Temporary Agency Workers

Temporary Agency Workers

The Protection of Employees (Temporary Agency Workers) Act 2012 provides that all temporary agency workers must have equal treatment as if they had been directly recruited by the hirer in respect to the following:

  • Duration of working time
  • Breaks
  • Night work
  • Annual Leave
  • Public Holidays
  • Pay*

*Note:  The right to equal pay has been back-dated to December 5th, 2011

In this respect, such employees are entitled not to be treated any less favourably for the purposes of legal protection and conditions of employment as ‘Comparable Part Time Employees’.

A part-time worker is classified as someone whose normal hours of work are less than the normal hours of work of a comparable employee in relation to him/her.

A comparable full-time employee is defined as an employee to whom a part-time employee compares himself/herself where the following conditions are met:

  • An employee employed by the same or associated employer
  • An employee who is carrying out the same or similar work under the same or similar conditions or they are interchangeable.
  • The work performed by the part time employee is of equal or greater value to that performed by the other employee


Naturally an employer may not penalise an employee for exercising their rights under this Act.  Where an employee has a grievance they may refer the case to the Workplace Relations Commission within 6 months of alleged date of the offence (12 months in exceptional circumstances).  Where they find a case has been proven the Workplace Relations Commission may make an award of up to two years wages to the complainant.

An appeal of a Workplace Relations Commission decision may be made within 42 days of a recommendation being made.

View the full document here. You can also download the document below:

Download (PDF, 157KB)