Advice for agencies and clients
Freelancers and the Agency Workers Regulations: Advice for agencies and clients of freelancers.
For everything you need to know about working with your freelancers and the Agency Workers Regulations, PCG has produced a special guide covering how to assess scope, working with limited companies, umbrella workers, and the 'Swedish Derogation'. The guide has been developed with input from experienced lawyers and HR professionals, and is designed to help Agencies and Clients understand the scope of the AWR.
Freelancers who are genuinely in business on their own account are out of scope of the Agency Workers Regulations, and this means that most limited company contractors will also be out of scope.
- Click here to download PCG's guide to working with freelancers
- Freelancers can read a special note from Roger Sinclair of Egos Consulting here
What are the Agency Workers Regulations?
The Agency Workers Regulations (AWR) are a set of regulations intended to protect vulnerable low paid “agency workers” / temps. They also safeguard permanent employees from being undercut by low-cost agency workers. The regulations achieve this by enshrining in law a right for an agency worker to “equal treatment” with regards to pay, holiday and working time, once the agency worker has been in a position with an end client for 12 weeks. The regulations take effect from October 2011.
What has PCG been doing on this issue?
PCG is an effective and powerful lobbying organisation as well as a representative body for freelancers. In addition to liaising closely with Government as the AWR was being developed, extensive lobbying by PCG has ensured that the term “agency worker” is defined specifically so as to exclude freelance contractors who are in business on their own account. They also exclude those who do not work under the supervision and direction of the hirer.
PCG believes that this successfully excludes freelance contractors from the scope of this legislation where they are operating in a genuine business to business way. However, the way this is done may not be immediately clear, and agencies, end clients, and freelancers will want to learn as much as possible about the legislation in order to ensure they do not wrongly apply the AWR where it is not needed.
Dealing with the AWR: PCG Resources
PCG has developed an extensive suite of resources to help you understand the AWR. It is key to ensure you use an IR35 friendly contract, which is clearly of a business to business nature.
- An Affiliated Approved Contract Scheme we review contracts and make recommendations to ensure they are "contractor friendly"
- Template Contracts
- A guide to the scope of the Agency Workers Regulations
- Information on IR35
If you are a freelancer, PCG's resources page will provide everything you need to ensure your contract is on a firm business to business footing
- PCG’s template contracts
- Tax and contract advice from our dedicated helplines
- Our free Guide to Freelancing also provides comprehensive information
- IR35 advice
What rights does it confer?
If you are an ‘agency worker’ according to the AWR’s definition of this, you will qualify for rights to equal pay, holiday, and working time after 12 weeks in post. There are also ‘day 1’ rights to equal access to facilities.
Though freelance contractors working through their own limited company often use agencies, they are not the target of this legislation, and it excludes those in business on their own account.
Where to Now?
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