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With three months to go, employers still not ready for Agency Workers Regulations


With less than three months to go until the Agency Workers Regulations (AWR) come into force, research carried out by recruitment consultant Reed shows the majority of businesses are still not prepared for the scale of administration that compliance will require.

AWR will go live on 1 October 2011, fundamentally changing the way that agency workers are treated by entitling them to the same basic terms and conditions as those directly employed once they have completed a 12-week qualification.

Reed surveyed over 1,000 businesses and published its report yesterday, finding many are not ready for the changes, with fewer than 30% having the right controls currently in place. As a result, Reed has launched a new AWR diagnostic questionnaire which gives businesses a free, tailored impact report on how to get ready - helping them to prepare in as streamlined a way as possible.

Linda Marshall, head of HR services at Reed, said: "We've been holding a series for seminars to help employers prepare them for AWR implementation. It is apparent from talking to the recruiters who have taken part so far, that many still have a lot work to do in order to prepare for AWR implementation.

"Government consultations suggest that compliance will be time-consuming, with an average of 1.5 hours work for every agency worker. To help businesses focus their efforts, we wanted to come up with an easy way for businesses to assess the potential impact of AWR on their operations and help them identify exactly what they need to do next.

"By using our new AWR diagnostic tool businesses can avoid unnecessary administration and minimise the risk of legal challenges from agency workers. All they have to do is answer a simple, online questionnaire and they will receive AWR diagnostic report that includes Reed's recommendations on what they need to do to prepare for AWR implementation."