Contacting HR

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Agency Workers

1. Purpose

1. 1   This advice informs managers of the procedure for hiring an agency worker. This procedural advice provided is intended to ensure compliance with relevant legislation, including the Agency Workers Regulations (AWR) 2010.

2. Scope

2.1   This advice covers agency workers, commonly referred to as temps, supplied by a temporary work agency to a hirer. It also includes agency workers supplied via intermediaries.

2.2   The genuinely self-employed, those working through their own limited liability company, and those working on managed service contracts are excluded from the operation of this advice.

3. Definitions

3.1    Preferred Supplier List (PSL) means the list of labour hire agencies that have been approved to provide temporary workers to UCL, following formal tender and demonstration of compliance with the Agency Workers Regulations. Only agencies on the PSL may be used.

4. References

Policy approval: Provost's Senior Management Team Meeting, 6 July 2011 Agency Workers Regulations 2010

Entitlements of Agency Workers

5. Terms and Conditions

5.1  In order to effectively and efficiently comply with the AWR, the Provost's Senior Management Team has determined that from the commencement of an assignment, an agency worker will be entitled to the same basic working and employment conditions as if he/she had been directly employed by UCL on day one of the assignment. Relevant terms and conditions include pay, working time, night work, rest periods, rest breaks and annual leave.

5.2  Supervisors of agency workers are responsible for ensuring that local induction procedures are completed on the same basis as comparable UCL employees for agency workers under their supervision. As from the commencement of an assignment, an agency worker will be entitled to the same access to canteen and similar facilities, childcare and transport services as a comparable UCL employee. Supervisors should ensure that agency workers under their supervision are informed of how to access such facilities and services. The agency worker will also have the right to be informed about job vacancies (access to vacancies on the web is sufficient). These rights do not apply where posts are ring fenced for assimilation or redeployment or if named researchers on a grant. Supervisors of agency workers must also inform agency workers under their supervision of how to access the UCL Job Pages as part of the local induction process for temporary workers. Supervisors should also ensure agency workers know to seek approval for any overtime worked in advance.

5.3 Agency workers will also be entitled to paid time off for ante-natal appointments and ante natal classes. The Regulations also consolidate other health and safety duties in relation to pregnant women and new mothers. This includes the right to alternative work or, if none can be found, the right to be paid for the duration of the assignment where it is unsafe for the pregnant worker to continue working in the assigned position for health and safety reasons. The supervisor must arrange for a workplace risk assessment for pregnant workers, with advice from Safety Services where necessary. Where any potentially unacceptable risks are highlighted advice should be sought from the Occupational Health Service using the manager referral process

5.4 The provisions within the Equality Act 2010 to receive no less favourable treatment on the grounds of pregnancy or maternity (and all other protected characteristics) apply to agency workers.

6. Pay

6.1 The labour hire agencies will pay agency workers in accordance with UCL grades. When booking an agency worker departments will need to indicate the relevant grade for the booking.

6.2 If you are replacing against a graded post, this will be clear. Where it is to undertake additional or new work that is similar to work undertaken by others, then use the same grade as similar posts (job match). Where the work is entirely new and not comparable send the job description (or outline using the template at appendix A) to your HR Consultant to discuss the appropriate grade to use.

6.3 Pay includes: bonuses, holiday pay, overtime or other relevant emolument.

6.4 Pay excludes: occupational sick pay, pension on retirement, compensation for loss of office (including redundancy), maternity, paternity or adoption pay, long service or other loyalty incentives, longer term performance related pay, payment for Time off for TU duties, loans or advances.

6.5 Overtime rates must be paid or time off in lieu granted, as applicable for the grade of work, for work over 36.5 hours.

7. Annual Leave

7.1  Only statutory annual leave (currently 28 days) must be taken as leave. The taking of leave during a temporary assignment will be managed by the labour hire agency. Entitlements to additional occupational leave will be rolled up as part of pay and paid as part of the rate agreed with the agencies.

8. Right to Receive Information

8.1 Agency workers have the right to receive information about their engagement. They should talk to their agency in the first instance as in most cases they will be able to clarify concerns without recourse to formal action

8.2  If a formal request is received in writing the manager should respond promptly, where they are able to give a clear answer. A summary of comparable entitlements is provided. For more complex questions please refer the query to the HR Policy and planning team. This request must be responded to within 28 days

8.3  If the response is not received or the agency worker finds it unsatisfactory they can bring a claim to the Employment Tribunal.

9. Booking Agency Workers.

9.1  Bookings are managed directly between the department and the agency, including the payment of all associated invoices.

9.2  Departments must book temporary workers using agencies on UCL's Preferred Supplier List (PSL). No agencies are to be engaged outside of this PSL without prior agreement with UCL Procurement Services.

Details of the agencies on the PSL, including contact details, are available on the UCL Procurement website within the Recruitment section.

9.3   The PSL currently provides workers in the following categories:

9.4   Before any bookings for temporary staff can be made, the necessary financial approval needs to be obtained as detailed in the Recruitment Approval Policy. All invoice payments are managed through FiS. In line with FiS financial accounting arrangements, departments are required to give a purchase order number (PO) as part of the booking.

9.5   A booking form must be completed and provided to the Agency at the point of requesting the booking, indicating the type of work required, including any health and safety risks of the work, and the experience, qualifications or training necessary to undertake the role. A job description can be attached to cover the job description and experience requirements (section B), where this already exists. You must also state the rate of pay (see 6.1 and 6.2 above), hours of work and the start and end dates of the contract. Where the end date is initially unclear (e.g. pending appointment of a permanent employee) you must give a realistic likely end date and then extend if necessary.     
9.6    Where a booking is extended beyond its original period, a new Purchase Order number must be raised and provided for the extension.

Guidance on how to Manage Temporary Bookings on FiS are available

10.    Monitoring bookings

10.1   The HR Process team will monitor agency usage and respond to any concerns about Preferred Supplier Lists and other system issues.

HR Policy & Planning
August 2012