Cases on the horizon: agency workers

Readers may recall our earlier report on the case of Moran and others v Ideal Cleaning Services Ltd which dealt with the scope of the Agency Workers Regulations 2010 (the AWR). The question under consideration was the meaning of “temporary” in regulation 3 of the AWR which states that an “agency worker” is a person “supplied by a temporary work agency to work temporarily for an under the supervision and direction of a hirer”.

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) considered the issue earlier this year in relation to a group of agency workers who had been engaged by a temporary work agency to work for the client for periods which ranged between 6 and 25 years. They were made redundant and they argued that the AWR provided that they qualified for the same employment rights as if they had been recruited directly by the end user client. The first instance tribunal held that “temporary” meant “not permanent” or “short term”.

Following the appeal of the agency workers against this decision, the EAT dismissed the appeal holding that the tribunal had been correct to find that “temporary” meant “not permanent”. For this reason, the agency workers did not have protection under the AWR because they were effectively permanently assigned to the end-user.

We now await the decision of the Court of Appeal which is due to hear the case in early March 2016.

This guide is for general information and interest only and should not be relied upon as providing specific legal advice. If you require any further information about the issues raised in this article please contact the author or call 0207 404 0606 and ask to speak to your usual Goodman Derrick contact.