When do the Agency Worker Regulations (AWR) come into force?

The regulations come into force on 1 October 2011. Only time spent on assignments with a hirer after 1 October 2011 will count towards the 12 week qualifying period.
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Do the regulations affect my employment status?

No, the regulations do not affect your employment status as a temporary agency worker (i.e. you will not become an employee once you reach the 12 week qualifying period).
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What benefits am I entitled to from day one?

As a temporary agency worker you will be entitled to certain "day one" benefits regardless of the number of weeks worked. These rights cover:
  • Collective facilities and amenities such as canteen, childcare, transport services (e.g. local pick up, transport between sites), workplace creche, toilet/shower facilities, food and drinks machines and car parking to the same extent as any comparable employee
  • Any relevant vacancies in order to be given the same opportunity to apply as if an employee. You should therefore know where and how to access vacancies.

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What should I do if I believe that I am not receiving day one benefits that I am entitled to?

We suggest that you raise this with the hirer directly. Should you feel that your query is not being addressed by the hirer then you should log a query on A24 Connect by using the AWR feedback section.
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What benefits am I entitled to once I reach the 12 week qualifying period?

The regulations give you the right to equal treatment in terms of basic working and employment conditions, i.e. the same as if you had been employed directly by the hirer to do the same job role. The benefits that you are entitled to include:
  • Basic rates of pay
  • Overtime or anti-social uplifts (evenings, Saturdays, Sundays, bank holidays, etc.)
  • Bonus and incentive schemes
  • Holiday pay
  • Day one benefits (as outlined above)

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What benefits am I not entitled to under the new regulations?

Certain benefits only apply to permanent employees and equal treatment under the new regulations does not extend to:
  • Sick pay
  • Pensions
  • Maternity/paternity leave
  • Redundancy

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How does the 12 week qualifying period work?

The regulations require that you work for 12 continuous weeks at the same hirer in the same or substantively similar job role. Any time worked in a calendar week, even just a few hours, counts towards the qualifying weeks. The regulations also provide for a number of circumstances in which breaks in weeks worked do not prevent you from losing the qualifying weeks that you have already accrued.

It is easiest to think of the 12 week qualifying period as a clock that runs from 0 to 12. Certain breaks between assignments will "reset" the clock to 0 and you will resume from qualifying week 1 when you return to work with the hirer. Other breaks will "pause" the clock and the clock will then continue to tick when you return to work with the hirer. There are also some breaks where the clock will "continue" to tick even if you are not working at the hirer. The following is a summary of the break periods as outlined in the recent guidance issued by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills:
Type of absence that affects the 12 week qualifying period
Effect on 12 week qualifying period

Agency worker begins a new assignment with a new hirer

Clock resets to zero
Agency worker remains with the same hirer but is no longer in the same role (substantively different role)

Clock resets to zero
Break between assignments of more than 6 weeks (which is not one which "pauses" the clock or during which it continues to tick)

Clock resets to zero

Any reason where the break is less than 6 weeks

Pauses the clock
Sickness absence

Pauses the clock for up to 28 weeks
Annual leave

Pauses the clock
Shut downs - e.g. factory closure, school holidays

Pauses the clock
Jury service

Pauses the clock for up to 28 weeks
Industrial action

Pauses the clock

Pregnancy and maternity-related absence

Clock keeps ticking*
Statutory maternity, paternity or adoption leave

Clock keeps ticking**
* The protected period for a pregnant agency worker begins at the start of the pregnancy and ends 26 weeks after childbirth (or earlier if she returns to work)
**Where an agency worker has a contract of employment with an agency and is entitled to this type of leave

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What happens if I am paid more than a comparable employee, will my pay be reduced after 12 weeks?

No, the regulations only apply to agency workers who are being paid less than the comparable employee. The regulations will have no effect on you if you are being paid more.
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The regulations refer to hirer, who is the hirer?

The hirer is the end user who requests agency workers through us, the employment agency. The hirer can be an individual person, company, partnership, sole trader or public body and is responsible for supervising and directing you while you perform your shift.
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What is a comparable employee?

Under the new regulations equal treatment will be viewed in terms of a comparable employee. A comparable employee will be a worker who is employed directly by the hirer and who performs work that is broadly similar to the work that you perform on assignment for the hirer. It needs to be remembered that differences in pay can be justified by taking account of the skills, qualifications and experience of the comparable employee.
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What do I do if I work for the same hirer through multiple agencies?

You will need to inform us if we place you at a hirer where you have previously worked through a third party agency (an agency outside the A24 Group). This should be done by emailing the full details to You will need to be clear and state the name of the hirer, the nature of the work you have performed and the dates that you worked for this hirer through another third party agency.
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Should I inform you of all work that I perform for other agencies outside of the A24 Group?

No, we only need information on hirers where we have supplied you as a temporary agency worker. If you only work for a hirer through a third party agency (i.e. we never place you at the hirer) then you will not need to inform us.
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What should I do if I have a valid break period for sick or annual leave?

You will need to inform us of breaks such as annual leave paid by a third party agency or sick leave. This can be done by emailing the details of your annual or sick leave to We will require proof of annual leave or sickness so you should attach your payslip, signed leave form, doctor's note, etc. to the email.
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What should I do if I have other breaks that I believe should be taken into account?

You will need to inform us of these breaks by emailing the full details of the break to This should include the type of break, the exact dates of the break and the hirer that the break related to if applicable.
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What should I do if I have any other query relating to the AWR?

If you have any other query that is not specifically dealt with above, you should log onto your A24 Connect profile and submit a query via the AWR feedback section.
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Where can I find further guidance on the new regulations?

The Department for Business, Innovation & Skills has produced guidance on the new regulations as per the below link:
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