhanced hourly rate in lieu of the additional benefits.
The Employment Appeal Tribunal found that the shortfalls in entitlement could not be compensated for by the payment of an enhanced hourly rate and that Royal Mail had breached the Agency Worker Regulations in failing to provide the same basic working and employment conditions as directly employed employees.
This goes to show that employers engaging agency workers need to be careful as to their treatment of agency workers or risk an employment tribunal claim - a loss of conditions cannot be compensated by an increase in hourly pay.
Should you have any questions or concerns about your agency workers then contact Greystone Legal today.