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16 April 2018

Government publishes consultation on Taylor Review’s recommendations on agency workers

The Government has published a consultation seeking views on the recommendations on agency workers made in the Taylor Review of Modern Employment Practices in July 2017. The Taylor Review concluded that reforms are needed to provide clarity on who is responsible for paying temporary workers and on rates of pay and deductions, particularly where umbrella companies are used; and to ensure that agency workers are able to enforce their rights effectively.

Four main proposals are covered in the consultation:

  • in order to improve the transparency of information, any contract between a work seeker and an employment business will have to include a key facts page setting out who will be responsible for paying the work seeker; how much they will be paid by an umbrella company or intermediary; what deductions will be made; and what additional benefits apply. Penalties will be imposed for non-compliance;
  • the Director of Labour Market Enforcement should consider whether the remit of the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate could be extended to cover policing of umbrella companies and other intermediaries in the supply chain. New legislation could be introduced to require intermediaries to meet a set of minimum standards in line with the minimum requirements currently in place for employment businesses;
  • currently the ‘Swedish derogation’ provides an exemption from equal pay entitlements under the Agency Workers Regulations 2010 where an agency worker is provided with a permanent contract of employment meeting the specified requirements and is paid a minimum amount between assignments. The Government is seeking further information to establish whether these contracts are being abused to allow hirers to pay agency workers less than permanent workers doing the same work. Depending on the extent of the problem, the Government may repeal the Swedish derogation or strengthen enforcement mechanisms; and
  • the remit of the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate could also be extended to include compliance with the Agency Workers Regulations 2010.

Responses to these proposals can be submitted until 9 May 2018.

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