Check if you're an agency worker

This advice applies to England. See advice for See advice for Northern Ireland, See advice for Scotland, See advice for Wales

You’re an agency worker if you have a contract with an agency but you’re sent to work temporarily for another organisation. When you’re working there, that organisation tells you how to do your work. You might also be called a temp.

You won’t be an agency worker if:

  • you find work through a temporary work agency but you’re self-employed

  • you work on a ‘managed services contract’

  • you’re part of a group of staff employed by an organisation and given temporary work when needed - this group is often called a ‘staffing bank’

  • you find work with an employer yourself or through a recruitment agency

  • you're on secondment or loan from one organisation to another

If you work on a managed services contract

An organisation might contract out a particular service to another company - for example, catering or cleaning. This is known as a ‘managed services contract’. That company then uses its own workers to do the work and supervises the work on site. If you’re being supervised by someone from the company providing the service, you won’t be an agency worker.

If you get work through an in-house staffing bank

You’re unlikely to be an agency worker. You’ll be directly employed by the company with the staffing bank.

However, if the staffing bank also supplies temporary workers to external organisations, it would be acting as an agency. This means you would be an agency worker.

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Page last reviewed on 18 June 2021