From 1 October agency workers will have the right to equal treatment after 12 weeks working on a given assignment.

Retailers should soon start to think about how this might affect them.

Many agencies are already reviewing their supply contracts to take the upcoming legislation into account and retailers will need to think about whether its impact could lead to them needing to reassess how they source their staff and the number of agency workers they hire. From October agency workers are likely to be a more expensive option.

The equal treatment principle, which will take effect on 1 October, will cover not only basic hourly pay, but also other benefits such as annual leave, bonuses and shift allowances.

Importantly, pay is also deemed to include bonuses, holiday pay, lunch vouchers, shift allowances and overtime pay, not just the hourly rate. 

It will be important for retailers to share information on how they reward their own staff with any employment agencies that they use, otherwise they could make themselves liable for fines, rather than the agency, if workers are not properly treated. 

Helen Farr, partner at law firm Pinsent Masons, explains. You can watch the video below.