Royal Mail’s appeal over status of agency workers dismissed by court

Royal Mail appeal over status of agency workers dismissed by Employment Appeals Tribunal

The Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) has dismissed an appeal submitted by Angard Staffing Solutions and Royal Mail against the Employment Tribunal decision for the case of Mr D Kocur and 66 other claimants regarding unfair treatment of agency workers.

In October 2015, Mr Kocur alleged unfair treatment by not being given a swipe card to access the premises; being denied access to the on-site fitness centre and not being paid for rest breaks, or receiving the same level of annual leave benefits as comparable employees.

Outsourced agency workers have a right to not be treated less favourably under the Agency Workers Regulations 2010 act. Under this act, they should have the same basic employment conditions after 12 weeks in the job; including lunch breaks, bonuses, paid time off and many more.

Law firm Irwin Mitchell represented he 67 agency workers outsourced by Angard Staffing Solutions to work at Royal Mail, citing unequal treatment of agency workers.

After an initial hearing held on 15 August 2019, the Employment Tribunal concluded that Mr Kocur was an ‘agency worker’ under the meaning of Regulation three and that Angard is a ‘temporary work agency’ under Regulation four.

However, both Angard Staffing Solutions and Royal Mail Group appealed this case, stating that Mr Kocur was not an agency worker and therefore, was not entitled to the same rights as other employees.

Concluding the case, Judge Auerbach found that every aspect of unfair treatment that Mr Kocur and other agency workers experienced was under a temporary period, and therefore the tribunal concluded that: “there was no reason to suppose that the directive was not intended to apply where the agency supplied workers to only one hirer. For all of these reasons the appeal is dismissed.”