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Skills Provision is able to utilise Swedish Derogation as a business tool to allow UK businesses greater flexibility in how they structure the outsourced element of their labour force. With important exceptions explained below those businesses using Swedish Derogation still need to comply with the main terms of the Agency Worker Regulations.


What is Swedish Derogation?

It is a clause written into the Agency Worker Regulations that went live in the UK on the 1st of October 2011.

Described by some as a loophole to sidestep the spirit of the Agency Workers Regulations it is an “exception” under European Union legislation and first used in Sweden as the name suggests.

Swedish derogation must fulfil certain conditions and the key ones are that the Temporary Work Agency offers a worker a permanent contract of employment and pays the worker between assignments.

The key advantage being that after 12 weeks with a hirer the agency worker will not be entitled to the same pay, as if they had been recruited directly.

This exemption appeals too many employers/hirers as it achieves the flexibility that many require to operate a business effectively.

The agency worker who is covered by this exemption will still be entitled to other new provisions under the regulations:

  •  Paid annual leave
  • Rest breaks and limits on working time
  • The National Minimum Wage
  • No unlawful deductions from wages
  • Discrimination rights under the Equality Act 2010
  • Health and safety at work.

This exception calls for closer co-operation between the agency and the hirer than is normally seen in the UK market. Current estimates are that a fifth to a third of all “temporary” workers are employed in this way but great care is needed in the structuring of such arrangements to ensure compliance.

Skills Provision is well placed to work alongside long term users of “temps” to optimise the appropriate mix of workers to be employed and welcomes long term contracts.

We are happy to bespoke our services to suit client requirements but it takes time to put an effective package together and Swedish derogation is not suitable for all businesses

“Employers”, sometimes called “Hirers” can make contact through our quick enquiry form found here or simply call our help desk on 02079890750.

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