The Agency Workers Regulations came into force on 1 October 2011. The Regulations apply to agency workers who find temporary work through a temporary work agency. The language is not consistent with the Conduct Regulations and actually the regulations apply to agency workers contracted through an Employment Business and not an Employment Agency. They do not apply to the genuinely self-employed, those employed directly by the end user or those who are employed on a managed service contract. “Umbrella companies” or other intermediaries will not, however avoid the scope of the Regulations.

Thus the AWR is intended to protect agency workers,

  • supplied to hirer via a temporary work agency
  • supplied to hirer via an intermediary (i.e. master/ neutral vendors and so called ‘umbrella’ companies)


This publication is intended for general summary guidance. It is not and should not be considered legal advice. Specific advice should be sought for specific cases; we cannot be held responsible for any action (or decision not to take action) made in reliance upon the content of this publication.