Agency Worker Regulations Qualifying Clock - What is it?

Posted by Kirsty Dickman on 23-Feb-2016 11:00:00
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Having difficulty understanding the qualifying clock for Agency Worker Regulations? 

I know some of the internet searches for this don’t give great detail, so I’ve put together a breakdown which should help in understanding when the “clock” should be stopped or paused for an agency worker.



Types of break that will cause the qualifying clock to ‘pause’ AWR Qualifying Clock

  • A break for any reason where the break is no more than six calendar weeks and the agency worker returns to the same role with the same hirer.

  • A break of up to 28 weeks because the agency worker is incapable of work because of sickness or injury.

  • Any break which is for the purpose of taking leave to which the agency worker is entitled, including annual leave.

  • A break up to 28 calendar weeks to allow the agency worker to perform jury service.

  • A break caused by a regular and planned shutdown of the workplace by the hirer (for example at Christmas).

  • A break caused by a strike, lock out or other industrial action at the hirer’s establishment.


Breaks where the clock continues to tick

  • Breaks due to pregnancy, childbirth or maternity which take place during pregnancy and up to 26 weeks after childbirth.

  • Any breaks due to the worker taking maternity leave, adoption leave or paternity leave.

In each of these cases the clock will continue to tick for the originally intended duration of the assignment, or the likely duration of the assignment (whichever is longer).


Reasons for the qualifying clock to reset to zero

  • Most commonly it will be because an agency worker begins a new assignment with a new hirer.

  • Where an agency worker remains with the same hirer but is no longer in the same role. The circumstances in which an agency worker is regarded as no longer working in the same role are considered below.

  • If there is a break between assignments with the same hirer of more than 6 weeks (which is not one which ‘pauses’ the clock or during which it continues to ‘tick’).


There you have it, there is a concise guide as to how the AWR Qualifying Clock works!

If you'd like to read more about AWR and the 12 week qualifying period for temporary workers, take a look at this handy blog. 

Happy temping!


Topics: Recruitment, Temporary Workers

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