I am an agency worker (AW). The government passed laws in 2011 that granted AWs (temps/contractors) the same rights as permanent staff. From day one of the assignment an AW has a right to the same facilities as permanent staff – access to canteens, creches, nurseries, and so on. From week 12 of the assignment we have the full rights of the regular employees;
- Same basic pay
- Same working conditions
- Same amount of annual leave
- Same discrimination rules
I passed the 12 week mark on Feb 12th. After some strange goings on with my pay in the last two weeks I queried the pay with the agency. Essentially I took two days off as holiday but was only paid for 5.5 hours of those two days.
The agency replied to say that although I’ve been accruing holiday since I started here, I’d used up all but those 5.5. hours I was paid for. Now I’ve taken them, I’m back to zero on the holiday meter. However; permanent employees here do not have to accrue their days. The difference between me and another member of staff is that I couldn’t take 2 weeks holiday at the beginning of the year and expect to be paid for it; a permanent employee could.
The reason I’ve chewed through my holiday accruals is due to my mental illness. I have been using holiday pay to cover days off sick – I do not get any sick pay. When I started to look into this I learned about Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). The two weeks I had off whilst I was in crisis care in December were unpaid.
SSP is around £88.00 per week for any absence over 3 days counting weekends. If you have been paid SSP in the preceding 8 weeks then you automatically get SSP restarted on the first day of subsequent sickness.
Temping sucks. There’s all this talk of equal rights for AWs; but on key monetary issues it seems we are still at a disadvantage. I am fired up and ready to go to battle on this issue.