Two agency workers employed by Angard, a wholly owned subsidiary of Royal Mail, were supplied to work in the Leeds Mail Centre and had attained the 12 weeks’ service required for an agency worker to qualify for rights in relation to basic working and employment conditions.
They brought claims for a number of breaches of the Agency Workers Regulations, including not being eligible to apply for internal vacancies within Royal Mail.
The EAT decided that, to give an agency worker the same opportunity as a comparable worker to find permanent employment with the hirer, the right to be informed of any relevant vacant posts with the hirer does not mean agency workers are entitled to apply for and be considered for internal vacancies on the same terms as comparable directly-recruited employees.
The EAT’s decision marks an attempt to avoid extending agency workers’ rights which will be of some comfort for employers. This case also serves as a reminder that there is no overarching principle of equal treatment between agency workers and comparable employees generally.
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