My colleague and I have been working in the same temporary job, through a job agency, for the same company for the last eight months. We’re both working through Hays Recruitment Agency in Edinburgh and we’re both looking for other jobs. Last month, my colleague went to Reed Recruitment Agency to register with them. She found out something very interesting from the consultant there about our basic rate of pay and our worker’s entitlements. According to Agency Worker Regulations, if an agency worker is working in the same job and for the same company for twelve weeks or more, then they are entitled to the same basic pay and holiday entitlements as if they had been directly hired by the company. So basically they are entitled to the same rate of basic pay as the permanent members of staff. This is European Law.
Did our recruitment consultant tell us about this? No, of course not, because she is one of the most useless consultants I have ever come across! So then for the last four months both my colleague and I should have been getting the same basic rate of pay as the other members of staff in our team and we are entitled to get the difference in pay rate back over the last four months too. We contacted our recruitment consultant about this and she said that she had been trying to chase the HR manager in the company we work for since November. I don’t believe her. If that was the case, then she could have told us that she was trying to arrange this for us. But we heard nothing from her about it until we brought it up a few weeks ago.
So Hays contacted the HR manager in the company we work for and the HR manager quoted Hays the starting basic salary of £15,943 per year. We know that at least four permanent members of staff in our team started on a basic salary of £18,000 per year, which is what we think we’re entitled to. So I wasn’t happy with £15,943 figure quoted by HR. It’s a salary that university leavers with no experience get. I have experience and I’m not a college leaver. Ok, it is an extra £1.49 gross per hour but according to the A.W.R. it’s not what we’re entitled to.
The agency consultant wouldn’t fight for us and said that she had to accept the rate the HR manager quoted. So we queried the increased rate with the HR manager, explained our case and said that we thought we should be entitled to £18,000 per year, like the other permanent members of staff in our team. The HR manager didn’t agree with us and said the basic salary is dependent on the job that you’re doing. Because we’re only doing a basic administration job, we’re only entitled to the basic starting salary of permanent members of staff, which is £15,943 per year. I think we’re being shafted by the company especially, because the tasks that we’re doing are very similar to what the other members of our team are doing and I think it shows what little value the company places on the work we do there.
So why are the Agency Worker Regulations there if they don’t apply? How legal is that? On top of that, I have been dumped in another department, which is crazy busy, chaotic, very short staffed and very disorganized. I have a lot more responsibility now compared to what I was doing in my last job and I think I should be entitled to the £18,000 per year. But no, that doesn’t apply because I’m not in the same job anymore. What a joke!