Agency Workers Regulations (AWR)

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New legislation, Agency Workers Regulations (AWR) for temporary agency workers to include Supply Teachers and Education Support Staff  came into force on 1st October 2011.

New Rights for Supply Teachers and Education Support Staff in Schools

'Day One Rights’, in effect this means that from day one of a booking, Agency Workers-Supply Teachers and Support Staff will be entitled to access collective facilities and amenities within the school that are available to their own employees, such as their canteen, food and drink machines, staff room, staff toilets and car park. Temporary workers will also be entitled to details of any relevant existing vacancies that the school may have. We feel that ‘Day One Rights’ have always been available to our Supply Teachers and Support Staff within schools therefore we don’t see any change.

Equal ‘Basic’ Working and Employment Conditions-After The Qualifying Period,  the qualifying period is *12 continuous weeks therefore once a Supply Teacher/Support Staff has worked with the same hirer working within the same position for 12 continuous weeks,  the new regulations are designed to provide Agency Workers with the same basic working and employment conditions as schools own employees.

In effect this means equal pay in accordance with the ‘School Teachers Pay and Conditions Document and Guidance on School Teachers Pay and Conditions.’

Prior to these pay and conditions, Supply Teachers would have been paid to scale in relation to their position on the Qualified/Unqualified Teachers pay scale which was based on an annual incremental pay progression policy.

However with the reforms to teachers pay which came into effect on 1st September 2013, with the first performance-linked pay increases made from September 2014, ‘The School Teachers Pay and Conditions Document and Guidance on School Teachers Pay and Conditions’, annual incremental pay has been replaced with the introduction of pay progression linked to performance.

This has removed the portability of Teachers pay on the relevant pay range and any obligation on schools when recruiting to match a teacher’s existing salary on either the main or upper pay scale, giving schools more freedom to determine starting salaries of teachers new to the school. Therefore under these pay and conditions, Equal treatment after the 12 week qualifying period for a supply teacher who is an agency worker will depend on the pay structure of the school/local authority in which they are working.

Other basic employment conditions include duration of working time, breaks and annual leave.This will not include occupational sick, maternity, paternity or adoption pay, redundancy pay, notice pay for loss of employment, a pension, expenses and time off for Trade Union duties.

*12 continuous weeks-The 12 weeks must be continuous however there are no minimum days to be worked during a week so any work carried out with the 'same hirer' carrying out the 'same position' will count towards the 12 week qualifying period.

During School Holidays, including the six week summer holidays, if a Supply Teacher/Support Worker is working with the 'same hirer' within the 'same position' before and after such a closure, the qualifying period would pause at the end of term and resume at the beginning of the next term-Therefore their qualifying period clock would simply pause. However if the break is more than six weeks working with the 'same hirer' carrying out the 'same position', the qualifying clock will stop and be reset.

Furthermore, if a new position i.e Cover Supervisor to Teacher is started with the same hirer therefore the position is substantively different, a new qualifying period would commence.

The relevant rate of pay is determined by the nature of the job, not the qualifications of the temporary worker. For example, if a school asks an agency to provide a Cover Supervisor or a Teaching Assistant, and the person engaged to do the work is a Qualified Teacher, they would be expected to carry out the role of a Cover Supervisor or a Teaching assistant and be paid as Cover Supervisor or Teaching Assistant. After the qualifying period, they would be paid according to the job that they are engaged to do and not their qualifications.

Supply Teachers are paid as qualified Teachers if the have been are carrying out ‘specified work' this means planning, preparing and delivering lessons and courses to pupils and assessing and reporting on the development, progress and attainment of pupils. The pay scales for teachers in schools maintained by a local authority are set out in the Department for Education School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document 2015.

For further information regarding the AWR, please contact us.

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