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Additional rights for agency workers

This advice applies to England

What are your additional rights?

You have extra rights after 12 weeks in the same job with the same employer. These extra rights are:

  • the same basic pay and working conditions as permanent employees
  • if you're pregnant, to take paid time off for ante-natal appointments

The 12 weeks begin when you start an assignment with a new organisation. Any week you do some work will count towards the 12 weeks. 

If you have a week when you don’t work, it doesn’t count - unless it’s because you’re on maternity, paternity or adoption leave.

If you have a break of more than 6 weeks, you’ll need to start the 12 weeks again, unless:

  • you’re off sick or on jury service - you can be off for up to 28 weeks

  • you’re taking paid holiday

  • your place of work closes - like for school holidays or Christmas

If you move to a different job in the same organisation or to a job with a new organisation, the 12 weeks will also start again.

What counts as basic pay and basic working conditions

After you have completed a 12-week qualifying period in the same job with the same organisation, you will be entitled to the same basic terms and conditions of employment as if you had been employed directly by the organisation. These conditions should be written in a contract and cover things such as the hours you work, the amount of holiday you get, and how much money you're paid.

Terms and conditions that are written into a contract may be more generous than the minimum terms and conditions you're legally entitled to. For example, if the employees where you're working are entitled to 30 days holiday a year, you would also get 30 days once you've worked in the same job for 12 weeks, instead of the basic 28 days the law says you can have.

The things that count as basic terms and conditions are:

  • basic pay. This is the pay you would receive had you been recruited directly. It can also include overtime, allowances for shift work or working unsocial hours, contractual holiday pay, bonus or commission payments, childcare or luncheon vouchers
  • how many days off a week you are entitled to
  • how long your rest breaks are during your working day
  • the amount of annual leave you get
  • paid time off for ante-natal appointments.

Next steps

If you think you might be entitled to additional rights but your employer hasn’t given them to you, you can talk to an adviser

More information about your rights

To find out more about your employment rights, see:

Agency workers – what you need to know

Other useful information

There is useful guidance on the GOV.UK and on the TUC website at www.tuc.org.uk.

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