Randstad research: Few employers have assessed impact of Agency Workers Regulations

Only 7% of UK employers have conducted an assessment into how they will be impacted by the Agency Workers Regulations (AWR), according to Randstad’s Shifting Sands report.

Over a third (37%) of respondents admit they are unfamiliar with the regulations.

The AWR, which will come into force on 1 October 2011, will ensure agency workers receive the right to the same basic working and employment conditions as those in the equivalent permanent job recruited directly by their host organisation. Some rights will apply from day one, such as the same access to facilities and job vacancies. Other rights, such as pay and some benefits, will apply after the agency worker has been in the same job for 12 weeks.

Randstad’s report provides advice on managing the AWR and highlights other key challenges on the HR agenda this year, including preparation for auto-enrolment in workplace pensions for all workers, temporary or permanent, in 2012.

Brian Wilkinson, head of Randstad UK, said: “With the implementation of the AWR just a few months away, it is a concern that such a high proportion of organisations are so unprepared.

“While Randstad recognises the teething challenges that the AWR poses users of agency workers, those that supply them and the workers themselves, we support the regulations in their ambition to professionalise the use of agency workers and, in particular, give greater recognition to those that are paid on an hourly basis and often working unsocial hours.

“The equalisation of basic working and employment conditions for agency workers will encourage more people that do not want permanent work to enter the labour market. That is good for them and for UK employers.”

Read more articles on the Agency Workers Regulations (AWR)