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Agency Workers Regulations Ireland


The Protection of Employees (Temporary Agency Workers) Act 2012 was signed by the President on 16 May 2012 and is retrospective back to 5 December 2011. It was put in place to provide temporary agency workers the right to the same basic employment and working conditions as those directly recruited by the hirer (client).

Who is covered by the Act?

An agency worker is defined as an individual who is employed by an Agency who may be assigned to work for a person other than the employment Agency. Therefore limited company contractors are excluded from the provisions of the act.

What are they entitled to?

“Basic working and employment conditions”

(a) pay,
    “Pay”
    (a) basic pay, and
    (b) any pay in excess of basic pay in respect of:
        (i) shift work,
        (ii) piece work,
        (iii) overtime,
        (iv) unsocial hours worked, or
        (v) hours worked on a Sunday
(b) working time,
(c) rest periods,
(d) rest breaks during the working day,
(e) night work,
(f) overtime,
(g) annual leave, and
(h) public holidays

Temps can be paid more than their directly hired counterparts (just not less) but they cannot be compensated for one benefit by increasing another (e.g. extra pay for less holidays).

“Basic working and employment conditions” does not include: sick pay, payments under any pension scheme or arrangement or financial arrangements (this specific wording moved from one section of the Bill to another section).

Anti-Avoidance Measures

Assignments forming part of a series of assignments shall be treated as a single assignment.

It is deemed to be the same assignment if it is the same hirer, or person connected with the hirer, the agency worker is the same person, same place of work or directed and supervised from the same location and does the same or similar work.

A break of 3 months does not constitute a series of assignments.

Client (Hirer) Obligations

Inform any agency worker of any vacant positions for the purpose of enabling the agency worker to apply for that position.

A hirer shall, with respect to access to collective facilities and amenities at a place of work, treat an agency worker no less favourably than a comparable employee unless there exist objective grounds that justify less favourable treatment of the agency worker.

(a) canteen or other similar facilities,
(b) child care facilities, and
(c) transport services.

Provide all information to the Employment Agency to be in compliance regarding pay rate and holidays.

For more information, please contact our office on +353 1 662 1000.