Working For A Temporary Recruitment Agency: Frequently Asked Questions

From For job seekers category

Find out more about what it’s like working for a Temp Agency. We’ve put together our answers to some of the most frequently asked questions, and dispel some of the myths around agency working.

We answer:

  1. Does it cost to sign up to a recruitment agency?
  2. Does a recruitment agency take some of my wages?
  3. Will I earn less by working through an agency than working with the employer directly?
  4. Will I still be paid for annual leave when working with a recruitment agency?
  5. Am I guaranteed work when signing up with a Temp Agency?
  6. How will I be paid when Temping with an agency?
  7. Can I apply for a permanent contract with an employer after working via a Temp Agency?
  8. What do I need in order to register with a Temporary Recruitment Agency?

Does it cost to sign up to a recruitment agency?

No. Registering with a recruitment agency should be free of charge. The agency will make their money from fees paid by their clients (the employers that are hiring) when you begin working with them.

Does a recruitment agency take some of my wages?

No. You should receive your agreed hourly rate in it’s entirety, with no deductions for “work finding” or “payroll” services. The recruitment agency will make their money by charging the client (the employer) a higher hourly rate, which will also cover employment costs such as employer contributions to your pension and Employers NI costs.

Will I earn less by working through an agency than working with the employer directly?

Maybe, but not for long. This depends on your placement, but The Agency Workers Regulations 2010 stipulate that you should receive equal pay to someone that is employed directly by the employer in the same role after completing your Qualifying Period – this is usually 12 weeks. So, for example, you may begin on a lower hourly rate for your first 12 weeks in a role, but then see an increase in your pay from week 13. This is also called “Pay Parity”.
After completing your Qualifying Period, you may be entitled to parity on many other things as well as your hourly rate, so be sure to ask the question if you are on a longer-term agency placement.

Will I still be paid annual leave when working with a recruitment agency?

Yes. Most agencies will manage your annual leave on an accrual basis, meaning that you will need to build it up by working via them before being able to use it. However, once you have accrued annual leave to use, you should be able to book this in as paid annual leave just like any other employee within a business.
Once you have completed your Qualifying Period under The Agency Workers Regulations 2010, you may even qualify for additional annual leave above the statutory entitlement, so be sure to ask the question.
Be sure to check the agency’s annual leave period, in case there is a date that you have to use it by.

Am I guaranteed work when signing up with a Temp Agency?

No. Temporary recruitment agencies are led by their clients, meaning that they can only offer you the shifts that they are asked to fill by them. The best thing to do is have regular contact with the recruitment agency, so that you are in the loop with any new job opportunities.
Although some placements are long-term with regular working hours, others may be more ad hoc. When you begin a placement, you should receive an Assignment Form, which should outline the expected duration of the placement. This will give you a better idea of longevity, but remember that if the client’s requirements change then this could change too.

How will I be paid when Temping with an agency?

This will vary by agency. Here at The Larkspur Group, our Temps are paid weekly as PAYE employees. At the end of each week, we request Timesheets from our clients for each of the Temporary Workers that have worked with them that week. These Timesheets are then processed the following week with payroll. You’ll receive a pay slip by email, so you’ll always be kept in the loop.

Can I apply for a permanent contract with an employer after working via a Temp Agency?

Yes, you can. However, there may be a minimum amount of time that the employer has agreed to employ you via the agency before offering you a permanent employment contract directly. It’s great when this happens as it means the placement has gone well! It’s best to discuss this with the recruitment agency directly as in most cases they can help.

What do I need in order to register with a Temporary Recruitment Agency?

You will need to supply your Right To Work documents, along with basic personal details as a minimum. Most agencies will also collect payroll information so that everything is ready for them to add you to their payroll. Some job opportunities can be last minute, so you don’t want incomplete paperwork causing you to miss the start date!

Right To Work documents include a valid Passport or Birth Certificate, and something to prove your National Insurance, such as a pay slip, NI letter or P45.

A Driving Licence is not an acceptable proof of your Right To Work.

If you are not a British or Irish Citizen, you will be required to prove your Right To Work with additional documents and/or a Share Code. Check the latest government guidelines and speak with the agency prior to registering to make sure that you can provide what is required.

Do you have any other questions?

Please get in touch with your questions about working for a Temp Recruitment Agency. You can submit your questions by completing our contact form, and one of our consultants will be pleased to answer them for you!

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