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Agency Recruitment

General Information

Schools and Directorates should think carefully about the use of agency workers in their areas and should only consider this as an option if there is a need to provide cover at short notice, for a short term period.  For a role that has been proven difficult to fill, for example, through DUTE or for requirements that are very specific.  It is an expensive option if the assignment is anticipated to be long term.  If there is a requirement for a post on a longer term basis (more than 6 months) a temporary appointment is made through the standard University post approval and recruitment & selection procedures.

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Dundee University Temporary Employees - DUTE

Careers Service and HR have created DUTE - Dundee University Temporary Employees - a scheme whereby local graduates, existing part-time and recently retired staff can register themselves to be available to fill a range of short-term temporary vacancies across the University. An internal supply of temporary staff does not fall within the scope of the Regulations and DUTE is therefore an efficient and cost effective way for schools and directorates to organise a temporary worker on a short-term basis.

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Agency Worker Regulations (2010)

The Agency Workers Regulations 2010 (AWR) came into force in the UK on the 1st of October 2011. The AWR is designed to give agency workers the right to equal treatment after 12 calendar weeks ("the qualifying period") in a given job.

The regulations require that

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The Qualifying Period

The agency worker has the right to equal treatment after 12 calendar weeks irrespective of their work pattern (e.g. full-time or part-time). A new qualifying period begins only if a new assignment with the organisation is significantly different, or if there is a break of more than 6 weeks between assignments. If the agency worker takes annual leave or is on certified sick leave the count of the calendar weeks will stop and start again when they resume work.

At the end of the qualifying period within a single assignment, an agency worker can request written information relating to any aspect of equal treatment which they believe that they are not receiving.

Attempts to circumvent the Regulations i.e. by ending an agency worker after 11 weeks and then returning them to a similar role after a 7 weeks period is likely to be seen as unlawful avoidance and may attract a financial penalty of up to £5,000. This would be in addition to any award in respect of breaching the Regulations in terms of equal treatment.

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Agency Worker Regulations - what this means in practice

The University is required to monitor the use of agency workers closely to ensure that we meet the requirements of the legislation.

Schools/Directorates are asked to provide information (on the Agency Worker Request Form) to their School/Directorate HR Officer when a new Temporary Agency Worker is required.

Records of Temporary Agency Workers will be held by Human Resources on the Staff Database.

Standard (HERA) job descriptors and information on University terms and conditions can be provided to agencies. This information is available on the HR website and can be accessed by recruiting departments if contacted directly by the agencies.

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Contract for the provision of recruitment services - temporary staff

If you have any questions about the recruitment of a temporary member of staff, including the rates, please contact your School/Directorate HR Officer.

What do I need to do if I wish to use an agency?

  1. If you have a short-term vacancy that needs filled at short notice you may wish to consider accessing the University’s own supply of temporary staff at DUTE.  If however your requirements are very specific you may wish to contact an employment agency.
  1. If an employment agency is to be used, please contact your School/Directorate HR Officer to discuss your needs and the terms of the appointment.
  1. Temporary staffing for the University will be conducted in accordance with APUC and Scottish Government Frameworks.  Procurement have issued Buyers Guides: APUC Temporary and Permanent Staff ‌and Scottish Government Framework for Interim and Temporary Staff frameworks to assist with compliance.
  1. Once you have completed step 2, you must complete the Agency Worker Request Form‌ detailing the type of work the agency worker will be required to do and indicate the grade of the post if it was a University post (contact your School/Directorate HR Officer if you need advice on this).
  1. Detail on the form the estimated length of assignment (start and end date).
  1. Seek approval from the Dean of School/Director and submit the form to HR for approval.
  1. The HR Officer will check that the form has been authorised and forward the form onto the agreed agency.
  1. The details of the agency staff member will be recorded on the HR database.
  1. For information on the appointment of fixed-term and permanent staff, please review the University Post Approval Process.

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October 2019