Agency worker status
Agency worker status

The following Employment guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Agency worker status
  • Implying a contract of employment with the end user
  • When a contract may be implied
  • Other case law
  • Approved EAT guidance

There are three important areas in which the basic position of an agency worker is affected by the law:

  1. the regulation of employment agencies and businesses

  2. equal treatment of agency workers under the Agency Workers Regulations 2010, and

  3. the employment protection rights of agency workers, derived from their status as a worker or, in some cases, an employee

These areas operate independently of each other. For example, the Agency Workers Regulations 2010 are not dependent on employee status at common law, nor do they affect or simplify that status; nor do they affect the major rules on the conduct of employment agencies and businesses.

For further information on:

  1. the regulation of employment agencies and businesses, see Practice Note: Employment agencies and employment businesses

  2. equal treatment of agency workers under the Agency Workers Regulations 2010, see Practice Note: Rights under the Agency Workers Regulations 2010

  3. the employment protection rights of agency workers, derived from their status as a worker or, in some cases, an employee, see below

See also Precedents: Terms and conditions for supply of temporary staff by an employment business and Agreement—terms of engagement for temporary agency worker.

An agency worker will benefit from the major employment rights, such as the right not to be unfairly dismissed, only if he is an 'employee'. This Practice Note deals with the employee status of agency workers,