Modern Slavery Policy
Structure, Business and Supply Chains
C&D acknowledges responsibility to the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and will ensure transparency within the organisation and with suppliers of goods and services to the organisation. These, as well as temporary workers, make up the supply chain within C&D Group Limited. We have zero tolerance to slavery and human trafficking.
C&D supply over 1,000 workers to 30 plus companies every week.  We employ 40 plus staff in 4 branches, plus on-site locations throughout the UK.  From time to time when skill shortages are particularly acute, C&D might recruit from the EU whilst always advertising vacancies in the UK.
Suppliers and candidates from outside the UK and EU are potentially more at risk for slavery/human trafficking issues. The level of management control required for these sources will be continually monitored.
As part of the company’s due diligence processes into slavery and human trafficking the supplier approval process will incorporate a review of the controls undertaken by the supplier.
The company will not support or deal with any business knowingly involved in slavery or human trafficking.
 
Policies and Procedures
The company Directors and Senior Leadership Team shall take responsibility for implementing this policy statement and its objectives and shall provide adequate resources (training etc) and investment to ensure that slavery and human trafficking is not taking place within the organisation and within its supply chains.
This policy takes into account, and supports, all other policies, and procedures at C&D Group Limited. The implementation and operation of which underlines our commitment to our policies as well as our continuation of our Gangmaster’s Licence, which is highly relevant in this case.  As a licensed labour provider under the provisions of the Gangmaster Licencing Act 2004 we ensure we adhere to the main standards, which are all legal requirements to protect workers from poor treatment and exploitation, covering issues such as working hours, training, terms and conditions, the national minimum wage and transport to ensure labour providers meet the basic safety and welfare standards.  There are 8 standards covering the following subject areas:
  • Fit and Proper Test
  • Pay and Tax Matters
  • Prevention of Forced Labour and Mistreatment of Workers
  • Accommodation
  • Working conditions
  • Health and Safety
  • Recruiting Workers and Contractual Arrangements
  • Sub-Contracting and Using Other Labour Providers
As such we adhere to these 8 standards which collectively address our commitment to human rights and the elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labour.
C&D are members of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC).  The REC Code of Professional Practice has been created to ensure members of the REC conduct their business ethically, to the highest standards and promote good practice.  It is binding on all corporate members.  The REC code requires higher ethical standards in 10 principles
  • Respect for Laws
  • Respect for Honesty and Transparency
  • Respect for Work Relationships
  • Respect for Diversity
  • Respect for Safety
  • Respect for Professional Knowledge
  • Respect for certainty of Engagement
  • Respect for prompt and accurate payment
  • Respect for Ethical International Recruitment
  • Respect for Confidentiality and Privacy
Formal procedures concerning slavery and human trafficking have been established, including disciplinary procedures where they are breached. Additional procedures ensure that this policy is understood and communicated to all levels of the company and that it is regularly reviewed annually by the Directors to ensure its continuing suitability and relevance to the company activities. 
Processes to Assess and Manage Risk
All our recruiters observe the following practices to assess and manage risks:
  • Only interview candidates in approved location
  • Not allow candidates to complete registration documents on behalf of others
  • Not accept money, favours or any gifts at all from candidates or clients
  • Not loan any personal money to temporary workers
  • Notify a director when suspecting an individual of introducing candidates to a Company for personal gain
  • Not allow anyone other than an authorized person to choose which candidates are selected for work shifts
  • Not force or coerce temporary workers to work against their will
  • Not subject or threaten workers to physical or mental mistreatment
  • Treat candidates and clients with dignity and respect
  • Raise any knowledge or suspicions of illegal or dubious activities regarding clients, candidates or colleagues to a director immediately
Training
We adhere to standards of responsible conduct and train employees to treat each other with respect, and to adhere to laws, regulations and standards.  Training and referencing practices are undertaken as part of their induction programme, with refresher training as relevant laws and regulations occur.
Whistleblowing Policy
C&D employees know that they can voice any concerns confidentially with a director or HR.
This policy statement is made pursuant to section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act, 2015 and constitutes C&D’s slavery and human trafficking statement and more information can be accessed at www.legislation.gov.uk.

Complaints Policy

Name: C&D Group (“the Company”)
Policy Name: Complaint’s Policy and Procedure
Date: 3/12/2011
Version: V3 – updated December 2016
C&D Group is committed to providing a high level service to our customers. If you do not receive satisfaction from us we need you to tell us about it. This will help us to improve our standards.
Complaints Procedure
If you have a complaint, please contact Lynne Boulton, Account Director by phone on 07717 651979 in the first instance so that we can try to resolve your complaint informally.
At this stage, if you are not satisfied please contact Karen Davison, CEO by phone on 07970 162844. You can write to her at: Units 2/3, Copse Farm, South Marston Park, Swindon, Wiltshire. SN3 4UQ.
Next steps
1. We will send you a letter acknowledging your complaint and asking you to confirm or explain the details set out. We will also let you know the name of the person who will be dealing with your complaint. You can expect to receive our letter within 2-5 days of us receiving your complaint.
2. We will record your complaint in our central register within a day of having received it.
3. We will acknowledge your reply to our acknowledgment letter and confirm what will happen next. You can expect to receive our acknowledgement letter within 2-5 days of your reply.
4. We will then start to investigate your complaint. This will normally involve the following steps;
• We may ask the member of staff who dealt with you to reply to your complaint within 5 days of our request;
• We will then examine the member of staff’s reply and the information you have provided for us. If necessary we may ask you to speak to them. This will take up to 4 days from receiving their reply.
5. Karen Davison will then invite you to meet her to discuss and hopefully resolve your complaint. she will do this within 5 days of the end of our investigation.
6. Within 2 days of the meeting Karen Davison will write to you to confirm what took place and any solutions she has agreed with you.
• If you do not want a meeting or it is not possible, Karen Davison will send you a detailed reply to your complaint. This will include her suggestions for resolving the matter. She will do this within 5 days of completing her investigation.
7. At this stage, if you are still not satisfied you can write to us again. Another Director of the company will review the decision within 10 days.
8. We will let you know of the outcome of this review within 5 days of the end of the review. We will write to you confirming our final position on your complaint and explaining our reasons. If you are still not satisfied, you can contact the Employment Agencies Standards Inspectorate at the Department for Business Innovation and Skills or the REC, the industry trade association, of which we are a member by writing to the Consultancy and Compliance Team, REC, Dorset House, 1st Floor, 27 - 45 Stamford Street, London, SE1 9NT.
If we have to change any of the time scales above, we will let you know and explain why.
NOTE: In any event, we will comply with any statutory procedures that may relate to your complaint.
C&D Group is a member of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and adheres to their Code of Professional Practice.
C&D Group Customer Service Policy Statement
At the C&D Group we endeavour to provide you with the best possible service at all times. If you would like to make any comments, suggestions, raise a query or make a complaint about the service you have received, please contact us, our contact details are set out below. We will respond to your query within 3 - 5 working days.
This policy will be kept up to date, to reflect changes in the nature and size of the business.  To ensure this, the policy and its effectiveness will be reviewed annually.
Courtesy
All recruitment consultants will be trained in customer service standards; will exhibit customer friendly service skills; and be knowledgeable, professional and courteous in meeting the needs of our customers.
Communication
We C&D Group will return all phone calls and emails received from clients and registered candidates and applications in respect of specific vacancies within agreed timescales.  Where we are unable to meet this agreement we will inform you of this as soon as possible and agree a new deadline.
Consistency
As part of our commitment to upholding professional standards, we will review our policies annually to ensure that they continue to meet business needs and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s Code of Professional Practice; and that they are consistently applied to all our customers.
Complaints
C&D Group seeks fair, just and prompt solutions when possible to any complaints and appeals. All such issues should be directed to the Operations Director in the first instance, where they will be acknowledged and directed to the attention of the appropriate person. A complaints process is in place for any disputes; copies are available from our offices.
Access to Information
We comply fully with the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998. Any personal or confidential information held by us about a client or work seeker is fully accessible to that person or body for review or editing by contacting the Operations Director.
Reduce Bureaucracy
Wherever possible, without compromising our legal requirements and professional standards we strive to reduce the burden of unnecessary paperwork.
How to Contact Us:
Lynne Boulton
C&D Group Limited
Units 2/3 Copse Farm
Lancaster Place
South Marston
Swindon
SN3 4UQ 
Tel:  01793 492211
Email: lynne@cdrecruitment.co.uk

C&D Group - Data Protection Policy

Internal Procedures | Version 3

Section Page
1 Version Control 3
2 Data Controller 3
3 Statement of Principles 5
4 Candidates 5
5 Clients 6
6 Visitors and Partners 6
7 Network & Firefish Access 7
8 Definitions 7
9. Staff Commitment Form 8


1. Version Control
The table below records all releases of this document, the author of those changes and the
reason for the amendments

1.00    01/06/2003    Emma Burgess         Original Data Protection Policy    Board of Directors
2.00    10/03/2009    Natasha McKenzie   Update of above - Add Staff Commitment Form    Karen Davison
3.00    21/11/2017    Ursula Gawthorn       Update of the above version of the Data Protection Policy    Ursula Gawthorn

2. Data Controller and Guidance Notes
Karen Davison is the Data Controller.
All businesses are required to comply with the Data Protection Act 1998. Any person processing personal data on behalf of a data controller should be aware of the business’s data protection policy.

The Data Protection Act 1998
The Company processes personal data in relation to its own staff, work-seekers
and individual client contacts - therefore it is a “data controller” for the purposes of the Data Protection Act 1998. The Company has notified the Information Commissioner’s Office.
The Company holds personal data on individuals (“data subjects”) for the following general purposes:
• Staff administration.
• Advertising, marketing
and public relations.
• Accounts and records.
• Administration and processing of work-seekers personal data for the purposes of work-finding services.
The eight principles of data protection
The Data Protection Act 1998 requires the Company as data controller to process data in accordance with the principles of data protection. These require that personal data shall be:
1. Fairly and lawfully processed.
2. Processed for limited purposes.
3. Adequate, relevant and not excessive.
4. Accurate.
5. Not kept longer than necessary.
6. Processed in accordance with the data subject’s rights.
7. Kept securely.
8. Not transferred to countries outside the European Economic Area without adequate protection.
“Personal data” means data, which relates to a living individual who can be identified from the data or from the data together with other information, which is in the possession
of, or is likely to come into possession of the Company.
“Processing” means obtaining, recording or holding the data or carrying out any operation or set of operations on the data. It includes
organising, adapting and amending the data, retrieval, consultation and use of the data, disclosing and erasure or destruction of the data. It is difficult to envisage any
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activity involving data, which does not amount to processing. It applies to any processing that is carried out on
computer including any type of computer however described, main frame, desktop, laptop, iPad, Blackberry ® or other mobile device.
Personal data should be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure that it is accurate, relevant and up to date and all members of the team shall be responsible for doing this.
Personal data may only be processed with the consent of the person whose data is held. Therefore if they have not consented to their personal details being passed to a third party this may constitute a breach of the Data Protection Act 1998. By instructing the Company to look for work and by providing us with personal data contained in a CV, work-seekers will be giving their consent to processing their details for work-finding purposes. If you intend to use their personal data for any other purpose you MUST obtain their specific consent.
Caution should be exercised before forwarding the personal details of any individuals on whom personal data is held, to any third party such as past, current or prospective employers, suppliers, customers and clients, persons making an
enquiry or complaint and any other third party.
Sensitive personal data
Personal data in respect of the following is “sensitive personal data” and any information held on any of these matters MUST NOT be passed on to any third party without the express written consent of the individual:
• Any
offence committed or alleged to be committed by them.
• Proceedings in relation to any
offence and any sentence passed.
• Physical or mental health or condition.
• Racial or ethnic origins.
• Sexual life.
• Political opinions.
• Religious beliefs or beliefs of a similar nature.
• Whether someone is a member of a trade union.
Information security
All staff
are responsible for notifying those listed where information is known to be old, inaccurate or out of date. In addition all employees should ensure that adequate security measures are in place.
It should be remembered that the incorrect processing of personal data e.g. sending an individual’s details to the wrong person, allowing unauthorised persons access to personal data, or sending information out for purposes for which the individual did not give their consent, may give rise to a breach of contract and/or negligence leading to a claim against the Company for damages from an employee, work-seeker or client contact. A failure to observe the contents of this policy will be treated as a disciplinary
offence.
Subject access requests
Data subjects are entitled to obtain access to their data on request.
References
Any requests for access to a reference given by a third party must be referred to a Director or the Data Controller and should be treated with caution even if the reference was given in relation to the individual making the request. This is because the person writing the reference also has a right to have their personal details handled in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998, and not disclosed without their consent. Therefore when taking up references an individual should always be asked to give their consent to the disclosure of the reference to a third party and/or the individual who
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is the subject of the reference if they make a subject access request.
However if they do not consent then consideration should be given as to whether the details of the individual giving the reference can be deleted so that they cannot be identified from the content of the letter. If so the reference may be disclosed in an anonymised form.
The Human Rights Act 1998

Finally it should be remembered that all individuals have the following rights under the Human Rights Act 1998 and in dealing with personal data these should be respected at all times:
• Right to respect for private and family life (Article 8).
• Freedom of thought, conscience
and religion (Article 9).
• Freedom of expression (Article 10).
• Freedom of assembly and association (Article 11).
• Freedom from discrimination (Article 14).
3. Statement of Principles
The Directors of the C&D Group are committed to the accurate and appropriate control of data protection. They have
authorised the production of this document to both reflect this level of importance and also to ensure that all staff are both aware of, and equally committed, to the principles. This demonstrates the importance of good practice and the respect of our Candidate, Suppliers and Clients information.
This document covers all aspects of Data Protection for the C&D Group in relation to the paper and electronic usage/storage of information required to carry out our everyday business.
This document is in addition to the Confidentiality Agreement contained as part of the Terms and Conditions of Employment of all C&D Group staff.
This document will be read, understood and adhered to by all staff of the C&D Group and compliance with this policy is a condition of employment. Failure by a member of
staff of C&D to act in accordance with this policy will be deemed a disciplinary offence in accordance with Terms and Conditions of Employment.
The basic over-riding principles of this document are:
• No information should be stored which is inappropriate for the business purposes of the C&D Group.
• Information should only be passed outside of C&D Group for the appropriate business use of the C&D Group and with the agreement of the Candidate.
Failure to abide by the conditions of this document may be subject to disciplinary action, including written warnings and, in extreme cases, termination of employment. Also, it should be understood that the Company reserves the right to report any illegal activities to the appropriate authorities.
4. Candidates
All Candidates when in the office should be accompanied at all times and not
left where able to gain access to Candidate or Client information.
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Commercial
When registering candidates in the office the Recruiters/Resourcers will complete an application form to include personal details, employment history, education history, bank details etc.
All
paper based candidate files are to be kept secure and entered on to Firefish as soon as is practicable and by the end of that working day. When an appropriate role is identified, the candidate’s permission must be sought prior to sending the CV to the client. All actions are to be recorded electronically against the candidate record on Firefish.
All paper candidate/client information must be kept secure when not at your workstation and once entered on Firefish moved to confidential waste for safe disposal.
Electronic CVs must be imported
to Firefish or other database being used within C&D and approved by Data Controller, and not stored on your C drive, floppy disc, CD or any other electronic media.
Industrial/Driving
Candidates register by completing registration forms and all other relevant
paper work i.e. tax forms, working time regulations and temporary workers terms of engagement. Recruiters/Resourcers have to ensure that at least 2 years work history are recorded on the registration form including finding out and obtaining proof of any employment gaps. References must also be obtained.
Two references from persons not related to the Temporary Worker who have agreed that the references they provide may be disclosed to the Client. Copies of work permits must also be obtained if relevant. All candidate information must again be stored as per Commercial.
IT/Finance/Engineering
As per Commercial
5. Clients
All Clients should be accompanied at all times and not left alone where they may be able to gain access to Candidate or Client information
Commercial
Client/Vacancy information is kept on the Client record electronic record card either held on Firefish or other database being used within C&D and approved by the Data Controller.
Industrial/Driving
Client/Vacancy information is kept logged on the running sheet which is held on the G: Drive (\\cdstorage\data) on the C&D network which is backed up each evening, and Firefish or other database being used within C&D and approved by the Data Controller
IT/Finance/Engineering
Client/Vacancy information is kept on Firefish or other database being used within C&D and approved by the Data Controller which is backed up each evening.
6. Visitors and Partners
All Clients should be accompanied at all times and not left where they may be able to gain access to Candidate or Client information.
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7. Network & Firefish Access
All
authorised users of the C&D Group computer systems are provided with an account (User ID and Password) with which to gain access to the relevant PC(s) and information contained on the network. No other person is authorised to access the system under any other circumstances.
The following rules apply in respect of the usage and updating of this Account and are the sole responsibility of the
authorised user.
1. The Password should never be divulged to any other individual (including other
authorised users).
2. Under no circumstances allow access to the system by another person via your account details.
3. If you become aware of any access to the system by someone other than the appropriate account owner you must report this immediately to the Systems Administrator and your immediate Manager/Director.
4. No access is permitted other than by the
authorised owner of a specific account.
5. Any implications of access by a user account other than the designated user will be equally binding on both employees.
6. If you feel your password has become insecure you should change this at once by requesting a new password from the Systems Administrator.
7. The Password must be a combination of alpha and numeric and not be anything obvious that could be guessed by another user.
8. All access to any aspect of the C&D Group computer system will be monitored and this will be used as the basis for any appropriation of
blame for inappropriate usage.
9. Each User account will be given access to only parts of the system relevant to their employ and any attempt to access other parts of the system is a breach of these regulations.
Access to the C&D Group systems is only allowed via a machine
authorised and supported by the Systems Administrator. Under no circumstances should any other device be attached to the system.
8. Definitions
Term Description
Director(s)
Karen Davison, Lynne Boulton, Dave Bullock, Kath Curr, Ursula Gawthorn, Clare Oakford
C&D Group
As at release this constitutes C&D Group Ltd
Staff
Any person working for a C&D Group company in connection with their standard course of business, be that permanent, temporary or contract
Computer Systems
All hardware and software associated with all computers within the C&D Group
User
An
authorised member of staff provided by the Systems Administrator with an Account allowing access to pre-determined function of the Computer
System
In most cases taken as an abbreviation of Computer System
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9. Staff Commitment Form
A copy of this form should be completed and signed by all members of staff prior to access to the computer systems of the C&D Group is permitted. This copy will be appended to the
employees Personnel file.
Declarations
I have read, understood and agree to abide by the regulations as laid down by the “C&D Group – Data Protection Policy - Internal Procedures”.
I have also read, understood and agree to abide by the regulations as laid down by the “C&D Group – Information Security Policy – Internal Computer Systems”.
I accept that failure to abide by these regulations constitutes a breach of my Terms and Conditions of Employment with the C&D Group of companies.

AWR Policy

MATERNITY RIGHTS UNDER THE AGENCY WORKERS REGULATIONS

1. Introduction to the Agency Workers Regulations 2010
The Agency Workers Regulations 2010 came into force in England, Scotland and Wales on 1
October 2011. The Agency Workers (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2011 came into effect in Northern Ireland on 5 December 2011. In this
Factsheet we use the term “the Regulations” to refer to both sets of regulations. Save for the commencement dates, the Regulations are the same in all of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The Regulations give agency workers the right to the same basic working and employment conditions they would receive if they were engaged directly by an end user client to do the same job; this is limited to conditions that relate to pay and working time. Agency workers are also entitled to access facilities and amenities that an end user client provides to its own workers and to be advised by a client of vacancies which arise in the client’s* business (* the term “hirer” is used in the Regulations to mean the entity using the services of the agency worker. We use “client” throughout the Factsheets).
For the purpose of this Factsheet “agency” means an employment business (which engages workers and supplies them to a client to work under the
clients control and supervision). Employment agencies in the strict legal sense, which introduce candidates to a client to be engaged directly by that client, are not affected by these Regulations.
A reference to an agency worker means the individual engaged by the agency and supplied to work for the client under the client’s supervision and control
For the purposes of these factsheets, “the Guidance” means the guidance on the Regulations produced by the Department of Business, Innovation
and Skills (BIS) or the guidance on the Northern Ireland Regulations produced by the Department of Employment and Learning (DELNI). References to “the Guidance” are to both guidance documents.

2. Paid time off to attend ante-natal appointments
2.1. The entitlement
A pregnant agency worker is entitled to take paid time off work to attend ante-natal appointments when advised to do so by a GP or midwife and once she has completed the 12 week qualifying period.
However, if the agency worker is an employee of the agency (i.e. she is engaged under a contract of employment such as the Regulation 10 contract (“Swedish Derogation” contract) or a zero hours contract) rather than working under a contract for services, she will already be entitled to the right to reasonable paid time off to attend ante-natal appointments because she is an employee.

2.2. How much time off is the agency worker entitled to?
A pregnant agency worker who has completed the 12 week qualifying period, is entitled to take “reasonable” paid time off from her “working hours” to attend ante-natal appointments. These appointments must be on the advice of a registered medical practitioner (e.g. GP), registered midwife or registered nurse. The agency and client can ask for proof of such appointments and can request to see:
• a certificate from a registered medical
practitioner, registered midwife or registered nurse stating that the agency worker is pregnant; and
• an appointment card/
other document regarding the ante-natal appointment in question.
However, such proof is not required for the first appointment as this is usually the appointment which confirms the pregnancy.

2.3. What is “reasonable” paid time off?
The Regulations do not expressly say what reasonable time off would be but the REC’s view is that it would include the time needed for the agency worker to travel from their place of work to the
ante- natal care appointment, together with the time taken to attend the appointment and to return to work. An agency can ask for proof of any appointments (after the first appointment). This should provide an indication of the location of the appointment and the agency will then be able to make
an estimate of what this “reasonable” time off will be.

2.4. Can the agency ask the agency worker to schedule her ante-natal appointments for either the beginning or end of her working day?
An agency can
enquire whether this would be possible but should not refuse the agency worker time off to attend or refuse to pay her for the time needed to attend if she cannot do this. An agency will need to take care to ensure that it does not unreasonably prevent an agency worker from taking time off to attend her ante-natal appointments and that it pays her in accordance with the Regulations for her time off. The agency worker will be able to seek a remedy against the client or hirer if either prevents her from exercising her right to take time off from an assignment.

2.5. How much is the agency worker entitled to be paid?
The agency should pay the agency worker for
time that she has to take off from an assignment in order to attend her ante-natal appointment. The Regulations provide that the hourly rate of pay is to be calculated by dividing a week’s pay by the number of hours worked in a normal working week for that worker (based on the terms that apply to the assignment the agency worker is working on at the time of taking the ante natal appointment). If the agency worker’s hours fluctuate each week, the calculation will be based on the average number of hours worked over the preceding 12 weeks.
Issues for the agency
As stated above, an agency will need to take care to ensure that it does not unreasonably prevent an agency worker from taking time off to attend her ante-natal appointment and that it pays her in accordance with the Regulations for her time off. The major issue with this new right is likely to be agency worker’s entitlement to be paid for the time off. This is a cost that the agency will not automatically be able to recover from the client and is also one which cannot necessarily be built into the charge rate in the same way as holiday pay for example.
An agency will fall foul of the new provisions if it seeks to avoid liability to pay an agency worker when she attends her appointment by rearranging the times that she would otherwise be asked to work on an assignment. In practice, most women are required to attend a limited number of
ante- natal appointments and may receive long notice. It may be difficult to identify what an agency worker’s “working time” will be in some cases.
Example 1 - An agency worker in a
long term office based assignment, whose working hours over the assignment are typically 9am to 5pm, notifies her agency that she has an ante-natal appointment in the morning between those hours. If the agency advises that worker that she is not needed that day, or that she can start later and make up the hours, this is likely to strongly suggest that arrangements have been made to avoid paying the agency
worker as required.
Example 2 - An agency worker in a
long term assignment, in which she works any of the client’s three shifts each day, is required to contact the agency to advise it of her availability each week and to receive notice of the shifts she will be working the following week. If the agency worker has previously notified the agency of her forthcoming ante-natal appointment in the following week, and she is allocated a shift which allows her to attend the appointment without having to take time off, it may be difficult to say that the agency has deliberately placed her in a shift to avoid paying her for taking time off.

2.6. What rights does an agency worker have to accompany a pregnant woman to an ante-natal appointment?
The right to accompany a pregnant woman to an ante-natal appointment came into effect on 1 October 2014. Further information on an agency worker’s right to accompany a pregnant woman to an ante-natal appointment is set out in the REC Right to accompany a pregnant woman to an ante-natal appointment factsheet.

3. The right to be offered alternative work

3.1. The entitlement
The Regulations require an agency to offer a pregnant agency worker suitable alternative work if her current assignment becomes unsuitable on maternity grounds. This means that where an agency worker’s assignment is ended on maternity grounds, the agency will be required to offer to put her forward for another suitable assignment which does not involve the same health and safety risks. The agency worker must complete the 12 week qualifying period in order to have this entitlement.

3.2. What is meant by ending the supply of the agency worker on maternity grounds?
This will mean that the supply of the agency worker to the client is ended on the ground that the agency worker is:
• pregnant;
• has recently given birth; or
• is 
breast-feeding a child.
The most common reason that the assignment of the agency worker will need to be terminated on maternity grounds will relate to health and safety risks in the current assignment. For example, the assignment may involve the agency worker working with chemicals, involve heavy lifting or operating heavy machinery. In the first 
instance, the agency and the client should determine whether there are any adjustments that can be made to the role in order to remove the health and safety risks as they have joint responsibility for health and safety in a shared workplace. Additionally, an agency employment business would be obliged under the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment
Businesses Regulations 2003 (Conduct Regulations) to take such steps to ensure that working in the assignment will not be detrimental to the interests of the agency worker or the hirer. However, if it is not possible to remove such risks, the assignment would need to be terminated on health and safety grounds.
Please note that assignments must not be terminated just because the agency worker is pregnant. This could amount to direct discrimination on the grounds of pregnancy or maternity.

3.3. What is a suitable alternative assignment?
Where the agency has terminated an assignment on health and safety grounds related to pregnancy or maternity, it is required to find a suitable alternative assignment for that agency worker.
3.3. What is a suitable alternative assignment?
Where the agency has terminated an assignment on health and safety grounds related to pregnancy or maternity, it is required to find a suitable alternative assignment for that agency worker.
A suitable alternative assignment would be one which is free of the same health and safety risks which caused the original assignment to be terminated and would involve work which is appropriate for the agency worker to do in her circumstances. 
Additionally, the terms and conditions which apply to the alternative role must be at least as favourable as those which applied to the terminated assignment. On the face of it this would suggest that just the pay rate of the alternative assignment would need to be similar to the original role, but other terms would also need to be taken into account; e.g. working hours, location etc.

3.4. How long will an agency be required to continue to supply an agency worker in an alternative role?
This particular obligation will only apply for what was the intended duration of the terminated assignment. Of course, it will not always be the case that a client has provided a specific end date for an assignment, so where the particular end date is not known, the agency’s
obligation will continue until what would be the anticipated end date. Again this may not be entirely clear and agencies should obtain as much information as possible from the client.

3.5. What if it is an “on-going assignment”?
Separate to the Regulations, agencies are required under the Conduct Regulations to obtain information from the client regarding the duration, or likely duration, of the assignment and ensure that this has been confirmed in writing to the agency worker, so an agency should already have requested and received this information. An assignment should not just be left as “on-going” or “open-ended” because this would be a breach of the Conduct Regulations. If an agency does not know what the likely duration would be, then this should be confirmed from the client.

3.6. Payment for the agency workers if no alternative role is available
If an agency has terminated a worker’s assignment is ended on maternity-related grounds, and the agency is not able to find an alternative assignment which meets the criteria set out in section 3.3, the agency will be required to pay the agency worker for the duration of the terminated assignment. Again, as above if the end date of the assignment is not known, the agency will be required to pay the agency worker for what would have been the likely duration of the terminated assignment.

3.7. How much pay is the agency worker entitled to?
The agency worker is entitled to receive a week’s pay for each week she is not able to work in the terminated assignment as above. A week’s pay is the amount that the agency worker would have received under her contract with the agency if her original assignment had not been ended on maternity grounds. Unfortunately, the Regulations provide no further information about how this should be calculated if the hours available in the assignment are likely to fluctuate from week to week.

3.8. Are there circumstances in which the agency worker will not have to find a suitable alternative assignment or pay the agency worker?
If the agency worker gives notice* to the agency that she no longer wants the agency to continue providing work-finding services to her, the agency will no longer need to source suitable alternative assignments for her. *We recommend obtaining such notice in writing.

3.7. How much pay is the agency worker entitled to?
The agency worker is entitled to receive a week’s pay for each week she is not able to work
in the terminated assignment as above. A week’s pay is the amount that the agency worker would have received under her contract with the agency if her original assignment had not been ended on maternity grounds. Unfortunately the Regulations provide no further information about how this should be calculated if the hours available in the assignment are likely to fluctuate from week to week.

3.8. Are there circumstances in which the agency worker will not have to find a suitable alternative assignment or pay the agency worker?
If the agency worker gives notice* to the agency that she no longer wants the agency to continue providing work-finding services to her, the agency will no longer need to source suitable alternative assignments for her. *We recommend obtaining such notice in writing.
Also if an agency offers to put the agency worker forward to a client for a suitable alternative role and the client accepts the worker for the assignment, the agency will not be required to pay the agency worker if she turns the assignment down “unreasonably”. There will be circumstances in which it will be more straightforward to show that the agency worker has “unreasonably” rejected an alternative assignment, for example where the terms are identical with no great difference in location. In other
cases this may be more difficult to determine. However if the agency has taken clear details from the agency worker at the registration stage as to the type of work she wishes it to find for her, the agency should have a good argument regarding suitability of roles if the work falls within the similar description and the terms are not substantially less favourable, and if the work is not unsuitable from a health and safety point of view.

3.9. What other issues will agencies need to consider?
An agency will have difficulties if it identifies a suitable alternative assignment and offers the agency worker to a client, which then declines to accept the agency worker in that assignment. The agency will still have to pay the agency worker if it cannot find another suitable assignment for her. Clients will need to take care though, not to discriminate against an agency worker by unlawfully refusing to accept her for an assignment.
Suitable alternative assignments will be more or less difficult to find depending on the sectors in which the agency operates. For example, where the type of work she is doing, does not inherently give rise to health and safety risks which would lead to termination of an assignment on maternity grounds, agencies should more easily be able to source alternative assignments. It may be that in these cases risks arise because of the nature of a client’s site for example. In other sectors, for example, agencies that supply radiographers or airline cabin crew, where risks are common for specific roles because of the nature of the work, sourcing alternative work which is suitable for the agency worker to do, will be more difficult.
The Regulations do not introduce any new steps that agencies and clients should take to identify health and safety risks which arise in connection with maternity. As previously stated, the Conduct Regulations already require agencies to obtain health and safety information from clients and to withdraw an agency worker from an assignment when information is received which leads the agency to conclude that the agency worker is not suitable for the role.
The real issue to tackle here will be the duty to find alternative work in order to limit the cost of paying the agency worker while she is not
in an assignment. In some respect agencies should be in a better position to do this than employers are when dealing with their own directly employed staff who work purely in their undertaking. By contrast, agencies are in the business of finding work and should have a range of clients to which the agency worker can be supplied.

 

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