What is AWR?

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AWR (Agency Worker Regulations) is legislation that came into force on October 1st 2011

It's aim is to give agency workers the same rights as if they were permanently employed by the end user. The end user is the Independent School, Academy or Local Authority (for the Education Sector). This comes into force after a twelve week qualifying period of working in the same job role or nearest position to that of equivalent permanent member of staff. Candidates can have a break in employment during the qualifying period but for no longer than six weeks. If the gap is longer than six weeks the qualifying clock starts again. The AWR affects all industries within the UK.

Why is AWR important?

Understanding the AWR is important to both end users and agencies. If either/ both are not compliant to the legislation then the end user and/ or the agency can be liable to face tribunal where the fines can be up to £5000.

What do schools (end users) need to be aware of?

  • Day One Rights (access to facilities, permanent vacancies, provision of transport and canteen and similar services to that of permanent employees
  • Rights of Equality to that of permanent employees - terms and conditions (duration of working time, overtime breaks, night work, pay and any relevant bonuses) if compared to output i.e. directly linked to piece work of employer, collective agreements of employers that stated in employees' contracts, company handbooks and facilities
  • When the clock starts for AWR with the contractor, agency and hirer
  • Breaks in qualifying period
  • Anti-avoidance of AWR
  • Maternity and qualification period

What is excluded from the AWR?

  • Sick pay
  • Pension
  • Retirement
  • Loss of office
  • Redundancy payments
  • Bonuses made in relation to performance aimed at long term management

What should I do?

Ensure that your current agency is up to date with the Agency Worker Directive! This is a time where it is increasingly important to have compliant, consistent staff. One way of ensuring quality and compliance is by using a preferred supply system. You can then have reassurance that your preferred agency is fully up to date with current legislation and be confident that the staff being supplied to you are fully compliant, thus safe guarding your children. Many agencies will use the AWR as a way of increasing prices. However, Flourish Education in many cases will maintain or even lower the rates you are currently paying.

Guidance regarding AWR and supply teachers

The BIS have recently issued guidance on supply teachers regarding the AWR which has helped clear up a number of issues, as a number of schools and teachers have felt that more experienced teachers would be priced out of the market. To find out more about the AWR legislation and how the new guidance affects schools and teachers please contact Flourish Education on 0300 303 3227.

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