The Employment Appeal Tribunal ruled that the Agency Workers Regulations applies only to ‘temporary’ workers, although the definition of an employee as being engaged on a ‘temporary’ basis isn’t clear cut.
A number of workers were employed by an agency and assigned to a particular client for an indefinite period. Although workers had been working at the particular client’s premises for periods ranging from 6 to 25 years.
This decision seems correct on the fairly clear-cut facts of this case, however there will be many situations where it is less clear whether an assignment is open ended in duration or genuinely temporary. This will be particularly true where assignments are for an indeterminate length and are renewed from week to week in line with the hirer’s requirements.
Businesses should consider carefully, perhaps with the benefit of legal advice, whether a particular assignment can really be said not to be temporary and therefore deprive those working on the assignment of the protection of the AWRs.
Read our overview of the case here.