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Agency Workers and Temps


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Workplace rights of agency workers and temps

Who is an agency worker or temp?

An agency worker or temp is a person who has a contract with a Temporary Work Agency (the employment agency) but works temporarily for and under the direction and supervision of a hirer. There are three important contractual relationships between;

  1. You – as the agency worker who is paid by the Employment Agency
  2. The Employment Agency you are registered with – the TWA who is paid by the Company you are sent to work for
  3. The Company you are sent to work for – The Hirer who pays the Employment Agency for your services

These relationships are covered by the Agency Workers Regulations 2010 which give you the right to either the same or not less favourable treatment than your colleagues who are permanent. These rights start after you have worked for 12 weeks in a particular job.

All workers, including agency workers, are entitled to the following statutory protections:

  • paid holiday
  • rest breaks and limits on working time
  • no unlawful deductions from wages
  • the national minimum wage
  • not to be discriminated against
  • protection under health and safety laws

As an agency worker, you have additional protection under the Agency Worker Regulations 2010.


Agency Contract 

Under Regulation 3(1), an agency worker is a person who is is supplied by a temporary work agency (TWA) to work temporarily for and under the supervision and direction of a hirer, and has a contract with the TWA which is either a contract of employment with the agency, or any other contract to perform work and services personally for the agency.


Who is not an Agency Worker?

Regulation 3(2) says that if you are self-employed then you are not an agency worker. So if the employment agency is your client or a customer of your business, then you are excluded from the Agency Workers Regulations. The same applies if the hirer is your client or a customer of your business.

Last Updated: [11/09/2021]