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Temporary A Worker Rights Compared with Permanent Staff

In this article we look at the specific rights affecting temporary workers. From Sick pay …

What is a Temporary Worker

There are many reasons why workers may decide to work on temporary, rather than permanent, assignments. It provides flexibility, which can help to manage domestic responsibilities. But it can also be used as a way to try out different kinds of work or workplaces, or as a stepping stone to achieving the job they want.

Somebody is a ‘temporary agency worker’ when they have a contract with a recruitment agency but work temporarily for an employer. The job they are working on should be controlled by the employer and the worker can’t be registered as self-employed.

Temporary Worker Rights

According to the Government website, temporary agency workers have the following rights:

Paid Holiday

Temporary workers should receive at least 5.6 weeks of paid annual leave. Previously used rolled-up pay, which was said to include holiday pay, is now unlawful. Agency workers have the right to the same holiday entitlement as if they had been recruited directly by the employer in the same role.

Rest Breaks and Limits on Working Times

Temporary agency workers shouldn’t be asked to work more than 48 hours per week if a comparable permanent worker doesn’t have to. If a worker works more than 6 hours a day, they are allowed to one uninterrupted 20-minute rest break during their day, usually at lunch time. Workers also have the right to at least 11 hours rest between working days, an uninterrupted 24 hours without any work each work and an uninterrupted 48 hours rest each fortnight.

No Unlawful Deductions can be Taken from Wages

Unless it’s allowed by a term in their contract, an employer or agency isn’t allowed to deduct any unauthorised money from the wages of temporary workers.

The National Minimum Wage

This rate per hour depends on the age of the worker and whether they’re an apprentice. The worker must be at least school leaving age to get it. The current minimum wage for workers who are 21 years or older, is £6.50 per hour. For apprentices in their first year, the rate is £2.73 per hour.

Freedom from Discrimination

The equality legislation applies to all workers in all jobs.

Protection Under Health and Safety Laws

All workers are entitled to work in an environment where risks to their health and safety are properly controlled. The primary responsibility for this right is down to employers.

The Same Access to Shared Facilities and Services at Work as Other Comparable Employees

This can include arrangements like access to parking facilities or a work canteen.

Social security

Temporary workers should be able to receive Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) when they take time off sick, like all other workers. In some cases, they might be able to qualify for – usually unpaid – maternity, paternity or adoption pay. Temporary workers are not entitled to claim any redundancy pay.

Suits Me® – Alternative Account

If you’re a temporary worker and would like to know more about Suits Me®, or if you’re an agency and would like to provide your workers with Suits Me® membership as an employee benefit, then visit or contact us on

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