Agency Workers Regulations (AWR)
Effective from 2011, the Agency workers Regulations are regulations that give the agency worker ‘temp’ the right to the same pay and working conditions as received by the nurseries own staff without the temp becoming an employee of the nursery. A temp is defined as any individual supplied to you by KiddyKare.
Day 1 rights for all agency workers: If you hire agency workers, it is your responsibility to ensure that they can access your facilities (such as canteen, childcare facilities, etc) and can access information on your job vacancies from the first day of their assignment. Herein we will take reasonable steps to obtain necessary information from you the hirer and will act reasonably in determining the temp’s basic working and employment conditions.
After 12 weeks in the same job: The equal treatment entitlements relate to pay and other basic working conditions (annual leave, rest breaks etc) and come into effect after an agency worker completes a 12 week qualifying period in the same job with the same hirer. After completing the qualifying period, pregnant agency workers will now be allowed to take paid time off for ante-natal appointments during an assignment , it is our responsibility to pay for the time off, not you. Should you require a temp for a day, it would be highly unlikely we would place a temp with you that needs to attend an appointment, so again in this scenario, the problem is the agency’s and not the nursery’s.
It is not retrospective and for those agency workers already on assignment, the 12 week qualifying period will start from 1 October 2011. This equal treatment only comes into being once the temp has completed 12 weeks of service (known as the qualifying period) in the same role within your nursery. This is irrespective of whether or not the temp works for you full or part-time and of which and how many agencies supplied the temp to work in the same role for you. A new qualifying period will only begin either after a 6 week break or the agency worker starts in a new role within your nursery.
If the temp takes a break of 6 weeks or less, is certified sick for less than 28 weeks, has statutory payments or time off for public duties such as jury service then the qualifying period is paused; if the temp takes time off for matters related to pregnancy or childbirth, the qualifying period is continued.
Notwithstanding the regulations, a temp will still not be actually employed by the nursery and thus will not have the right to claim for unfair dismissal, redundancy pay or maternity leave which are employees rights. Pensions, expenses, bonus payments based on company performance are also exempt. Ultimately temps will still remain a flexible staffing resource for nurseries.
What this means for you?
If you are a hirer of agency workers: You should provide KiddyKare with up to date information on your terms and conditions so that we can ensure that an agency worker receives the correct equal treatment, (as if they had been recruited directly), after 12 weeks in the same job. You are responsible for ensuring that all agency workers can access your facilities and are able to view information on your job vacancies from the first day of their assignment with you.
How we will support you
We will take reasonable steps to obtain necessary information from you the nursery and hirer regarding a temp’s working history with you. Given the solid and open relationship we have with our temps, we are likely to find this out through our temps first and will only need to verify this with you.
We will act reasonably in determining the temp’s basic working and employment conditions. In reality, since our temps receive an hourly rate that is, in the main, higher than most nurseries pay for that level of staff and their holiday entitlement slightly above average for the sector, we don’t anticipate this to be a problem.
We will from time to time ask you the wage bands for an unqualified or a level 2/3 qualified. We will need to know the salary bands of your management but only if we are supplying temporary cover for management roles.
We will have procedures in place at 8 weeks to flag to you and notify you when a temp reaches the 12 week qualifying period according to our records; we will check with you if a temp has worked with you on behalf of another agency in the preceding six weeks.
Does this pose much of a change for you? For nurseries requiring temps from KiddyKare the AWR pose little change to you and, if you are a client of ours, you will have no additional administration to do –in short, nothing to worry about.