AWR – end-hirer liable for underpayment of an agency worker

Since the Agency Workers Regulations were introduced on 1st October 2011 very few cases have yet come to Employment Tribunal (the ones that have are detailed here), but in September 2014 an Employment Tribunal found that the end-hirer of the agency worker, not the agency that actually employed the worker, had to compensate the worker when she hadn’t been paid the appropriate salary required by the Agency Workers Regulations.

From 1st October 2011, Agency Workers in Great Britain have the right to ‘equal treatment’ in certain areas of their employment, as long as they have worked for the client (end-hirer) for a period of 12 calendar weeks in the same job.  This includes Pay –  Further details on who is an Agency Worker, how these 12 weeks are counted and what terms and conditions are included for equal treatment and all other details of the AWR are here.

Under the AWR if an agency worker isn’t paid the same as someone who had been employed directly by the hirer to do the same job, then they are due compensation – either the agency or the end-hirer will be liable to pay compensation (or both), depending on whose fault the Employment Tribunal believes the underpayment was.

In the case of Stevens v Northolt High School – the Tribunal believed the agency had taken reasonable steps to obtain information from the end-hirer about the salary of the hirer’s comparable employees but the hirer had failed to give the agency this information, despite repeated requests to do so.  The Tribunal found that the hirer was solely liable for the salary underpayment.

Mrs Stevens was supplied by the agency to the School (end-hirer) to work as a Temporary Head of Music.  After completing 12 weeks service in the job Mrs Stevens was not being paid as much as she would have been if she had been directly hired by the School to do the same job.  Mrs Stevens bought a claim against the agency and the School under Regulation 5 of the AWR.  The hirer was underpaying her by about £98 per day for 111 days and the Tribunal found that the compensation owed to Mrs Stevens was the £10,878 she had been underpaid by.



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2 Comments to "AWR – end-hirer liable for underpayment of an agency worker"

  1. […] In September 2014, an important case confirmed that the Hiring Company was liable for underpayment of an agency worker’s salary – details are here. […]

  2. […] In September 2014 another case came to tribunal that confirmed the end-Hirer was liable for underpayment of an agency worker’s salary – full details are here. […]

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