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Agency Workers

The Protection of Employees (Temporary Agency Work) Act, 2012 defines an "agency worker" as "an individual employed by an employment agency under a contract of employment by virtue of which the individual may be assigned to work for, and under the direction and supervision of, a person other than the employment agency".

The Act provides that all temporary agency workers must have equal treatment with workers hired directly by the hirer in respect of:

  • Pay,
  • Working time,
  • Rest periods,
  • Rest periods during the working day,
  • Night work,
  • Overtime,
  • Annual leave, or
  • Public holidays.

Temporary agency workers must also have equal access, with the hirer's own workers, to facilities such as childcare, canteen or similar amenities, or transport services.

Where a vacant position of employment arises with the hirer of an agency worker, the hirer must, when informing his/her own employees, inform any agency worker who is for the time being assigned to work for him/her, of the vacancy for the purpose of allowing the agency worker to apply for that position.

An  employment agency cannot charge an individual a fee in respect of making any arrangement for that individual's employment.

A copy of the Act may be viewed or downloaded here - Protection of Employees (Temporary Agency Work) Act 2012.