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Pay between assignment contracts

This advice applies to Scotland

What are pay between assignment contracts?

You may be asked to sign a pay between assignments contract with your agency. This means you are an employee of the agency and your rights are slightly different to those of other agency workers.

If you’re on a pay between assignments contract, the agency will pay you if your job ends and you have to wait before starting a new one. It also means that you will not be entitled to the same pay as other employees where you’re sent to work, even when you have worked for more than 12 weeks in the same role for the same employer.

A pay between assignments contract must say:

  • you have a contract of employment with the agency. This means that you are an employee of the agency
  • you are not employed on a fixed-term contract
  • the minimum pay rates you will receive
  • where you will be expected to work and if you're expected to travel
  • your expected hours of work during any job you’re sent to do
  • the maximum hours you will be expected to work on a job
  • the minimum hours the agency will guarantee to pay you while on a job . This must be at least one hour
  • the type of work you will be expected to do.

You must be paid by the agency between assignments. This must be either at least 50 per cent of the pay you received on your last job or the national minimum wage rate for the hours you worked on the last job, whichever is the greater.

The agency must also try to find and offer suitable jobs to you when you are not working. The agency cannot end your contract until there have been at least four weeks between jobs when you were not working but were paid by the agency.

Pay between assignments contracts only apply to pay. If you start a temporary job, once you've completed 12 weeks in the same job, you will be entitled to all other employment rights including holidays and hours of work. You'll also be entitled to access to facilities and information about permanent vacancies with your employer from the first day of the job.

Next steps

There can be problems with pay between assignment contracts. If you're asked to sign one, you should make sure you are aware of what they mean.

More information about Agency workers

Other useful information

  • There is useful guidance on the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills website at www.bis.gov.uk and on the TUC website at www.tuc.org.uk.
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