Staff news

New agency worker legislation

Hiring managers are reminded that the Agency Workers Regulations come into force on 1 October.

All staff involved in recruitment or staff facilities need to be aware of this legislation, which aims to protect agency workers by giving them new rights in relation to their working conditions and terms.


Agency workers, often referred to as ‘temps’ or ‘interims’, are temporary employees who are supplied by an agency.

The legislation does not cover genuinely self-employed individuals or staff offered employment on a University contract following introduction by an agency.

The new legislation introduces the following entitlements for agency workers:

  • to be treated as well as comparable employees in relation to access to facilities (and job vacancies open to external candidates) from day one.
  • to receive comparable conditions in relation to certain terms such as pay, increments, working hours, annual leave and other paid time off, after 12 weeks’ work.


The University will need to gather information on agency workers to ensure that we meet our legal obligations.

The legislation places obligations on both the University, as the ‘hirer’, and on agencies supplying workers, resulting in a need for the University to identify and work closely with all agencies being used.

Implications for managers

The new legislation effectively removes a number of the reasons for using agency workers, particularly for longer term assignments.

Consequently, managers should consider their staff resource needs carefully before seeking to hire an agency worker.

Managers should discuss resourcing options with their local HR team.

Hiring procedures

Where it is necessary to hire an agency worker, this should be done directly through one of the University’s contracted agencies or via the local HR team.

  • Blue Arrow must be used for temporary secretarial, clerical, catering and similar staff. The University has an exclusive contract with Blue Arrow. Details linked below.
  • Information Services/ICT staff must be hired using the University’s framework agreement. Information Services staff can access information on these agencies through the IS Wiki. All other staff should contact the UHRS Resourcing team.
  • For other types of staff, managers must contact their local HR team.

Managers should notify their local HR team of any agency workers currently working in their area who have not been sourced through the University’s contracted agencies.

Managers should also ensure that agency workers have access to facilities and information on external job vacancies on the same basis as employees on University contracts.

More information

The University is developing processes with our contracted agencies and other identified agencies to identify how long agency workers have been engaged in the University.

University HR Services is also developing guidance on how to respond to potential needs for agency workers for periods of more than 12 weeks.

A full outline of the agency worker regulations and their effects is available on the HR website

If you have any queries about the new legislation, contact Anna Edgar, Senior HR Partner - Resourcing.

Anna Edgar

Senior HR Partner - Resourcing

Contact details

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