Last updated on August 2nd, 2019
Sometimes, when a company requires additional staff on a temporary basis, instead of hiring staff directly, they contract agencies to provide them with the necessary workers. These workers are called agency workers. Agency workers are not employed directly by the company. Instead, they work for the company on a temporary basis under contract with an agency.
There is a lot of uncertainty as to what an agency worker’s rights are if they are injured in an accident in the workplace. Are they considered as regular workers? Do they have a right to claim compensation for injuries that were caused due to no fault of theirs? Who is liable to compensate them for their injuries – the agency or the company using the agencies services? Many agency workers do not proceed with filing a compensation claim simply because they are unsure about their rights and whether it is worth their while to pursue the matter legally.
What Are Your Rights As An Agency Worker?
According to the law, all workers are treated equally and every worker is entitled to worker’s employment rights from the day they start work. This is regardless of whether they work as a permanent employee hired directly by a company or as a temporary worker contracted by the agency. These rights extend to personal injury compensation claims. This means, if you are an agency worker, and you are injured in an accident that was not your fault, you can claim compensation for your injuries.
The law goes on to clarify further that all temporary and agency workers have the same rights as permanent employees to use any shared services and facilities that are provided by the employer. This includes car parking, pick up and drop off services, and the use of canteen facilities, workplace crèche, food and drink and any other facilities that permanent employees are entitled to.
Furthermore, agency workers who complete 12 weeks at the same place of work qualify for equal treatment as their colleagues who are permanently employed at that workplace. This means they are entitled to be paid the same amount as a permanent employee doing the same job. They are also entitled to receive paid annual leave and automatic pension enrolment.
Does An Employer’s Duty Of Care Apply To Agency Workers?
In short, yes it does. The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 specifically states in no uncertain terms that employers have a duty of care towards all employees working on their premises. This includes permanent and temporary workers, full-time and part-time workers and agency workers.
According to the terms of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, an employer’s responsibility is all-encompassing. They have a duty of care to:
- Provide all employees with a safe working environment;
- Provide extensive relevant training to all staff;
- Provide protective equipment and clothing where necessary;
- Ensure that all equipment is well-maintained and in proper working condition to minimise potential risks;
- Ensure that the workplace complies with all health and safety standards;
- Ensure that all employees are aware of the inherent hazards of that particular workplace and what they can do to minimize their risks.
If the employer is negligent in any of these aspects, and if you get injured because of this negligence, you may be entitled to pursue an agency workers compensation claim for your injuries. The big question that arises then is who do you file a claim against? Do you file a claim against the company or against the agency who has contracted you?
Who Do Agency Workers File An Injury Compensation Claim Against?
Who the claim is filed against depends on a few different factors. In most cases, even though agency workers do not work for the company, while they are on the job, they take all instructions from the person in charge of the company or facility. Meanwhile, the agency worker is considered as an employee and is entitled to all employee protection and benefits. Under these circumstances, if the agency worker gets injured as a result of an accident, the hiring company is liable for the injury, as they own or control the workplace and the work processes. If you are working in any office, factory or other workplace as an agency worker and you are injured in an accident while at work, you may be entitled to claim compensation from the owner or operator of the company and not against the agency that contracted you.
In a completely different scenario, the agency may have control over the way that the work is performed. In this case, the agency is responsible for providing all of their workers with the necessary equipment, training and appropriate protective gear. If you are injured in an accident that occurs while you are working under direct orders of the agency, then the agency is liable to compensate you for your injuries. In this case, the claim will be filed against the agency.
Whatever the scenario is, it is advisable to have a chat with one of our accident at work solicitors who can assess all of the details of your claim and inform you of exactly what can be done.
How To Claim Agency Worker Accident Compensation
The most important aspect of filing an agency worker accident compensation claim is being able to provide solid evidence that the accident would have been avoidable if proper measures had been put in place. This can involve a long drawn out court case where you will be pitted against expert defence lawyers. Unless you are well-versed with personal injury law, your chances of winning compensation will not be anywhere as high when employing the services of a specialist injury solicitor.
It is far better to consider having a legal professional represent you so that we can take all of the information you have on your agency worker claim and build a strong case on your behalf. We will use past cases involving agency workers and get an expert medical testimonial to support and strengthen your case. Most importantly, our legal team for accidents at work have the knowledge and experience to counter all of the defence lawyers’ tactics.
Another factor in favor of using our accident claims service is that you will be able to get expert help without having to pay a penny in advance. Once you sign our No Win No Fee agreement, we can proceed with your case immediately and without asking you to pay anything at any time during the legal procedure. You only pay after the claim has been settled in your favour, and absolutely nothing should your agency worker compensation claim be unsuccessful.