Agency Worker Regulations

Agency Worker Regulations

At Vision for Education, we are always working to ensure our teaching and support staff get the best deal possible.

When the Agency Worker Regulations 2010 (AWR) came into force in October 2011, we adjusted our working practices, not only to meet the regulations, but also to protect your pay and ensure you continue to receive a good supply of work.

What is the AWR?

The AWR entitles agency workers to the same pay and other working conditions enjoyed by a hirer’s own workers, after the agency worker has completed 12 weeks of service in an equivalent permanent school role with the same hirer. (The ‘hirer’ is the school/academy).

After the 12-week period, you are eligible to benefit in the following areas in line with the hirer’s own workers:

  • Pay (in the case of teachers, teaching assistants and cover supervisors, this means the agency worker’s scale rate, as determined by school’s pay policy as if they had been recruited directly and NOT that of the employee they are covering).
  • Duration of working time
  • Rest periods

In addition, the regulations state agency workers’ rights from the first day of work. These include:

  • Access to job vacancies
    Hirers must inform agency workers of existing vacancies in their organisation by ensuring that they have the same access to information about vacancies as other workers.
  • Access to collective on-site facilities
    Access to on-site facilities, eg crèche and childcare facilities, canteen facilities, car parking and the provision of transport services. However, access to facilities can be refused if it is based on ‘objective grounds’. If, for instance, there is a waiting list for childcare facilities or a car park space, an agency worker is not automatically entitled to a place but can be subject to the same criteria to access the facility as someone directly employed by the hirer.

Full details of the AWR regulations can be found on the government website.

Guidance from the Department for Education (DfE)

The DfE issued guidance to agencies and schools on how AWR should be implemented. One of the key areas covered was that pay parity was for the job being undertaken and not the grade/level of the person undertaking the work, ie if a headteacher undertakes a teaching assistant role, the pay comparison after the qualifying period would be that of a teaching assistant.

In addition, the DfE also clearly defined the difference between a classroom teacher’s role and that of a cover supervisor/HLTA. In reality, this means that schools may book cover supervisors rather than classroom teachers to cover many short-term vacancies.

Our response

We guarantee that we will always advise the hirer of the regulations and what they mean in practice to ensure where reasonably possible we have accurately determined your basic working and employment conditions. This means that you won’t need to do anything to ensure you receive the correct benefits.

With regards to the pay parity guidance from the DfE, we have created an ‘advanced cover supervisor’ role. This means that, if a school requests a more experienced cover supervisor and you hold QTS or similar, you will be paid at your current Vision for Education pay rate, so you won’t see a reduction in pay.

It is therefore important that you take note of the job descriptions below and let us know immediately if you are undertaking an advanced cover supervisor role and a school asks you to undertake any of the duties specified under the classroom teacher job descriptions. We can then ensure you don’t lose out on pay after the 12-week period.

Job descriptions

Cover/advanced cover supervisor

  1. Supervise a class
  2. Deliver pre-prepared work and lessons
  3. Some marking
  4. General classroom duties

Classroom teacher

  1. Plan lessons
  2. Prepare lessons and courses
  3. Deliver and teach lessons
  4. Assess students
  5. Reports
  6. Development of pupils
  7. Marking
  8. General school duties

If you have any questions relating to the above, please speak to your local consultant who will be happy to advise based on your individual circumstances.