So it would appear fair to say that despite much hype and a fair degree of hysteria last year, the Agency Worker Regulations have not had the massive impact on businesses that was predicted!

In fact figures from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) suggest that, instead of reducing the number of agency workers they use, the large majority of businesses using temporary staff plan to keep on doing so, or even increase their reliance on this way of having a flexible workforce.

The Agency Worker Regulations came into force in October 2011 and there was fear that it would increase costs and the administrative burden on employers.

The key concern was that employers would need to cease using any particular worker after 11 weeks in order to avoid having to give them the same Terms & Conditions as staff employed directly by the business.

This may in fact be how many businesses intend to use temporary agency workers but there are ways to avoid this “revolving door” situation of continuously having to get new temporary workers up to speed in your business.

The first and simplest two things to do are:

1. Check what impact it would have on your business to keep a temporary worker beyond 12 weeks.
–        Is their pay rate actually any different in reality?  If you would need to increase pay is this cost offset by the benefit of having the continuity of the same person working in your business?
–        Do you already offer them access to the same facilities as all other staff?  We’d hazard a guess that in most businesses temporary staff are not treated any differently.  If you offer something that has a cost implication to your business – again ask yourself is the cost worth it to maintain continuity in staffing?
–        Is there any significant cost or risk to your business in offering temporary workers the right to apply for any vacancies?  Again, we hazard a guess that this won’t cause any difficulty in most businesses.

2. If you find that you are needing to use them for extended lengths of time consider if temporary workers via an agency is really your best option.
–        There are costs associated with using an agency that could be avoided by employing temporary workers on casual contracts directly with your business.
–        Alternatively do you need to consider a new permanent member of staff?  There are flexible ways of recruiting such as employing on a zero hours basis that would enable you to maintain a tight control of salary costs.
–        Are there opportunities to provide other employees with tasks so that you don’t need to use temporary workers so regularly?

There are other options you might consider and we would be delighted to talk to you about these or any of the above.  Why not give us a call today for a free review of your staffing arrangements.

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