Worker Rights

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Are you concerned about your rights as a worker? Our experts can help.

At Crystal Law we are on your side, no matter your position we know your rights and can advise and assist all employment matters.

I’m an agency worker. What are my rights?

An agency worker has a contract with an agency and does temporary work for an employer (hirer/end user client). Generally, agency workers are also known as ‘temps’. As there is a contract between you and an agency, this means that you are not self-employed, and you are not contracted to an employer.

As an agency worker, you are classed as a “worker”, rather than an employee, as you are contracted with an agency. When agency workers are temporarily supplied to an employer, they are under direct supervision of the temporary employer.

All agency workers, including those who have signed ‘pay between assignment contracts’, are entitled to certain rights. Your employment rights include:

  • to be paid the national minimum wage (including the rebranded “national living wage”)
  • not to be unlawfully discriminated against on grounds of disability, gender, age, race, religion or belief, or sexual orientation
  • access to ‘collective facilities and amenities’ (given access to canteen, childcare, transport service and other facilities as any other employee)
  • to be paid annual leave
  • not to have any unlawful deductions from wages
  • to work in a safe environment
  • to have rest breaks and limits on working time
  • to take certain claims to an employment tribunal

Agency worker regulations protect and cover the agency worker from the first day they start work temporarily with the hirer. The Regulations do not cover:

  • genuinely self-employed individuals
  • individuals employed on managed service contracts
  • individuals working under their own personal service company

I work part-time, do my rights differ?

A part-time worker is an employee who works fewer hours than a full-time worker, which is usually around 35-40 hours per week. Part-time workers are protected from being discriminated against when compared with a full-time colleague. This means that part-time workers are entitled to the same treatment in most areas, including;

  • Pay, including basic pay, bonuses, sick pay, maternity pay
  • Pension opportunities and benefits,
  • Holidays and career breaks,
  • Training and career development,
  • Consideration for promotion, transfer and redundancy.

Exceptions to this include pro rata benefits, which are allocated in proportion to the hours an employee works.

There are some other instances whereby differential treatment will be permitted, however the employer will be required to provide a valid explanation as to the reason for the differential. An example of this would be the provision of health insurance to full-time employees, but not providing similar for a part-time worker who only works 4 hours per week. In these circumstances, the employer is likely to be able to show that the costs of the benefit are disproportionate to the employee’s entitlement.

Are you worried that you’re being treated unfairly at work?

If you are being treated unfavourably because you are a part-time worker, you should seek professional legal advice. After an informal discussion with a legal expert, you may choose to lodge a grievance with your employer, who is obliged to give you a written statement of their reasons for unfavourable treatment within 21 days. If you are unsatisfied with this statement, you may then decide to bring a claim for compensation to an employment tribunal.

Next steps

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