Last checked 02/05/2018
Temporary agency work
As of 30 March 2019, all EU law will cease to apply to the UK, unless a ratified withdrawal agreement establishes another date, or the European Council and the UK decide unanimously to extend the two-year negotiation period. For more information about the legal repercussions for businesses:
Equal working conditions
When employing temporary agency staff, you must give them at least the same basic working/employment conditions as your permanent staff. This includes pay, duration of working time, overtime, breaks, rest periods, night shifts and holidays. You must guarantee them the same access to the collective facilities available to your permanent staff, such as canteens, childcare facilities and transport services, unless there are objective reasons for differential treatment.
You should inform temporary agency staff if any vacancy arises. Once their temporary assignment has finished, you can recruit the staff member directly if you wish.
Some limited derogations are allowed under strict circumstances, such as:
- when agency workers have a permanent contract with the agency and continue to be paid between assignments (only applies in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hungary and Malta and is restricted to pay)
- when national legislation allows unions or other social partners to conclude collective agreements derogating from equal treatment, provided that those arrangements respect the overall protection of the temporary agency workers
Health and safety
Before they start work, you must inform your temporary agency employees of any possible risks involved in the job they will undertake, including any special qualifications, skills or medical surveillance needed.
In Belgium, Croatia, France, Greece, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, you cannot use temporary agency workers for certain jobs which are considered particularly dangerous to their health and safety, such as works which involve breaking up or removing asbestos, using fumigants, exposure to radiations or to substances which are carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic.
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Your EURES Adviser can inform you on working conditions as well as assist you in the recruitment procedures in your country or your cross-border region.