Understanding pay between assignments for agency workers

As an agency worker, you are entitled to certain additional employment rights. One option your agency may offer is a permanent contract that guarantees pay between assignments when there is no work. However, accepting this arrangement means you forfeit your entitlement to equal treatment on pay after 12 weeks in the same job.

Pay between assignments explained

Under a pay between assignments contract, your agency must provide you with a written agreement outlining the following:

  • Minimum pay rates and calculation methods
  • The geographic area where you’re willing to work
  • Minimum and maximum expected hours of work (at least one hour per week)
  • The nature of the work
  • A clear statement indicating that you’re giving up the right to equal pay treatment

When you’re not on an assignment, you must receive pay between assignments that meets these criteria:

  • At least 50% of the highest rate of pay you received during any one week in your previous assignment
  • At least the National Minimum Wage

This pay between assignments provision applies only to weeks when you have no work at all and are available for assignments. It does not cover periods between short assignments within the same week.

Ending the contract

If the agency wishes to terminate your pay between assignments contract, they must provide you with at least four weeks of pay between assignments. This payment could occur after a single assignment or between multiple assignments.

Upon termination, you may be entitled to certain rights as an employed worker, such as notice pay or redundancy pay, depending on your length of service.

Challenging unfair practices

Agencies and hirers should not structure arrangements in a way that prevents you from receiving the protection provided by pay between assignments contracts. If they do, you can legally challenge their practices.

If the agency offers you different hours from the expected hours outlined in your contract, you can also challenge this discrepancy.

Getting help

The Labour Relations Agency (LRA) offers free, confidential, and impartial advice on all employment rights issues.

If you are a member of a trade union, you can seek help, advice, and support from them: https://www.unitetheunion.org/

By understanding your rights and options as an agency worker, you can make informed decisions that best suit your needs and protect your interests.

Bluestones Staffing

If you’re looking for a new role and you’re thinking about joining an agency, you can contact our team to learn more about joining Bluestones Staffing. 

More Posts

wage increase

The UK National Minimum Wage increase: April 2024

Bluestones Staffing is committed to ensuring our clients and candidates fully understand these imminent changes to minimum wage standards. Therefore, we’ve outlined exactly what the new minimum wage means in financially, which age groups are impacted, and key considerations for payroll budgeting and career planning.

Meet the Team: Debbie McDermott

Following a busy but successful year for our team, we thought it was the perfect time to introduce our new Meet the Team feature.

We’re going to be introducing each of our brilliant team members, so you can learn a little about each of them and what they do in their roles. Who better to start with than our fabulous Managing Director, Debbie McDermott!

Unlocking the benefits of temporary employment

Temporary employment has been on the rise in the UK in recent years, with more and more individuals seeking flexible work arrangements. At Bluestones Staffing, we firmly believe that temporary employment holds advantages for both job seekers and employers. Not only does it offer employees freedom and flexibility, but it also allows employers to save time and resources.

Bluestones Staffing is supporting Foodstock

Bluestones Staffing is supporting Foodstock, a community-led charity, that is tackling the pressing issue of poverty in local communities. Foodstock’s dedicated volunteers exemplify the true spirit of community, making a significant impact by supporting over 400 households every week.

Join our mailing list

Receive the latest news, job and updates from Bluestones Staffing when you join our mailing list.