Employing Agency Workers


The University’s contract for agency workers

Agency Worker Regulations (AWR): entitlement to equal treatment

Engaging an agency worker

Time sheets and invoices

Managing the agency worker assignment

Moving an agency worker onto a University contract

Engaging agency workers outside of the SUPC agreement

Advice from HR


The University’s contract for agency staff

This guidance outlines the process of employing temporary workers (“temps”) from a Recruitment Agency, who are employed and paid by the Agency but who work on a temporary basis for a hiring Organisation e.g. the University, who pay the Agency.

Staff should use the ‘Framework Agreement for the Supply of Temporary Staff’ through the SUPC (Southern University Purchasing Consortium) which covers administration, ancillary, IT and finance requirements at preferential rates and terms and conditions. Preferential terms include:

SUPC Agencies will often be able to meet specialist temporary staffing needs, either from internal specialist divisions or through secondary supplier arrangements (though not always to the terms of the SUPC contract). To ensure coverage across the range of specialist areas, preferential rates and terms have been negotiated with other preferred supplier Agencies.  Full details can be found here.

There is no time limit to engage a temp, however, it is not usually economical after 6 months when it is encouraged to move the temp onto a University fixed term contract.

Agency Worker Regulations: entitlement to equal treatment

AWR entitles temps to benefit from many, but not all, of the same basic employment terms and conditions as permanent employees of the hiring organisation. For example, from Day 1 - access to facilities e.g. staff canteen, car parking and to internal vacancies.  From 13 weeks (provided the temp is in the same role) – entitled to be treated equal to a permanent employee in the same role in respect of basic salary, overtime pay, annual increments, bonuses and additional pay (if applicable), working hours, including breaks and restrictions on night work, annual leave and paid time off for ante-natal appointments.

The hiring manager or HR will be informed by the SUPC Agencies of any placement that, potentially, could last longer than 12 weeks, after which pay rates are reviewed and contract entitlements are identified.  

Engaging a Temp

Managers needing a temp should contact the preferred Agencies directly. Full details can be found here. ( senior management authority must be obtained if engaging a temp for more than 2 months).

Depending on the recruitment need, managers can choose to contact one, some or all Agencies, supplying a full job description of responsibilities, skills and experience required, hours, working pattern and duration of the placement, together with an indication of the ‘hourly pay rate’ excluding NI, WTD (Working Time Directive) and Agency commission.  If the requirement is likely to last over 12 weeks, AWR must be considered.

Agencies will supply CV’s for consideration and, if applicable, interviews can be arranged.   Sight of references and evidence of qualifications can also be requested.

The University protocol for candidate selection need not be followed but  best-practice is advised for longer-term assignments.

Time sheets and invoices

Temps are paid by the Agency through weekly timesheets, which Managers are required to sign-off (either hard copy or on-line). Temps will not get paid if the timesheet is not authorised.

Preferred Agencies are designated PROACTIS suppliers. To ensure that invoices are paid promptly by Finance Services, it is vital that a requisition and purchase order is set up on PROACTIS before the first invoice is received.

Please contact your Finance Team with any payment queries.

Managing the assignment

Managers are required to provide temps with introductions to the work area, colleagues etc.  If the temp requires a UoB login, e-mail address and UCard then you will need to set them up as an associate member of staff and then they can be given systems and UCard access in the usual way for new starters.

Agencies will keep in regular contact once the temp starts the placement.  Any concerns relating to work performance or conduct must be communicated to the Agency, who is responsible for managing the situation. One benefit of engaging a temp is the flexibility to end assignments if things are not working out due to performance or conduct issues.  

Temps are entitled to the same pro-rata annual leave provision as University employees in equivalent roles and to paid time off for ante-natal appointments or classes. The Agency is responsible for working out entitlements and recording leave. Any request for leave will be made to the line manager and should be treated in the same way as any request from a University employee.

Although temps do not receive occupational sick pay or other paid ‘special’ leave they are required to inform the University if they are unable to attend work in the usual way. 

At the end of the assignment the Agency will request that a ‘Quality Assessment Form’ is completed to monitor standards of service.

The Agreement includes a Service Level Agreement (SLA) outlining the standards of service expected from the Agencies. Any concerns should be communicated to Hannah Brown, Procurement Manager or Eddie Procter, HR Resourcing Manager.

Moving a temp onto a University contract

It is important to be aware of the terms and conditions of the Agency, either through the SUPC Agreement, the preferred supplier arrangement or any other individual case. Generally, a temp would only move onto a University contract (permanent or fixed term contract) by applying for a vacancy under the normal recruitment and selection process in competition with others.

Engaging temps with non-preferred supplier Agencies

Managers are not encouraged to use non preferred Agencies unless the requirement cannot be met by the preferred suppliers, in which case, please contact Eddie Procter, HR Resourcing Manager or Hannah Brown, Procurement to identify alternatives. Fees and terms from non-preferred Agencies will generally be less favourable and the University will not have an on-going, managed relationship with the Agency.

If a temp is engaged from a non-preferred Agency, it is imperative to check the terms of business before engaging the temp, in particular to compliance with AWR, fees payable for engaging a temp, notice period from either party for termination, the transfer (‘temp to perm’) fee and any repayments due if a University contract is terminated.


Please contact your  Faculty/ Division HR Team, Eddie Procter, HR Resourcing Manager or Hannah Brown, Procurement Manager for further advice.