What are Agency Worker Regulations (AWR)?
Agency Worker Regulations, or AWR as it widely known, is a piece of EU legislation that came into effect on 1st October 2011 to help protect agency workers' rights.
After a qualifying period of 12 weeks, any temporary worker is now entitled to the same basic working and employment conditions as any permanent employee doing the same job. These conditions include pay, working hours and breaks.
Employing agency supply teachers:
If a supply teacher is employed by a supply teacher agency, the School Teachers' Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD) does not apply and an agency can set the rates of pay and conditions of employment. Under the Agency Workers Regulations, after 12 weeks in the same role with the same school or local authority (LA), an agency supply teacher is entitled to be paid under the qualified teacher pay scales in the STPCD and to the same conditions of employment as teachers employed by the school/LA. Supply teacher agencies are regulated by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills' Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate.
According to the Agency Workers Regulations, the "hirer" is a "person engaged in economic activity, public or private, whether or not operating for profit, to whom individuals are supplied, to work temporarily for and under the supervision and direction of that person".
A "hirer" will have its own legal identity and is responsible for supervising and directing the agency worker while they undertake the assignment. The question of who is the hirer is a matter of fact to be determined in the light of the circumstances of each case.
The role of the hirer:
If you hire temporary agency workers through a temporary work agency, you should provide your agency with up to date information on your terms and conditions so that they can ensure an agency worker receives correct and equal treatment as if they had been recruited directly after 12 weeks in the same job. Hirers are also responsible for ensuring all agency workers can access their facilities and can view job vacancies from the first day of their assignment.
If the school asks a temporary work agency to provide a teacher to carry out specified work* in a school and the person engaged to do the work is a qualified teacher they should be paid as a qualified teacher. If the person engaged to do the specified work is an unqualified teacher they should be paid as an unqualified teacher. "Specified work" means planning, preparing and delivering lessons and courses to pupils and assessing and reporting on the development, progress and attainment of pupils.
Academies, free schools and independent schools are free to set their own pay and conditions of employment. As such, if a temporary workers' agency is asked to supply a teacher, the agency will need to request information from the school as to the relevant terms and conditions to be applied to the agency supply teacher after 12 weeks in the same role with the same hirer. These are of course subject to the usual requirements under employment law.
It should be noted that in September 2013, the STPCD removed portability of salary and a new employer may not recognise a teacher's previous salary when moving to a new post at a new school.
If AWR applies to your School:
If at 10 weeks we feel that AWR will apply to a teacher carrying out *'Specified Work' we will send you a letter advising that AWR is to start after 2 more weeks of *'Specified Work'.
We will then ask you to advise us in writing of your Schools Terms and Conditions and Pay Policy also confirming the comparable pay if the teacher were employed directly by your school to carry out *'Specified Work'.
Although salary is no longer portable we do ask for proof of salary from teachers from their last maintained school for point of reference.
More information can be found at:
Head Teacher - Primary School Kent