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Are there any armchair employment lawyers out there? I will be affected by this law which was introduced on the 1st October. As I understand it after 12 weeks an employer must offer the same benefits and wages to all workers. Or can employers sack everyone they employed on the 1st October after 12 weeks and employ new workers/agencies without facing consequences?

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Are there any armchair employment lawyers out there? I will be affected by this law which was introduced on the 1st October. As I understand it after 12 weeks an employer must offer the same benefits and wages to all workers. Or can employers sack everyone they employed on the 1st October after 12 weeks and employ new workers/agencies without facing consequences?

Im not sure either , I work for an agency and got a letter with a new contract , however im not sure what difference it makes.

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I just wish the politicians would concentrate on facilitating a healthy economy that needed workers, rather than on confusing things with these directives all the time. It seems like the type of thing NuLab would have introduced, yet we're into the second year now of the coaliton. Why?

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I just wish the politicians would concentrate on facilitating a healthy economy that needed workers, rather than on confusing things with these directives all the time. It seems like the type of thing NuLab would have introduced, yet we're into the second year now of the coaliton. Why?

It's an EU directive, so they don't have much of a choice. Agreed though, this is like trying to eradicate the common cold by passing a law against sneezing.

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It's an EU directive, so they don't have much of a choice.

Hardly:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8160808.stm

"We frequently hear about laws coming from Brussels, like some distant imperial ruler legislating for its colonial subjects. In fact, those laws come from gatherings of member states' representatives - including UK government ministers and the MEPs we vote for."

"Can member states simply ignore EU legislation?

No, but they can certainly challenge it. If there are doubts about the Community's legitimacy for making a particular piece of legislation (for instance because it does not meet a Treaty objective, or is not based on a power ascribed by the Treaty) then national courts can suspend the domestic measures which implement it."

"Member states are responsible for ensuring that their national legislation is consistent with European law. Where it is not, they must amend existing provisions, and introduce such new law as necessary.

Ultimately, individuals can be bound by either national or European law. Food safety, for example, comes under EU law, whereas most criminal law is national."

Edited by madpenguin
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Badly worded thread, the Agency Workers Directive came in to being in 2008, its enacted through the Agency Workers Regulations from October 1st 2011

What is and is not included in the Regulations

Included

Basic pay.

Annual leave.

Rest breaks.

Bonuses linked to performance.

Access to job vacancies (day one).

Access to communal facilities (day one).

Not included

Genuinely self-employed workers (does not include those who are paid by an umbrella company)

Bonuses for loyalty or long service.

Occupational pensions or sick pay.

Financial participation schemes.

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Basic pay.

Annual leave.

Rest breaks.

Bonuses linked to performance.

Access to job vacancies (day one).

Access to communal facilities (day one).

Oh.My.God- who do these people think they are- next thing you know they'll want permission to leave their desks to take a piss- instead of using the hosepipe and bucket.

We need to clamp down here- much more of this kind of thing and it'll be chaos and economic collapse. Oh- sorry, that's already been baked in by the bankers.

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Hardly:

http://news.bbc.co.u...ope/8160808.stm

"We frequently hear about laws coming from Brussels, like some distant imperial ruler legislating for its colonial subjects. In fact, those laws come from gatherings of member states' representatives - including UK government ministers and the MEPs we vote for."

"Can member states simply ignore EU legislation?

No, but they can certainly challenge it. If there are doubts about the Community's legitimacy for making a particular piece of legislation (for instance because it does not meet a Treaty objective, or is not based on a power ascribed by the Treaty) then national courts can suspend the domestic measures which implement it."

"Member states are responsible for ensuring that their national legislation is consistent with European law. Where it is not, they must amend existing provisions, and introduce such new law as necessary.

Ultimately, individuals can be bound by either national or European law. Food safety, for example, comes under EU law, whereas most criminal law is national."

Well, they can ignore it or challenge it for sure but the reality is that, unless they pass some kind of law enforcing it, in the end they'll end up in the European Court of Justice.

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Well, they can ignore it or challenge it for sure but the reality is that, unless they pass some kind of law enforcing it, in the end they'll end up in the European Court of Justice.

It will lead to companies outsourcing more. I'm not putting any value into that, just that it will happen.

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Are there any armchair employment lawyers out there? I will be affected by this law which was introduced on the 1st October. As I understand it after 12 weeks an employer must offer the same benefits and wages to all workers. Or can employers sack everyone they employed on the 1st October after 12 weeks and employ new workers/agencies without facing consequences?

I manage an agency - FWIW i have advised all my clients to pay parity with their employees. Its something we have been working on since March. You should ask your agency what has been agreed with their client. They will know in great detail what will happen.

Many companies will try to avoid the extra cost and work with the agency on some sort of legal avoidance measure.

The key is that you must be paid the same as someone from the employer doing the same job - this is called the the 'comparitor'. It is likely that some companies have brought in a new pay rate over the last 12 months to prepare for the legislation. If one other person is on the lower pay rate they can justify paying that to agency staff as they employ someone on the comparitor rate.

Some companies will employ agency staff to do a job that only agency staff do. In the absence of a comparitor from the employer, the comparitor rate is based on what the lowest paid agency temp gets.

The most controversial measure - the one that has hit the news a bit is the 'swedish derogation'. If you are technically an employee of the agency, the employer and agency can use swedish derogation to pay you much less. However, if your assignment comes to an end the agency has to pay you for 4 weeks between assignments. This is a popular way that companies have approached getting round the additional responsibilities of the AWR. The grey area that some companies/agencies will test is how much has to be paid for the 4 weeks between assignments. Some agencies have priced their agreements with clients on the basis they will only pay 1 hour a week. Recent clarification has suggested the employee must get at least 50% of their highest pay in the previous 12 (without checking I think its 12) weeks. I know that some agencies will be offering work up to 4 hours drive away and say that as the employee has refused work they no longer have to pay the 'pay between assignments'.

I expect this will be the source of many tribunals.

Edit: To answer last part of question, no they cannot sack everyone after 12 weeks. Anti-avoidance measures exist with fines up to £10k per instance of cynical avoidance techniques. They may try to rotate people so that they never reach 12 weeks. If you work for a few weeks then have 6 weeks in a different role (note - this can be with the same employer) then the clock starts again after the 6 weeks in a different role. Technically a company can rotate you into different jobs in different departments to avoid you reaching 12 weeks. However, if challenged, they would need to demonstrate that they didnt bring someone in to the role you have just been moved from.

Edited by Caveat Mortgagor
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Im not sure either , I work for an agency and got a letter with a new contract , however im not sure what difference it makes.

Be very careful! Sounds like the start of an avoidance measure. With Swedish derogation the agency worker signs a new contract in which they acknowledge they will not have pay parity and they have conceded the parity in order to recieve pay between assignments. They can be given this contract at any point - i believe some agencies will leave this right until the last minute.

It may be that you have been given such a contract. If you arent sure ask your agency what it means. They will have put a lot of work into perparing for the new regs, they will know very well how you will be affected. Make sure you guage whether you think they have been frank and honest though.

The swedish derogation route has attracted a lot of shyster agencies who have been 'buying' business from clients by offering a charge schedule that assumes they will be able to wriggle out of many of the cost implications. If you do have a swedish derogation contract, ask them how much you will be paid between assignments, and ask them what they think is acceptable in terms of offering you alternative assignments.

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Good post, this subject is not getting the attention it deserves, I feel it to be one of the most important topics this year.

My contract with the Uk's leading comms company expires on 23/12/2011. (qualifying day for AWR). We have not been informed yet what our

pay will be. They will be recruiting a token amount of staff.

Christmas is either going to bring mass unemployment or huge wage inflation in excess of 40%. New year will probably bring many

tribunals as these companies try to avoid compliance. Where I work the agency working opposite the permies are payed 50% lower,

with none of the usual perks, pension, sickness benefit etc.

I manage an agency - FWIW i have advised all my clients to pay parity with their employees. Its something we have been working on since March. You should ask your agency what has been agreed with their client. They will know in great detail what will happen.

Many companies will try to avoid the extra cost and work with the agency on some sort of legal avoidance measure.

The key is that you must be paid the same as someone from the employer doing the same job - this is called the the 'comparitor'. It is likely that some companies have brought in a new pay rate over the last 12 months to prepare for the legislation. If one other person is on the lower pay rate they can justify paying that to agency staff as they employ someone on the comparitor rate.

Some companies will employ agency staff to do a job that only agency staff do. In the absence of a comparitor from the employer, the comparitor rate is based on what the lowest paid agency temp gets.

The most controversial measure - the one that has hit the news a bit is the 'swedish derogation'. If you are technically an employee of the agency, the employer and agency can use swedish derogation to pay you much less. However, if your assignment comes to an end the agency has to pay you for 4 weeks between assignments. This is a popular way that companies have approached getting round the additional responsibilities of the AWR. The grey area that some companies/agencies will test is how much has to be paid for the 4 weeks between assignments. Some agencies have priced their agreements with clients on the basis they will only pay 1 hour a week. Recent clarification has suggested the employee must get at least 50% of their highest pay in the previous 12 (without checking I think its 12) weeks. I know that some agencies will be offering work up to 4 hours drive away and say that as the employee has refused work they no longer have to pay the 'pay between assignments'.

I expect this will be the source of many tribunals.

Edit: To answer last part of question, no they cannot sack everyone after 12 weeks. Anti-avoidance measures exist with fines up to £10k per instance of cynical avoidance techniques. They may try to rotate people so that they never reach 12 weeks. If you work for a few weeks then have 6 weeks in a different role (note - this can be with the same employer) then the clock starts again after the 6 weeks in a different role. Technically a company can rotate you into different jobs in different departments to avoid you reaching 12 weeks. However, if challenged, they would need to demonstrate that they didnt bring someone in to the role you have just been moved from.

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Some quite insightful posts here apologies, about the wording of the thread.

The interesting thing is that the media have been all but silent on this issue, all you here is the 'it's bad for business, everyone will be sacked, the world is going to end'.. blah blah blah. Notably the government seems to be doing everything in its power to curb EU powers now, they do nothing when the EU laws are helping business shaft people. No mention in the papers about how the law will actually benefit the working poor.

Remember when the minimum wage was brought it, same sh-- in the press, nothing happened. I'm sorry but living costs money in this country and the sooner wages go up the better especially for the working poor.

For anyone else having to put up with agency bu++sh+t here's quite a comprehensive run down of what is and is not allowed:-

http://www.bis.gov.uk/policies/employment-matters/strategies/awd

pdf verison available on this page

The place I work at seem to be looking at rotating agencies so no one gets the key thirteen week contract. (If this is allowed.) But this tactic seems like an avoidance measure to me? I'm sure the slippery bar stools will find a way around it. I spoke to my agency contact and he's shi++++g himself about it, seems to think he will be losing out because of it.

It's a disgrace how business has been enabled to pray on vulnerable workers, I hope this law will either stop these abuses. Some rich people just don't like having to pay decent wages.

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You will find that some members of the board at the largest agencies are also linked to the board at some of the Uk's largest companies.

In the current system Manual labour is a byproduct and must be eradicated.

Bunch of inbreds!

Some quite insightful posts here apologies, about the wording of the thread.

The interesting thing is that the media have been all but silent on this issue, all you here is the 'it's bad for business, everyone will be sacked, the world is going to end'.. blah blah blah. Notably the government seems to be doing everything in its power to curb EU powers now, they do nothing when the EU laws are helping business shaft people. No mention in the papers about how the law will actually benefit the working poor.

Remember when the minimum wage was brought it, same sh-- in the press, nothing happened. I'm sorry but living costs money in this country and the sooner wages go up the better especially for the working poor.

For anyone else having to put up with agency bu++sh+t here's quite a comprehensive run down of what is and is not allowed:-

http://www.bis.gov.u.../strategies/awd

pdf verison available on this page

The place I work at seem to be looking at rotating agencies so no one gets the key thirteen week contract. (If this is allowed.) But this tactic seems like an avoidance measure to me? I'm sure the slippery bar stools will find a way around it. I spoke to my agency contact and he's shi++++g himself about it, seems to think he will be losing out because of it.

It's a disgrace how business has been enabled to pray on vulnerable workers, I hope this law will either stop these abuses. Some rich people just don't like having to pay decent wages.

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Are there any armchair employment lawyers out there? I will be affected by this law which was introduced on the 1st October. As I understand it after 12 weeks an employer must offer the same benefits and wages to all workers. Or can employers sack everyone they employed on the 1st October after 12 weeks and employ new workers/agencies without facing consequences?

Anything that curtails the activities of these agency's has to be a good thing, unfortunately im sure the slimy parasites will find a way around it.

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It could actually be good news of contractors and IR35. Employers will now actively seek to do all they can to make it clear contrators are not 'employees'. Whereas before they didnt care too much as it didnt affect them.

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