Contractors' Questions: Do my agency worker days entitle me to a pension?

Contractor’s Question: After working for the same company for a decade as an agency engineer I was offered and accepted a staff position about 13 years ago. The staff position came with holidays, sick pay and a pension scheme.  This would now probably now be called ‘disguised employment.’ My question is -- would I have any claim to pension rights for the years I spent as an agency worker?

Expert’s Answer: The answer to your question is that there is no entitlement to a pension for you relating to the agency period. There are two main reasons why.

Firstly, even under current legislation such as the Agency Workers Regulations 2010, under which agency workers are entitled to the same pay and conditions as regular employees doing the same job, agency workers do not have any rights to pensions that equivalent employees receive, as pensions are excluded from scope.

Secondly, even if there were a statutory entitlement, the time that you worked as an agency worker was so long ago that the time limit for bringing a claim has long since expired.

Claims related to employment matters and agency worker rights are normally to the Employment Tribunal and usually expire three months after the event. So I am afraid that you have no chance of a claim.

The expert was Adrian Marlowe, managing director of recruitment law firm Lawspeed, and the chairman of the Association of Recruitment Consultancies.

Tuesday 15th April 2014