From 6 Apr 2020, UK temporary agency workers employed on a “pay between assignments” contract —also known as a “Swedish derogation” contract — will be entitled to pay parity with directly hired employees after 12 continuous calendar weeks in the same role. Currently, these temporary workers receive a certain amount of pay between temporary assignments in exchange for waiving their right to pay parity. The changes — which are expected to affect around 130,000 workers and will impact employers relying on temporary workers — feature in The Agency Workers (Amendment) Regulations 2019. The Employment Standards Inspectorate will issue guidance to employment agencies and other stakeholders.
Pay parity is defined as the same basic working and employment conditions as comparable workers who are directly recruited by the same business. The measures follow recommendations in the 2017 Taylor Review, and they will revoke regulations 10 and 11 of the current law that provides for the option to employ temporary workers on a pay-between-assignments contract. This type of contract was introduced when the UK implemented the EU directive 2008/104/EC on temporary agency work.
The amending regulations provide the following: