Currently, temporary staff taken are, in the same way as permanent staff, entitled to annual leave so an employer must ensure that they are paid for accrued holiday. Such staff also have other rights, including entitlement to the national minimum wage, a pay slip and the right not to have money unlawfully deducted from their pay.

However as an employer it’s important to realise the treatment of agency workers will change under the Agency Workers Directive which will be implemented in the UK on 1st October 2011. This will significantly affect those companies which provide temporary employees and those companies who employ such workers.

The aim of the Directive is to provide temporary agency workers with the same basic working and employment conditions as if they were direct employees of the company doing the same job. This right will only apply after twelve weeks in an assignment.

Equal treatment under the Directive as reflected in the Regulations relates to basic working and employment conditions, such as: pay; working hours; overtime; breaks; rest periods; holidays; access to training and collective facilities, such as childcare. It does not include pension provision and occupational sick pay, nor will the Regulations change the employment status of temporary agency workers.