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Rights of agency workers?

Rights of agency workers

If someone is on a recruitment agency contract do they have the same rights with regards to Disciplinary and Capability?

The reason i ask is that my brother has just been let go from a temporary position, this in itself is not unusual as the position states it is 'temporary' but it is the way in which it was done by the agency.

He was called over to one of the recruiters at the end of a days work and told not to bother to come in anymore. This was infront of all of the other workers. When he asked why the recruiter replied "it was because of your illness record and days off." As he has had 0 illness days or any days off other than the normal since he started in september he questioned this. The reply he got was "well it must be your performance then."

Now i have been a manager for 7 years and although have never had to deal with employment law and agency workers i have never myself or heard of a termination of contract ever being dealt with in this way. It makes me angry that the recruitment consultant was so arrogant as to embarrass someone like this.

I intend to have a chat with the manager of the recruitment consultancy, not to get this job re-instated but to discuss the best practices of the consultancy with them and want to have my facts straight first.

Do agency workers have to have the same performance management as full time staff if this is the reason for termination of employment ie. Capability interviews and Disciplinary procedures and are they allowed to get away with terminating someones contract in such a discraceful way?

Any information would be appreciated

Many Thanks

Jay Jeffrey
Jamerson Jeffrey


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21st Jan 2008 09:51

Most temporary workers are engaged on a "contract for services" which basically means they are self employed. Their terms of engagement usually state that there is no notice period on either side. So if the temp didn't like a job they can ring the agency to say they are not going to go back.

On the other side of this is that if a client feel the temp is not performing well they can ask the agency to remove the temp. No disciplinary, no notice period.

So in principle the agency could well be within its rights to terminate your brothers employment. (As long as it didn't breach any of the discrimination laws!)

However I think the method that the recruitment consultant used leaves a lot to be desired and should have been done with more empathy and understanding. They should also have had more feedback from the client to be able to give to your brother.

I worked in the recruitment industry for nearly 13 years and always despair when I hear stories like this. The whole purpose of the REC is to drive up standards so things like this dont happen but it seems not everyone shares my high standards.

It would be intersting to know whether the consultant was an individual member as well the organisation being a corporate member.

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18th Jan 2008 21:07

Thanks very much for the advice. After some investigating i have found that the agency is indeed a member of RECS. I have e-mailed this complaint to RECS and am awaiting their reply.

Once again thank you for the advice

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18th Jan 2008 12:54

Ask if the temp agency are a member of RECS (Recruitment and Employers Confederation), if so RECS has a code of practice here

As do the CIPD (that's if the consultant concerned is a CIPD member).

You can report the employer to RECS or the member to CIPD if you feel they have breached the guidelines, I believe an investigation ensues and stern words are spoken.

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By Anonymous
18th Jan 2008 06:50

Regretfully the answer is not very straight forward. A lot depends on the working relationship.

The following links may help answer you question.




If your brother believes he was let go becuase of race, religion, gender or for enforcing basic employ or H&S rights he may well have come back.

However. how the agency handled it is very poor practice. |If I asked an agency to remove someone I would always give them a reason why.

Unfortunately there are still a lot of aencies and employers who think they can treat agency workers as not far short of slave labour.

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