10,878 reasons to stay on top of AWR

The Agency Workers Regulations (AWR) mean temporary workers receive rights comparable to permanent colleagues at their workplace. Among these rights is the right to equal pay once the temporary worker has been in-post for 12 weeks.

A key element of AWR is the need to ensure the employer or agency have the information they need to prepare for any changes that may affect them. Heavy fines could arise if the necessary information is not provided in time.

This is illustrated by the case of  Stevens v Northolt High School (ET/3300621/2014).

An Employment Tribunal decided that Northolt High School did not give a request for information the attention it deserved, resulting in a £10,878 award against the school. This case stressed the duty that the school had to the supply agency and the worker.

The secondary school requested the services of a music teacher, Georgia Stevens, through a supply teaching agency. The temporary head of music was at the school for several months and was aware of the regulations when she started. After being on assignment for more than 12 weeks, she contacted her agency to ascertain relevant comparator information from the school in anticipation of a pay increase under AWR. The school was asked for the information on more than one occasion but the requests went unanswered.

Although the school advised Mrs Stevens it would not be worthwhile for her to proceed with the claim, she later decided to bring the claim herself against both the employment agency and the school. The tribunal found that due to the school ignoring all requests for information from the teacher and the agency, they would be held solely liable for the total costs of the claim which amounted to an underpayment of £98 per day over a period of 111 days.

It should be noted that the supply agency was only found to not share in the liability because their actions were seen as sufficient. Any lack of action on their part in requesting the information would have been seen as a breach of the regulations and they would then be sharing liability with the school.

Employers and agencies should ideally receive day one rights (Regulations 12-13) information from the client before the assignment starts or as soon as possible thereafter. Other rights, such as those related to pay (Regulations five – six), should be received by the employer well before the qualifying period has ended, otherwise more clients (and possibly agencies) could be caught out.

It's important to note that teachers, and other workers in a similar role, are NOT considered exempt under the ‘professions exclusion’ under AWR. The Department of Education believes that there is supervision, direction and control over the worker by the hiring school. This all teachers providing services through an employment intermediary are seen to be temporary workers for the purposes of these regulations and so will be in scope of AWR.

For more information, or if would like a copy of the latest AWR guidelines issued by the Department of Education please email pras.desai@orangegenie.com or call 01296 468 483.

Why Orange Genie Education?

We employ and pay thousands of supply teachers and education support staff every year. Our employment portfolio stretches over 10 years in the umbrella industry making Orange Genie Education one of the most trusted umbrella brands. With this in mind, there’s no wonder we have long lasting relationships with hundreds of recruitment agencies all over the UK. Upon joining Orange Genie Education you become an employee of ours benefiting from:

Single employer for all assignments

  • One payment for all different agency assignments completed in a week
  • Simplified and efficient taxation from single tax code
  • Guaranteed pay for the work completed
  • Continuous employment rights
  • Maternity and Paternity pay
  • Sick pay
  • Access to a workplace pension
  • Statutory rights
  • Improved personal credit references and rating
  • Extraordinary employee benefits including 24/7 access to a GP, councelling, support, fitness resouces, and discounts & offers worth hundreds of pounds in day to day savings

Reassurance our supply teachers are employed by an FCSA member that protects and supports contractors. Our aspiration is to improve the lives and wellbeing of supply teachers and education support staff.

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