Temporary Agency Workers’ Directive December 2011

The Temporary Agency Workers Directive 2008/104/EC was published on 5th December 2008 and was implemented into Irish law on 5th December 2011. The Directive aims to give equal treatment to agency workers working conditions and employment conditions from their very first day of work.

What does this mean for you as an employer?

If you take on an agency worker on a temporary contract, that worker will be entitled to the same conditions as their permanent comparatives. Conditions such as sick pay and pension entitlements will become automatic rights for agency workers.

The agency worker is effectively employed by the Employer even though they are paid by the agency – this has not changed under the Directive.

The Directive provides that all temporary agency workers must have equal treatment with regular workers from their first day at work in respect of:

  • The duration of working time, rest periods, night work, annual leave and public holidays
  • Pay
  • Work done by pregnant women and nursing mothers, children and young people
  • Action taken to combat discrimination on the grounds of sex, race or ethnic origin, religion or beliefs, disabilities, age or sexual orientation.

Temporary agency workers must also have equal access to facilities such as childcare and must be informed of permanent employment opportunities. So employers need to be careful in ensuring appropriate positions are advertised or notified to temporary/agency employees.

A Bill to transpose this Directive into Irish Legislation is to be published before the end of December 2011. It will provide for the equal treatment for temporary agency workers as described above and will define pay for the purposes of legislation including basic pay, overtime premium and Sunday premium.

Voltedge will keep you updated on this issue.