Are you thinking of working or are you already working through an agency?
Any individual who works for an employer, whether under a contract of employment, or any other contract where an individual undertakes to do personally any work or services, is entitled to core employment rights and protections.
This includes most agency workers, short term casual workers and some freelancers.
As an agency worker you will either have a contract for services or a contract of employment with the agency who finds you work.
The firm who hires you pays a fee to the agency, and the agency pays your wages. The agency has to pay you even if the hiring company has not paid the agency.
Agencies cannot charge you for finding you work (although there are some exceptions in the entertainment or modelling industries).
You have a right to:
· the National Minimum Wage
· working time limits ((the 48-hour week)
· rest breaks, paid holiday and limits on night work
· being paid and payslips
· protection against unauthorised deductions from pay
· maternity, paternity and adoption pay (but not leave)
· not be discriminated against unlawfully
· sick pay rights
· blowing the whistle on workplace wrongdoing
After 12 weeks in the same job with the same hirer, you should be entitled to the same basic terms and conditions as if you had been recruited directly.
If you work for more than one hirer, you will be eligible for equal treatment after 12 weeks in each hirer. That may mean you receive different terms and conditions after 12 weeks when on different assignments.
If your job with the same hirer changes a lot, meaning that you are doing different work, it could mean that the role is substantively different. If this is the case, the qualifying period (12 weeks) would start again.
For the qualifying period to be reset to zero, your agency must tell you in writing that the role has substantively changed and the qualifying period will start again.
There are measures to prevent the structure of assignments intentionally stopping you getting equal treatment.
The employment contract is made as soon as you accept a job offer. If you start work it will show that you accepted the job on the terms offered by the employer, even if you don't know what they are.
Your employment contract doesn’t have to be in writing, but you’re entitled to a written statement of the main terms within two months of starting work.
If there's anything in your contract that you're unsure about, or which is confusing, ask for it to be explained to you.
see here for further information: HERE
see here for 'The Agency Workers Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2011': HERE