Agency Worker Regulations (AWR)

ICS are fully prepared for auto-enrolment. We’ve analysed and evaluated all our data, and taken the time to understand completely how the process will work, so now we’re all set to go live during 2014 as part of the phased staging dates. At ICS we are proud to have partnered with NOW:Pensions, ensuring all our clients using our Umbrella solution will be auto-enrolled into a pension scheme.

By choosing to refer your contractors to our compliant umbrella solution, ICS Umbrella, we can remove the stress from agencies, all at no extra cost.

Three main parties are affected under AWR

  • The Temporary Worker: who will have additional protection under the new regulations.
  • The Hirer: who provides a contract or assignment for a temporary worker.
  • The Temporary Work Agency: any recruitment agency or umbrella company involved in the process.

At ICS we always work on a daily basis with workers, hirers and agencies, giving us a unique insight into the ongoing impact of AWR.

AWR Outcomes

Initially it was unclear how many contractors AWR would affect. Many temporary workers already benefitted from high rates of pay than permanent employees. We have seen that many white collar workers were largely unaffected, as anticipated, but in order to establish fairness for all, the same procedures and attention to detail must be followed, ensuring every contractor’s full compliance.

At ICS we work closely with agencies and hirers, and will continue to do so in the future to perpetuate the flow of information between parties to mitigate the risks for those involved. The AWR presents the opportunity for positive change, as the flexibility and adaptability the ICS business model is attractive to an even wider range of agencies than before.

As agencies continue to seek the reassurance of tight operational procedures, clearer understanding of regulations and a choice of solutions available to their contractors, we are already seeing agencies consolidating their PSLs to only include partners who have the depth and expense to deliver.

Non-compliance liability rests with both the agency and the hirer. Robust processes, therefore, must be in place to observe each party’s responsibilities, such as in the event of a hirer failing to notify the agency of an increase in comparable workers’ pay. For this, would an employment tribunal place full responsibility on the hirer, or would the agency be liable in any way? Until we can deliver the results in test cases before going to courts, nothing should be left to chance.

ICS is built on a threefold philosophy of trust, care and compliance. Those three values were integral to our successful navigation of the complexities of IR35 and MSC legislation, and we apply the same values and processes to AWR.

The current climate has seen contracting become a major player for the economy, more so than ever before. We ensure the AWR legislation is applied with minimum disruption for our clients and agency partners.

AWR Compliance, Think ICS

What solutions are available?

ICS offers a range of AWR compliant services:

  • Contractors who are self-employed are not affected AWR, and can continue to use our Limited Company Service.
  • Our Umbrella Solution or “Match Permanent Pay” model ensures we are constantly addressing the regulations to create suitable and effective solutions. The use of comparable pay information from the hirer enables us to utilise our existing overarching employment contract. This risk-based approach ensures that we can always assess that any temporary worker is being treated fairly.
  • Alongside our core services, we now offer our employees the option to enter into a contract under the Swedish Derogation Model. After careful consideration by all parties, the temporary worker can choose to have their contract sit outside of AWR as a result of additional commitments made to them. This can be effective at keeping costs down when margins are already fine.

For more information on finding out how our AWR compliant solutions could benefit you, please contact us.

We are happy to shape appropriate solutions and best practice with our agency partners so feel feel free to talk to us about your requirements.

If you have questions about AWR now call Daniel Lovett-Horn, our Senior Agency Specialist, on 0800 195 3750.