<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none;" alt="" src="https://analytics.twitter.com/i/adsct?txn_id=l615x&amp;p_id=Twitter&amp;tw_sale_amount=0&amp;tw_order_quantity=0"/> <img height="1" width="1" style="display:none;" alt="" src="https://t.co/i/adsct?txn_id=l615x&amp;p_id=Twitter&amp;tw_sale_amount=0&amp;tw_order_quantity=0"/>

The HR Forum

Agency Workers

Could any HR experts out there explain why a friend of mine, who is an agency worker, was told by HR this week, that he must end his contract 'for a 3 week break' & then he can sign a new one. He is a doctor who has had his initial 3 month contract extended several times & has now been in the same role for 15 months. The last extension ends at the end of this week & HR have told him the above. Why? They haven't given him a specific reason, only 'they have to' (then made a joke that they may find someone cheaper) Can anyone provide any insight please? Thanks, Jane

You need to be a member of DPG Community to add comments!

Join DPG Community

Email me when people reply –


  • Hi there

    Without knowing more about the specifics it is hard to comment.

    However it may be they have some concerns that your friend my at some point be considered an employee as opposed to a worker.  In which case the 3 week break would provide a break in service for the purposes of continuity of employment. Also as he approaches the 2 year mark, it would mean that he would not have continuity of service to make any claim for unfair dismissal or a reundancy payment (in the event he was able to argue he was an employee),as only employees can claim these.

    If it was a gap of 3 months of more it could be so that any backdated holiday pay claims could be avoided? Although these are now limited to two years.

    So in summary I suspect it is to do with employment status and the possible rights that arise from these.

    Hope this helps


    • Hi Sarah,

      Many thanks for your response, it makes sense. He actually has a new role lined up for October, so has no plans to stay, which his employers' do not know about. There have not been any issues, he is a high performer & well thought of & this has come out of the blue. Is there a point where you automatically become an employee as opposed to a worker, after a certain length of service? Or a point when you could argue that you were?

      Again, many thanks for your advice.


      • Someone correct me if I am wrong but according to the Agency Worker Regulations, once you have worked through the agency for 12 weeks, you are entitled to the same basic employment conditions such as the amount of annual leave that a direct worker has.

This reply was deleted.

CIPD Branch Events

Did you know your local CIPD branch will put on relevant events that are free to CIPD members.

Take a look for your local branch here and what events are happening. Remember attending these events are great CPD evidence.

CIPD Branch Event Search

What's Happening?

Just starting the Using Information in HR module, and mulling over potential research methods while doing the e-lessons. Feeling slightly apprehensive about a more hands-on module, but also excited to get started on a new module!
Lisa Hodgkiss and Alex Visser are now connected
18 hours ago
Tamasin Sutton and Lidia Grisi are now connected
21 hours ago
Katie Stanley and Lisa Hodgkiss are now connected
Richard Spencer and Graeme Wright are now connected
Anne Morton and Maisie Green are now connected
Molly Murphy updated their profile photo
Rushna Younis posted a discussion