What are my rights when I start temping though an agency? Am I entitled to confirmation of terms and conditions?

Yes. The terms and conditions on which it is agreed that an agency will undertake to find work for you must be confirmed in writing before any such services are undertaken. Once terms have been agreed and confirmed in writing, they should not be changed unless you agree to this. Any agreed changes must also be confirmed in writing within five working days following the day on which the changes were agreed.

Where an agency is finding temporary assignments for you as an agency worker, the written agreement must cover:

  • whether you are employed under a contract of employment (i.e. as an employee) or under a contract for services (i.e. you are a worker or self-employed);
  • the length of notice which you are required to give, and entitled to receive, in order to terminate the contract;
  • the rate of pay that will be paid, or the minimum rate of pay that the agency reasonably expects to achieve for you. This must be at least the hourly National Minimum Wage (NMW) rate;
  • whether you will be paid weekly or monthly; and
  • the amount of paid leave that will be given – as most agency workers will be covered by the Working Time Regulations 1998 (WTR), they should be entitled to 5.6 weeks holiday pay as a minimum.

The agency must also confirm details of any work placement you are offered in writing within three working days of the offer being made. Details must include:

  • who the work is for;
  • the start date;
  • how long the work is likely to last;
  • the type of work;
  • the location of work;
  • the hours;
  • the rate of pay;
  • any expenses payable;
  • any health and safety risks and the steps the hirer has taken to control these;
  • experience, qualifications and training required for the role; and
  • full written details of any additional services that they are charging you for.

Changing terms

Your agency should not change the terms of your contract without your agreement. Where a change to terms is agreed, the agency must confirm the changes in writing together with the date they take effect and must provide this information within five working days of the change being agreed. Your agency must not put pressure on you to agree to changes by threatening to withdraw work-finding services.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.