New rights for agency workers

Agency workers are to get equal rights as permanent staff after 12 weeks on assignment

Employment and Learning Minister, Dr Stephen Farry, confirmed plans to give Northern Ireland’s temporary agency workers important new rights under the EU Agency Workers Directive.

The new rights will be acquired by the temporary worker after completing 12-week qualifying period in a job with the same hirer.

The rights include equal treatment on pay, holiday and other basic employment conditions as provided to permanent staff.

From their first day of assignment, temporary workers will also be granted:

  • equal access to on-site facilities and amenities as permanent employees
  • same access to notices of vacancies and any related information
  • equal opportunities to apply for permanent jobs with the client employer

The new agency workers regulations are expected to come into force in Northern Ireland by 5 December 2011. Similar changes will be enforced in Great Britain on 1 October 2011.

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