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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50702
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I work for an agency which provides me work at a factory.

Customer Question

Hello, i work for an agency which provides me work at a factory.
I'm given a rota which states i will be working Mon-Fri however in reality that's not the case.
For Example:
If i'm told i would be working on Monday on my rota what would end up happening is i would get a text 2 hours prior to working (30 mins before i actually set of to work ) saying i am not needed that day hence ruining my day.
Now this is not just a one off case it would happen 3-4 times a week so i'm literally working one day a week and doing nothing for the other 4. When i could instead be doing something more productive.
Are they allowed to do that?
Please let me know
-Thank you
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today. Do you have a contract which states if they have a deadline by which to cancel your shift?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello, I don't have a copy of my contract on me but i'm pretty sure that it doesn't state anything regarding a deadline of my shifts.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Thanks. The issue here is that you are working as an agency worker, not a permanent employee with contractually guaranteed hours of work. The whole point of an employer seeking to engage agency workers is the flexibility they get – they are able to request them to work at short notice but at the same time if they are not required any longer, they can also be cancelled at short notice. This is because you are not working under a contract of employment which guarantees you the days or hours of work. Had you been an employee of the company and had a contract whish for example said you are contracted to work fixed times of the week, unless the contract allowed the employer to change these, you would be guaranteed these hours and can expect to be paid for them. This is not the same with agency workers unfortunately. As an agency worker unless you had some sort of written agreement that guaranteed you the hours, you are going to be working on an ‘as needed’ basis, meaning that the hours you work could be changed or even cancelled based on the needs of the business. Under law there is no minimum notice period required for the agency or employer to do this so it is possible to be done at short notice unfortunately. So whilst you retain a flexibility yourself in terms of being able to reject work offered to you, at the same time you could have your hors changed as the business requires it, even at short notice. That is one of the pitfalls of agency work unfortunately so if you require stability in terms of working arrangements, it would be best to seek permanent employment or just hope to get to work with an end user employer that does not have such major changes.

I'm sorry if this is not necessarily the answer you were hoping for, however I do have a duty to be honest and explain the law as it actually stands. This does mean delivering bad news from time to time. I hope you understand and would be happy to provide any further clarification if needed. If you are still satisfied with the level of service you have received I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page. Thank you