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How to calculate the 12-week qualifying period under the Agency Workers Regulations 2010

Author: Darren Newman


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  • Be aware that some rights under the Agency Workers Regulations 2010 apply only when the agency worker has completed a 12-week qualifying period in the same role with the same hirer.
  • In judging whether or not the agency worker remains in the "same role", focus on the work and duties being performed rather than the location of the work or other organisational factors.
  • Remember that any work done in a week will count as one week towards the qualifying period.
  • Be aware that an agency worker may be engaged on multiple assignments with multiple hirers, and may have completed the qualifying period for some but not others.
  • Be aware that certain breaks in an assignment will not reset the qualifying period to zero.
  • Carry forward the number of weeks worked by an agency worker where a break between assignments in the same role is for no more than six weeks.
  • Take into account the specified circumstances in which an agency worker's continuity of service will continue or pause, even if there is a break for an extended period.
  • Understand that the agency has the main responsibility for monitoring a worker's completion of the qualifying period.
  • Ensure that the agreement with the agency includes an obligation on it to inform you when an agency worker is near to completing the qualifying period.
  • Be aware that repeated assignments structured in such a way as to attempt to prevent the qualifying period from being completed will fall foul of the anti-avoidance provisions.