Medical staffing agency A24 Group has issued a guide on implementing the AWD (Agency Workers Directive) for organisations that use temporary staffing agencies. From October 1st 2011 agency workers begin to become entitled to the same rights as employed staff with a comparable grade or role in the same organisation.
Some of these rights are immediate. It is the responsibility of the hirer of agency staff to meet the new rights conferred by the AWD. These immediate rights issues should be easily conferred or made available – the rights include access to ‘collective facilities and amenities’, including canteen, childcare and transport services, as well as a workplace crèche, washroom facilities, food and drinks machines and car parking - but users of agency services who are in any doubt should consult the guidance notes or take specific legal advice before taking action, says Penny Streeter, managing director of A24 Group.
The agency group is now working with clients to manage any impact of the legislation on organisations that include 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 a24 Group employer newsletter.
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 staff employed full-time. After a qualifying period agency workers are entitled to equal pay and employment conditions such as pay, anti-social hours uplifts and paid holidays in excess of the current statutory minimum.
This right of access includes access to details for 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 vacant positions.
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.
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