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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I work agency but am assigned to a company. As

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Hello. I work for an agency but am assigned to a company. As I have now been at the agency for over 12 weeks I understand that in certain ways I now have equal rights to staff who employed by the company direct. Which "rights" does this relate to? (My pay has been adjusted accordingly).
My contract has been "terminated early" by the agency - prompted by a request from the company.
I have various grievances about this, in particular the process that was (not) followed and I am unclear who I would be taking this up with (the agency, the company or both).
Many thanks
Hello, my name is***** am a solicitor on this site and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. What process should they have followed in your opinion?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

It depends on which process. I understand that the agency "take me through the process" but please clarify, should they be basing that on their agency process or on the company process, given that I have been at the company for over 12 weeks and so, to some extent, have the same rights as company staff.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Relist: Other.
Ben asked a follow up question for clarificatio and then did not get back to me. So question not answered!
Do I need to type this out again or can you simply put it to other experts?
Is there a specific process which applies to the employer and to the agency?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes but the agency has said (verbally) that they are keeping me on their books and want to offer me more work. I have yet to meet with them face to face to clariy this but have a meeting set up for this afternoon.

I have a grievenace with them over how they handled supporting/not supporting me through my "early termination of assignment" with the company.

I was in a temporary role (via agency) with the company with a view to getting a permant role with the company.

Legally, I believe, the company and the agency are at liberty to end an assignment at any point with no reason given and no notice. but

1) I would like to clarify this (given that I had been at the company for over 2 weeks)

2) I have a grievance over the fact that my contract was terminated early

a) with the agency

b) with the company

The reason being given is "unacceptable behaviour" but I strongly dispute this and think this is linked to discrimiation under the Equality Act (I have a disability) and also internal whistleblowing (within the company) leading to the department I was working within terminating my contract

Agency stages of disciplinary: verbal warning, 1st written warning, final written warning

Company stages are similar

I had no warning, was invited to a meeting with no agenda the day after the "whistleblowing" event, was not given the agenda when I asked for it, contacted the agency who came across to the company to meet with me but, in fact, met with the company and then when I came back from my break for the meeting my pass had already been blocked and my PC user profile deleted

Thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and will get back to you as soon as possible. Please do not respond to this message as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you
Thanks for your patience. As an agency worker, once you work somewhere continuously for 12 weeks. You get some additional rights. These give you equality with permanent workers in terms of pay and ‘basic working conditions’. There is no formal definition of what basic working conditions are but it means that you should get the same conditions which you would have received had you been employed directly by the company as their employee. So it may be worth looking at the contract of someone in the equivalent position as you but who is employed directly by the company.
Unfortunately none of this would prevent your dismissal from the company. Whether you are an agency worker or an employee directly employed by them, if you have been continuously employed for less than 2 years then your employment rights will be somewhat limited. Most importantly, you will not be protected against unfair dismissal. This means that your employer can dismiss you for more or less any reason, and without following a fair procedure, as long as their decision is not based on discriminatory grounds (i.e. because of gender, race, religion, age, a disability, sexual orientation, etc.) or because you were trying to assert any of your statutory rights (e.g. requesting maternity/paternity leave, etc.).
If the dismissal had nothing to do with any of the above exceptions then you would not be able to challenge it and your only protection would be if you were not paid your contractual notice period, because unless you were dismissed for gross misconduct, you would be entitled to receive your contractual notice period. If you did not have a written contract in place you would be entitled to the minimum statutory notice period of 1 week. Your employer would either have to allow you to work that notice period and pay you as normal, or they will have to pay you in lieu of notice.
If you were not paid your notice period when you were due one, that would amount to wrongful dismissal (which is different to unfair dismissal) and you could make a claim in an employment tribunal to recover the pay for the notice period that you should have been given. There is a 3-month time limit from the date of dismissal to submit the claim.
I trust this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page). If for any reason you are unhappy with my response or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? If your query has been dealt with please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts from the top of the page. If you need further help please get back to me on here and I will assist as best as I can. Thank you.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hello Ben,

Thanks for your reply. It was helpful. I have since had a meeting with the agency and am waiting on their minutes and also the time for me to write up my grievance, at which point (next week) I will probably have a few further points to clarify. Is this ok - can my "ticket" with you stay open?

For now, I have paid £23 for this service and very much hope I can use your expertise further. Would you be able to clarify that I can, even if it's not until early next week?

Many thanks Ben


Hi Zoe yes you can come back to me with any small follow up queries you have, your question won't close. In the meantime if you could please take a second to leave your rating for the service so far I would be grateful. Many thanks
Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks Ben

I would now like to proceed with a grievance that procedure was not followed when my assignment was ended.

1. The temp agency state that I am on weekly services contract so can be pulled off a job at any point.

2. believe that having worked at the company for over 12 weeks the temp agency were obliged to go through the company "warning" procedure (my contract was ended for alleged inappropriate behaviour because I emailed the MD of the company so went over the department head)

can you confirm that 2 is the case and not 1? So I put in a grievance that the agency failed to follow the company's procedure?

Many thanks

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I have just re-read your earlier reply. I believe I was dismissed on discriminatory grounds. I would therefore like to know who my grievance is directed to legally (temp agency at company) and which procedure they are in breach of (temp agency or company)...e.g. Warnings should have been issued first etc

Hello, 2 would indeed be the case if this was a procedure which applied contractually to permanent employees of the company. However, do not think that this would have avoided a dismissal, that could have still happened just would have been slightly delayed - in the same way that a permanent employee could have been dismissed even if their warning procedure was followed.
In any event the grievance is with the company as they would be the ones who terminated your employment, not the agency. So you would need to raise it with them and reference their procedures