Less favourable treatment of agency workers

Stuart Swan
21st Mar 2018

By Stuart Swan, Senior Solicitor.


The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has recently held that it is not possible to compensate an agency worker for shortfalls in entitlements to paid annual leave and paid rest breaks with an enhanced hourly rate.

In the particular circumstances of the case, agency workers were only entitled to 28 days' leave and 30 minutes paid rest breaks, whereas the hirer's employees were entitled to 30.5 days' leave and one-hour paid rest breaks. It was argued that the overall package of terms enjoyed by the agency worker were such that the agency worker was not treated less favourably than an employee because of the enhanced hourly rate. However, the EAT decided that this difference in treatment, on a term by term approach, breached the Agency Workers Regulations 2010.


A copy of the case report can be found here:




This case is a useful reminder that a business which engages both agency workers and employees needs to ensure, on a term by term approach, that an agency worker is not treated less favourably than an equivalent employee.


If you would like to discuss this case in more detail, or you require support on any employment law matters, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our team on 0141 331 5150.

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