The Agency Workers Regulations 2010 are due to come into force on 1 October 2011.
The broad aim of the regulations is to ensure the principal of equal treatment applies to temporary and agency workers.
Agency workers employed by the same business for 12 weeks (the qualifying period), will be entitled to the same basic working and employment conditions that they would have been entitled to had they been recruited directly by the hirer. That is, they will be entitled to the same rates of pay, holiday leave, bonuses, overtime & many other benefits enjoyed by full time-staff. However, they will not qualify for pension contributions, maternity pay or sick leave.
If your business engages agency workers, then our recommendation is to take early advice from an employment solicitor about your liability and the implications of the regulations before they come into force.
Guidance on the agency workers regulations can be found on the Department for Business Innovation and skills website.