Who is an "agency worker" for the purposes of the Agency Workers Regulations 2010?

The definition of agency workers under the Agency Workers Regulations 2010 (SI 2010/93) is wide. Unless a worker is placed and paid as a permanent employee or worker by the hirer, the Regulations are likely to apply. The definition extends beyond PAYE temps (workers engaged by an agency under a contract for services) to include other contractors and workers engaged on an employed basis at another organisation.

Agency workers include individuals who work through a "temporary work agency" (as defined in reg.4 of the Regulations) temporarily for a hirer and under that hirer's supervision and direction. This will almost certainly cover not only PAYE temps, but also umbrella company workers. It will also cover freelancers and other individuals supplied to a hiring organisation if they work under the supervision and direction of that hiring organisation.

Hirers and staffing companies should also be aware that personal service company workers may come within the scope of the Regulations (unless they are genuinely self employed), as may those supplied through managed service arrangements where supervision and direction are unclear.

Where a worker is not supervised or directed by the hirer or a line manager who is employed by or works for the hirer, the Regulations are unlikely to apply.