Member states have until 5 December 2011 to implement the Agency Workers Directive, which states that temporary agency workers should have the same rights as permanent workers with regard to basic employment conditions such as pay, working hours and holidays.

The Government proposes to implement on the basis of the CBI/TUC agreement of May 2008 (see weekly LELR 69) which allows for equal treatment to apply only after a temporary agency worker has been in a given job for 12 weeks.

It has now launched a consultation on the issues around which member states have discretion under the directive and is now consulting on:

  • who should be covered by the directive
  • the definition of: pay, holiday entitlement, duration of working time, the 12 weeks’ qualifying period
  • how the principle of “equal treatment” should be established
  • liability for compliance with obligations under the directive 
  • dispute resolution.


This is just the first stage of the process which runs until 31 July 2009, after which the Government will publish its response, and then conduct a second stage consultation on draft regulations, again inviting views on what practical advice users would welcome in the guidance which will accompany the regulations.

To access a copy of the consultation, go to: