In the case of Kocur v Angard Staffing Solution Ltd the Court of Appeal has provided clarity on the extent of rights afforded to agency workers by the Agency Workers Regulations 2010 (AWR), specifically whether agency workers have the same rights as permanent employees insofar as applying for certain vacancies at the end hirer.
Mr Kocur was an agency worker supplied to Angard Staffing Solutions Ltd, a subsidiary company of the Post Office, to undertake the roles of Operational Post Grade.
When similar OPG roles became available at the Post Office, Angard allowed permanent employees the opportunity to apply for those role in preference to agency workers. Mr Kocur brought claims to the Employment Tribunal alleging that breached his rights under the AWRs.
Mr Kocur argued that implicit in the right conferred by Regulation 13(1) AWR, to be provided information about comparable vacancies at the hirer, was a right to apply for those vacancies. He argued that allowing permanent employees to apply for those positions before agency workers was unequal treatment and a breach of the AWRs.
The Court of Appeal ultimately rejected that idea and confirmed that Regulation 13 AWR should be interpreted more narrowly. It entitles agency workers to receive information about relevant vacancies only. It was not the intention of the AWR to create parity between agency and permanent workers in all respects.
Matthew Potter comments:
"The Court of Appeal’s judgment will be welcomed by employers, as it provides clarity on the scope of the AWR and avoids imposing wider and more onerous obligations. Employers should still provide information to agency workers about relevant vacancies, but can continue to manage recruitment exercises for those vacancies with a reasonable degree of flexibility."
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