ACAS finds agency workers unaware of employment rights

A study by ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) has found that agency workers are unaware of their employment rights, or and afraid of asserting them.

Acas’s report, Three sides to every story: the impact of the Agency Worker Regulations, found many of the agency workers surveyed were unaware of their rights regarding holiday pay, notice period and the 12-week qualifying period after which an agency worker carrying

The report also found that many agency workers were afraid to assert their statutory employment rights as they felt an imbalance of power.

Acas chair Brendan Barber said: “Agency workers can feel a sense of insecurity and fear around their contracts, similar to those raised by calls to our helpline on zero-hours contracts. We found examples of agency workers who were afraid of questioning their employment rights or completely unaware that they were entitled to some basic rights. Some workers also complained that they were asked to take on tasks that they were not qualified to handle and employers wanting to ignore the law so that they could sack people immediately.”

Barber added that the employment relationship with agency workers has a “triangular nature” that has to “balance the needs of workers, hirers and agencies”.

If you’d like more information on your rights at work, please contact employment law specialists Ashley Hunt, Vaishali Thakerar or Carrie-Ann Randall at Lawson-West on 0116 212 1000.

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