Under the Agency Workers Regulations (AWR) after a twelve week qualifying period, agency workers have the right to the same basic working and employment conditions as employees or workers of the hirer. In Kocur v Angard Staffing Solutions Ltd the Court of Appeal decided that this did not entitle an agency worker to be offered the same weekly hours as the hirer's employees.
Mr Kocur was engaged as an agency worker by Angard Staffing Solutions Ltd and placed with Royal Mail. He was typically allocated less than twenty hours work each week. Once he had completed twelve weeks' work, he claimed that the AWR entitled him to be offered the same hours of work as Royal Mail's directly employed staff – around 39 hours a week. The employment tribunal and EAT dismissed his claim and he appealed to the Court of Appeal.
He argued that the AWR entitle agency workers who have completed the qualifying period to the same terms and conditions relating to "the duration of working time" as permanent staff. This meant that he was entitled to be offered 39 hours of work a week, in the same way as employees.
The Court of Appeal rejected that argument. The reference to "the duration of working time" is intended to refer to terms that set a maximum length for a period of working time, to ensure that agency workers do not have to work for longer periods than employees. That conclusion was reinforced by the purpose of the AWR, which is to ensure that agency workers receive equal treatment while they are at work, not to regulate the amount of work which agency workers are entitled to be given. Any other conclusion would undercut the flexibility that is inherent in the end user/agency worker relationship.