The Agency Workers Regulations 2010

agency workers

Who is an agency worker or temp?

An agency worker or temp is a person who has a contract with a Temporary Work Agency (the employment agency) but works temporarily for and under the direction and supervision of a hirer. There are three important contractual relationships between;

  1. You – as the agency worker who is paid by the Employment Agency
  2. The Employment Agency you are registered with – the TWA who is paid by the Company you are sent to work for
  3. The Company you are sent to work for – The Hirer who pays the Employment Agency for your services

These relationships are covered by the Agency Workers Regulations 2010 which give you the right to either the same or not less favourable treatment than your colleagues who are permanent. These rights start after you have worked for 12 weeks in a particular job.

All workers, including agency workers, are entitled to the following statutory protections:

  • paid holiday
  • rest breaks and limits on working time
  • no unlawful deductions from wages
  • the national minimum wage
  • not to be discriminated against
  • protection under health and safety laws

As an agency worker, you have additional protection under the Agency Worker Regulations 2010.


Agency contract

Under Regulation 3(1), an agency worker is a person who is is supplied by a temporary work agency (TWA) to work temporarily for and under the supervision and direction of a hirer, and has a contract with the TWA which is either a contract of employment with the agency, or any other contract to perform work and services personally for the agency.


Who is not an agency worker?

Regulation 3(2) says that if you are self-employed then you are not an agency worker. So if the employment agency is your client or a customer of your business, then you are excluded from the Agency Workers Regulations. The same applies if the hirer is your client or a customer of your business.


Employee Rescue Guides



Best of the web

The Money Advice Service – Pay and benefits for temps and agency workers

GOV.UK – Your rights as an agency worker

HMRC – Employment status indicator

ACAS – Agency workers rights

BIS – Guidance on the Agency Workers Regulations 2010

WorkSmart – Your rights under the Agency Workers Regulations

Agency Workers

CAB – Agency workers; what you need to know

Agency Worker Regulations – Guidance



This resource is published by Employee Rescue Limited. Please note that the information and any commentary on the law contained herein is provided free of charge for information purposes only. The information and commentary does not, and is not intended to, amount to legal advice. Employee Rescue accepts no responsibility for any loss occasioned to any person acting or refraining from action as a result of the material contained in this update. Further specialist advice should be taken before relying on the contents of this summary. No part of this summary may be used, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form without the prior permission of Employee Rescue Ltd.


Case Study

In the Scottish case of Collins v First Quench Retailing Ltd [2003], Ms Jacqueline Collins was awarded £179,000 from her employers when the off-license she managed was robbed. Ms Collins had been the manager of Victoria Wine, run by First Quench Retailing, for about ten years. When Mrs Collins started in the shop she had been concerned about security and raised this with management. Since 1977 there had been 13 reported crimes at the shop, including five thefts, one minor assault, one serious assault and one assault with intent to rob. There were two armed robberies in 1994 and four... Read More
Ms Jacqueline Collins was awarded £179,000 from her employers when the off-license she managed was robbed.Collins v First Quench Retailing Ltd
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