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Legislation affecting temporary workers

The marketing agency industry, more than many others, relies on the specialist skills of freelance workers to provide cost-effective and innovative solutions at short notice.  As a freelance or temporary marketing agency job seeker with a niche skill set, chances are you’re in demand for short-term jobs.  Learn more about your rights as a freelance worker, and the UK legislation that supports you.

Temps in our times

The economic uncertainty faced by businesses over the past few years has thankfully done little to diminish the attractiveness of taking on temporary workers who provide flexibility and help to keep staffing costs down.
The market for temporary agency workers continues to show strong signs of growth in2011. Despite initial fears over a hike in the VAT rate from 17.5% to 20% in January, employers are increasingly choosing to hire professionally skilled temporary staff free of the financial burden of maintaining a long-term commitment.

Agency Workers Regulations

The Agency Workers Regulations (AWR), which govern the rights of agency workers, give temporary agency staff equal treatment with regards to basic working and employment conditions after 12 weeks of service in the same assignment.
These new laws were published by the European Parliament in December 2008. The UK Government was given three years from that date to introduce the new legislation into UK law and have announced 1 October 2011 as the UK implementation date. 
Equal treatment under the regulations relates to basic working and employment conditions such as; working hours, overtime, breaks, rest periods, holidays and access to training and collective facilities, such as childcare. The directive does not include pension provision and occupational sick pay under the remit of equal treatment, nor do the regulations change the employment status of temporary agency workers.