An agency can only charge a hirer a fee where they have agreed a contract with the hirer which provides for a 'temp to perm fee' and an extended period of hire. A temp to perm fee is unenforceable unless the agency also gives the hirer an option of an extended period of hire.
A hirer can also avoid paying a temp to perm fee after a certain period of time has elapsed since the end of a worker's assignment. This period is 14 weeks from the start of the assignment or eight weeks from the end of the assignment, whichever ends later. After this period, the employer is free to hire the individual directly without paying a temp to perm fee.
It is important to note that if there has been a break of more than six weeks between the agency worker's assignments for the hirer, this will break continuity for the purpose of calculating the 14-week period. In these circumstances, the first day after the gap ends becomes the starting point of the 14 weeks.