Temporary work is a popular and growing form of employment in the UK. Many workers choose temporary work because it offers flexibility and variety, while others may take on temporary work while looking for a permanent role. Whatever the reason, it's important for temporary workers to understand their rights and protections under UK law. In this blog, we'll explore your rights as a temporary worker in the UK.
Temporary workers are entitled to equal treatment to permanent employees from day one of their employment. This means that they should receive the same pay and benefits as permanent staff doing the same or similar work. This includes access to any training or development opportunities offered to permanent staff.
Pay and benefits:
Temporary workers are entitled to receive the national minimum wage (NMW) or the national living wage (NLW) if they are over 25 years old. The rates change every year, so it's important to check the current rates on the UK government's website. Temporary workers are also entitled to paid annual leave and statutory maternity, paternity, and adoption leave., as well as sick pay- if they meet certain conditions.
Working time regulations:
Temporary workers are covered by the Working Time Regulations, which set out the maximum number of hours they can work per week. The regulations also entitle workers to rest breaks, daily and weekly rest periods, and a limit on night work. Employers must keep accurate records of working hours to ensure they comply with the regulations.
Health and safety:
Temporary workers have the right to a safe working environment. Employers must provide suitable training, protective clothing, and equipment, as well as carrying out risk assessments to ensure the health and safety of all workers.
Agency workers regulations:
If you're employed by an agency, you have additional rights under the Agency Workers Regulations. These include the right to the same pay and working conditions as permanent staff after 12 weeks of employment in the same role.
Temporary workers are protected against discrimination on the grounds of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation. Employers must not treat temporary workers less favourably than permanent staff because of any of these characteristics.
To summarise, temporary workers have a range of rights and protections under UK law. These include equal treatment, pay and benefits, working time regulations, health and safety, agency workers regulations, and protection against discrimination. Employers must comply with these regulations to ensure that temporary workers are treated fairly and with respect. If you feel that your rights as a temporary worker are being infringed, you should speak to your employer or seek advice from a union or employment law specialist.