Agency Worker Regulations (AWR) – what is it, what does it mean?

From 1st October 2011, Agency Workers in Great Britain (Northern Ireland will publish their own separate regulations) will have the right to ‘equal treatment’ in certain areas of their employment. We summarise what you need to know!

Employment Law in the United Kingdom – what differences are there?

Is it a United Kingdom? We thought we’d look in detail at the main differences in Employment Law between England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and have updated this for July 2019. Generally there is very little difference in employment law between England and Wales, some differences in Scotland but there are some important differences

The Swedish Derogation Model – what is it? When is it ending?

The Agency Workers Regulations come into force on 1st October 2011 to bolster the rights of so-called “vulnerable” agency workers – and the Swedish Derogation is being mentioned a lot by Umbrella Companies. What does it mean?

Calculating holiday pay (updated 2017)

When calculating holiday pay Employers must now include payments for regular overtime and contractual results-based commission.
Updated to look at October 2016’s Court of Appeal decision in Lock vs British Gas and we also look at October’s 2014 Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) decision that says overtime should be included when calculating holiday pay (the combined

Deciphering your legal status and IR35

IR35 – Updated 2016.
Many new freelancers and contractors may be vaguely aware of IR35, but not know when and where it applies. Before getting too intimate with the ins and outs of the IR35 legislation, the first step is to know if IR35 is even relevant to your situation.
We give you more details

How to deal with an Acas conciliation request

If an employee or ex-employee has a potential Employment Tribunal claim, from May 2014 they are required to contact Acas first, who will then contact their employer.
There have been a lot of changes to the Employment Tribunal system in the last 2 years and this is the latest one, which may be significant for employers.

Limited Company Contractors not always protected under Equality Act

Are LCC’s protected under the Equality Act? It is common in many industry sectors for workers to work through a Limited Liability Company (or Personal Service Company).
In a recent case at an Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) – Halawi v WDFG UK Ltd – the Judges considered whether a Limited Liability Company (LLC) Contractor was

Statutory Sick Pay changes could affect small employers

A major change to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) comes into force on 6th April 2014, which will affect all employers.
Currently, under the Percentage Threshold Scheme (PTS), employers can recover SSP costs for their employees’ sickness if the total SSP paid in a tax month is more than 13% of their gross Employers’ (Class 1) National

Employing young people/school leavers

From the start of the 2013/14 Academic year the Government changed the law on how long young people are required to stay in education or training.
Raising the Participation Age‘ (RPA) means that young people must now stay in education or training longer.
‘Raising the Participation Age‘ (RPA) means that young people must now stay

What languages should be spoken at work

With the diversity of workforces in the UK today, there’ll inevitably be many workers of different nationalities and with different languages and cultures. This will mean that employers may need to deal with issues regarding what language is used in the workplace, particularly if many workers don’t speak English as their first language.
The most

Time workers should be paid the NMW to ‘sleep over’

At the end of 2013 an important case went to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) – Whittlestone v BJP Home Support Ltd – which confirmed that employees who are engaged on ‘time work’*, and who are required to ‘sleep over’ at a specified location as part of their work, are entitled to be paid the National Minimum Wage for

Should employers fear the office Christmas party?

Your Christmas Party is normally pretty lively and good fun, but employers need to consider various factors beforehand, so there are no problems (yawn – but bear with us here!).
Unfortunately, because of various pieces of legislation, employers need to have a policy in place setting out the standards of acceptable behaviour for their workers

EU decides surrogate mothers can take maternity leave

The European Court of Justice in 2013 advised that a British woman who had a child through a surrogate mother is entitled to paid maternity leave.
Women who adopt a child in the UK are entitled to the same statutory adoption pay as pregnant mothers, but families who choose to use a surrogate mother to

‘Without Prejudice’ rules explained (and Settlement Agreements)

‘Without Prejudice’ Rules have existed for a long time and are used by an employer when they and an employee have a dispute in their working relationship which they are trying to resolve in the most amicable way. We look at what this means and how it can be used here.
The ‘Without Prejudice’ Rules

Third party harassment provisions in Equality Act repealed

The 2010 Equality Act contained the concept of Third Party Harassment, where employers could be held liable for harassment of their workers by 3rd parties.  This meant that employers could be potentially liable for harassment of their employees by people (third parties) who are not employees of the company, such as customers or clients.
After consultation,

Criminal record checks

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), which replaced the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) in late 2012 is there to help employers make safe recruitment decisions, and prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups, including children.
The DBS are responsible for:

Processing requests for criminal records checks which they

The Conduct of Employment Agencies Regulations 2003

It’s a long title, but these Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations are important for Limited Company Contractors (or Personal Service Companies) and agency temps.
These regulations were introduced in April 2004 (2005 in Northern Ireland) and were updated in 2010. They provide a framework of minimum standards that govern the conduct of the private recruitment industry in

Can an Agency worker become permanent at the company they work for?

An Agency worker (temp) is usually contracted and paid by the Agency who employs them, and the Company that hires them pays a fee to the Agency for their work.
Here though, we consider if it is possible for an agency worker to be seen as a permanent employee of the company they work for (not the

Can disciplinary or grievance meetings be audio recorded?

There could be various reasons you, or your Employer, may wish to audio-record important work meetings/hearings, including the hope that this will support your/their position should a claim be made to an employment tribunal in the future. Should you? We look at the details here.
However neither an employee, nor an employer, has the right to record

Disability Discrimination – what makes a worker disabled under the Equality Act 2010?

When considering if a worker is disabled or not for the purposes of being covered by the Equality Act 2010, Employers must consider the impact of any physical or mental impairment (disability) on the workers “ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities”. We look at all the details you need to know here.

We

Can a Limited Company Contactor be in scope of the Agency Workers Regulations?

Although many commentators believe that the Agency Workers Regulations (AWR) were not intended to apply to ‘professionals’ with their own limited companies (also called a Limited Company Contractor or Personal Service Company contractors) it is certainly possible, in specific circumstances, that limited company contractors, working through a recruitment agency, may be in scope of the AWR and so

Can an employee be dismissed because of their political opinions?

The European Court of Human Rights says no, you can’t be dismissed because of your political opinions!
In the case of Redfearn v the United Kingdom, the Court of Human Rights found that the UK had violated article 11 of the European Convention of Human Rights – the right to freedom of assembly and association

Short-time working and lay-offs – can you use them?

It can be quite common that during a bad patch an employer, rather than make redundancies, may choose to make other changes to an employee’s Employment contract including lay-offs and short-time working.
Two options your employer may consider are Lay-offs and Short-time working – and we look at what this means in our article here.

Important Agency Workers Regulations Tribunal cases

Updated 2019
Finally, at the end of 2012, over a year after the Agency Workers Regulations were introduced in October 2011, a case about the Swedish Derogation model came to Tribunal.
The Swedish Derogation model refers to Regulation 10 of the AWR that allows for temporary workers not to receive comparable pay (with ‘comparable’ permanent

What are zero-hour contracts, and can casual workers ever become employees?

With the introduction of the Agency Workers Regulations in 2010, many Companies are believed to be using far more zero-hour contract workers now, instead of Agency temps. At Workline we get a lot of queries from people employed on zero-hour contracts, so in our article here we look at these types of contracts in more

Everything you need to know about references (part 2)

In our second article on References here we look at what obigations a previous employer has whey they provide a reference for an employee.

The Data Protection Employment Practices Code recommends:

That employers have a policy on giving references that includes a requirement that “all those giving corporate references must be

Everything you need to know about references (part 1)

In our first article on References here we look at whether Employers have to seek references about employees when recruiting and whether there is a legal obligation for a previous employer to give a reference to their ex-employee?
Includes….. Is there a legal obligation for a previous employer to give a reference to their ex-employee?

Workplace surveillance: can your employer spy on you at work?

With CCTV cameras everywhere you go these days, how likely is it that your employer or client will be keeping an eye on you? Basically, quite likely. Employers can monitor staff through a variety of methods  – but it must do so in a way that is consistent with several legal requirements and we take a

Trust and Confidence – what does it really mean, and what happens when it breaks down?

We look at the Implied Terms in your contract of employment that are probably not written down anywhere, but are understood to exist because of the conduct of the parties, which includes Trust and Confidence. They should be fairly obvious to both parties to the contract. If there’s nothing clearly agreed between you and your

For what reasons can I be made redundant?

In this article we look at the scenarios when your employer is considering making redundancies, and in what situations can they make you redundant?
The Employment Rights Act 1996 (the law that currently covers making redundancies) says that, ‘an employee is dismissed by reason of redundancy if the dismissal is wholly or mainly attributable to

What is religious discrimination?

Religious discrimination employment law cases have been in the news for several years and with four important UK cases going to the European Court of Human Rights in September 2012, we thought we’d have a look at this in more detail. Religion or belief is a ‘protected characteristic’ that shouldn’t be discriminated against, as outlined

Holiday entitlement and sick leave – some clarity?

There has been plenty of confusion surrounding how workers holiday entitlements interact with sickness absence. With several years of conflicting UK and European Court decisions, we are finally getting close to some clarity about what entitlements people have to holiday entitlement when they are sick.
Here we break down what we know so far.

Continuity of Service – for employees and workers

We thought we’d look at the concept of continuity of service in more detail here, as it is important for employees and workers in terms of the employment rights that you are entitled to (e.g. being able to claim unfair dismissal and/or receive a redundancy payment).
Continuous employment usually means working for the same employer

Your employer is making you redundant but has offered you another job – must you accept it?

Your job is at risk of redundancy, and your employer has offered you redeployment to another job in the same company – are you obliged to take it? We look at the details in our article here.
Redundancy is a ‘fair’ means of dismissal by your employer, so long as the procedures the Employer follows and

Taking on an apprentice – the full details

Apprenticeship schemes are often in the news (and not always for the right reasons), so we’ve had a look at what they are about and where you can find out more details about taking on an apprentice.
Many UK businesses consider skills shortages and recruitment difficulties a big problem. Apprenticeships can be an answer

Fixed Term Contracts: what are they & how can they come to an end?

Fixed Term Contracts have always been popular with employers as a way to fill a ‘gap’ for a temporary period, but we also know they can be abused. Here we look at what a Fixed Term Contract actually is, what protections they have in law and what happens when they expire.
Fixed Term Contracts are

Have you been dismissed while working abroad?

If you work abroad you may now be able to claim unfair dismissal in the UK if you are dismissed. With unemployment rising in the UK, British workers may have to look abroad for employment, and of course many multinational companies have employees constantly moving across international borders.

Disciplinary procedures: common mistakes made by employers

In unfair dismissal claims, employment tribunals take the “Acas code of practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures” that was introduced in 2009, into account where relevant..However, many Employers make mistakes when handling disciplinaries and this can result in you having a claim for unfair dismissal if you have one years continuous service (which will increase to 2 years for employment starting after April 2012). Here we look at the common mistakes Employers make.

Your client asks you to do something illegal, what should you do?

Although rare, it’s not completely unheard of for a client or boss to ask you to do something illegal as part of your job. If not that, then perhaps you’ve discovered that your employer or client has been breaking the law – so what’s your response?
We’re not talking about your employer asking you to

Care Workers – what are your rights at work?

At Workline we get a lot of queries from Care Workers who are unsure of their rights, and with Healthcare Providers in the news lately as they run out of money, we felt it was time to summarise your rights!

How to make your contracts IR35-proof

This is a difficult and potentially time-consuming process. Long-term freelancers will certainly wish to ‘IR35-proof’ their contracts in order to avoid the reduction in earnings. Contracts will need to be checked for each job/project and they should highlight your status as a self-employed professional.

Employment tribunals – your rights

With a 56% rise in Tribunal claims in 2010, Employment Tribunals (ET’s) have been in the news a lot lately! Here we give you the information you need to know about what they do and how they work.

Your employment status – Am I an Employee, a Freelancer or a Worker?

There are three different types of working individuals but deciding someone’s employment status can be complicated as there is no single legal definition. Our advice is updated for 2011.

Here is a quick guide to help you establish your status – if you are an Employee, Worker or Freelance.

Guide To Statutory Redundancy Pay and Redundancy

Our advice about Redundancy is updated for 2011. Redundancy is a ‘fair’ means of dismissal by your Employer if the procedures they follow and the circumstances are correct. A Redundancy situation is applied when there is no more, or not enough, work for you and your colleagues (for example if your employer closes or relocates the business, or now needs fewer workers).

Guide to pay, wages, pay cuts, and ‘unauthorised deductions’

Pay and Wages explained. How your Pay is protected from ‘unauthorised deductions’ from your Employer and what to do if your Employer wants to cut your pay or you cannot get to work during transport or weather disruptions. Updated for 2010.

What are my main Employment rights as an Employee, Worker or Freelancer?

Whatever your employment status, whether you are an employee, worker or freelancer, you have rights at work that are protected by law. Below is a comprehensive summary of what you are entitled to plus links to articles that cover each in detail.

Written Statements, contracts, and changing terms in your contract

All Employees are legally entitled to a Written Statement, which they must receive within two months of starting the job. It is a summary in writing of your main terms and conditions of employment. For further information read this article; updated for 2011.

Also In this article is:
– information for freelancers on how to agree contracts,
– and for Employees, details on how the terms and conditions in your contract can be changed with information about short-time working.

The Minimum Wage, Overtime, Equal Pay

Detailed information about the Minimum Wage; information on TV/Film Industry Pay Guidelines; information about Agency Workers and guidelines for Unpaid Work Experience in the TV/Film Industry.

Maternity Leave and Pay Chart

As part of our guide to Maternity here is a quick chart to help you work out your Maternity Leave and Pay entitlements – updated for 2011.

Part-time workers rights – the details

Did you know that part-time employees and workers have the same employment rights as full-time employees (and workers)? You do not have to work a minimum number of hours to qualify.

The Human Resources Consultancy service for SME's in the UK creative industries

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