18 June 2012
Employment law SOS: vacancy information
We have a noticeboard in our factory where we advertise internal vacancies. We are thinking of moving these to the company intranet – does this mean that we will need to give agency workers access to the intranet, too?
The Agency Worker Regulations 2010, which came into force on 1 October 2011, provides, among other things, for the right from day one of an assignment for an agency worker to be given the same information about relevant job vacancies as a comparable worker. It is not necessary to provide details of all vacancies to all agency workers – only such vacancy information as is provided to a comparable permanent employee. So, for example, if you provide information to all your fitters about a vacancy for a supervisor position, you should provide the same information to agency worker fitters.
You should also give information about temporary and fixed-term positions, as well as permanent positions, if comparable workers receive such information, as these temporary positions may lead to permanent roles.
This vacancy information obligation can be met by putting a general announcement about vacancies in a central suitable place. If you decide that this is to be on the company intranet, or elsewhere on the web, then your agency workers must be able to access this information. You may decide to block access to other sections of the site if it is not appropriate for agency workers to access all areas.
A hirer will be liable for any failure to inform an agency worker about relevant vacancies. An employment tribunal can award financial compensation to any agency worker who is not given access to information about relevant job vacancies – calculation of the amount of compensation will be linked to the chances that the agency worker would have applied for, and actually secured, the job.
Ruth Nodder, principal legal advisor, EEF
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