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Document updated/added on 08.11.2019

Topic: Recruitment

Election for quarantine period for agency worker
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Election for quarantine period for agency worker

Election for quarantine period for agency worker

Instead of paying a transfer fee or opting for an extended hire period where you want to directly employ a temporary agency worker, you could stop using the worker and wait for the quarantine period to end.

Quarantine period

Under the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations 2003, transfer fees imposed by temporary agencies (called “employment businesses”) for “temp-to-perm” employment are subject to a “quarantine period”. This means the transfer fee is unenforceable where the transfer of the temporary worker to your permanent direct employment occurs after whichever is the later of 14 weeks from the commencement of the worker’s assignment with you, or eight weeks from the end of that assignment. Where a temporary worker works intermittently for you, the 14-week period is treated as continuous from the first day of the first assignment, unless the assignments have been separated by more than 42 days. If there has been a gap of more than 42 days between assignments, the 14-week period starts again when the worker starts the second assignment. Therefore, if you don’t want to pay the transfer fee or use the extended hire period option, you must stop using the temporary worker for this quarantine period. When the quarantine period is over, you’re then free to directly employ the worker without paying a transfer fee.

Risk

As well as the fact that the quarantine period is of no use if you want to be able to continue using the temporary worker until the point at which you can employ them directly, there’s also a significant risk theyll find another permanent role elsewhere during the quarantine period. 

Notifying your intentions

Where you nevertheless do intend to comply with the quarantine period in respect of a temporary worker, use our Election for Quarantine Period for Agency Worker to notify the employment business of your intentions. You don’t have to do this, but it is seen as professional courtesy, particularly if you intend to use the services of the employment business again for the supply of further temporary workers. Our letter gives the employment business notice that you’d like the temporary worker to commence permanent employment with you after the quarantine period, sets out what that period is and then confirms when it will come to an end based on the start and end dates of the worker’s current assignment with you. Finally, it states that, from that date, the worker will then be free to start work directly for you and you won’t be liable to pay a transfer fee.

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