The Regulations contain an exemption from equal treatment after 12 weeks in respect of pay only if you are employed by the agency on a particular contract of employment. In order to make use of the exemption that contract must meet certain conditions. In particular, the agency will be required to pay you a minimum amount between assignments if the agency cannot find suitable alternative work for you. If you refuse suitable alternative work, the agency will not be obliged to pay you between assignments. Your agency will not be able to terminate your contract of employment until it has met the obligations above for at least four weeks during the course of the contract. You will still be entitled to equal treatment in respect of working conditions and to the Day One rights discussed above.

The minimum amount of pay that the agency must pay you when not working must be at least 50% of the pay paid to you in the “relevant period” and this must not be less than National Minimum Wage. The relevant period is the week or month in which you had your highest earnings in the 12 weeks prior to the date the previous assignment ended.

If your agency offers you a permanent contract of employment, your contract must meet the following conditions in order for your agency to utilise the exemption from equal pay:

The contract must commence before the assignment starts and must contain the following terms:

  • the minimum scale and rate of pay you will receive and how this will be calculated
  • the location(s) where you will be expected to work

  • the expected hours of work during any assignment

  • the maximum hours per week that you may be required to work during an assignment

  • the minimum hours per week that your agency will offer you during an assignment (this must be at least one hour)

  • the type of work that your agency will offer you and details of any qualifications or experience required and a provision that warns you that by entering into the contract of employment you will not be entitled to equal pay under the Regulations.