The medical staffing specialists, A24 Group, have issued a guide on implementing the AWR (Agency Workers Regulations) for medical staff working on a temporary basis with the group’s nursing and locum agencies in the UK. For assignments after October 1st 2011 agency workers are entitled to the same basic working and employment conditions as directly employed staff with a comparable grade or role in the same organisation.
Some of these rights, referred to as ‘day one rights’, are immediate and are the responsibility of the hirer of agency staff. These rights cover access to ‘collective facilities and amenities’ and includes canteen, childcare and transport services, as well as a workplace crèche, washroom facilities, food and drinks machines and car parking.
Rights of access also include information on relevant internal vacancies so that qualifying agency workers have the same opportunity to apply as current employees. Staff from agencies should therefore be informed where and how to access details of all vacant positions. Agency staff who are in any doubt should consult the guidance notes or speak to A24 Group staffing agencies, says Penny Streeter OBE, managing director of A24 Group.
The agency group is advising temporary staff – and also working with healthcare service providers on how to manage any impact of the AWD legislation on their organisations, including hospitals, care homes, GP surgeries and other users of A24 Group’s locum doctors, agency nurses, AHPs and HCA healthcare assistant staff. Further information is at Agency Workers Regulations.
Longer term, the key principle in complying with the regulations, says Penny Streeter, is to ensure that all qualifying agency workers have the same employment conditions as directly employed full-time staff. After a qualifying period, agency workers are entitled to equal pay and employment conditions such as anti-social hour uplifts and paid holidays in excess of the current statutory minimum.
A24 Group is now issuing revised terms of business and advising clients on how to ensure minimal disruption and manage the transition to the new legislation. Employers of medical staff and agency workers with A24 Group can contact the group for further details.
For further information:
Tel: 0871 873 3309
92 – 96 Lind Road
Surrey, SM1 4PL