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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: UK Employment Law
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Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I have been recruited by an agency and have been working on

Customer Question

I have been recruited by an agency and have been working on and off for almost three months. I have noticed several polish workers start after me and they get more work, in fact they are always in fulltime work. I also must mention that the consultant his himself Polish and favours all Eastern Europeans before any others. I asked about the lack of work and was told if I am not happy to find other work
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: UK Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.

Ben Jones : Hello, my name is Ben and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Are you guaranteed any work?
JACUSTOMER-uo6yl1ga- : No there is no guarantee for work. I was told that after a 13 week period the chances were good to be kept on by the company that I am sent to work for. I have been called at 4 and 5 in the morning to get to work asap any time they call me I go. I am told to go in early and i will work all week then after I have covered a last minute shift the next day he will say don't go tomorrow your work is cancelled.Then the next time I go in the bosses of the company will ask why I did not go in, or the recruiter will send me in an hour later than the company has asked me to go, and again the bosses will ask why I have come so late. I have told them that the agency tell me not to go when they tell me, but noothing has been sorted. Yet the 2 polish guys and a russian woman who started after me with the same agency and inder the same recruiter are working permanently, and always seem to have the same shift and not moved about from place to place and shift to shift. There have been no complaints about my work and the company bosses are always asking me to come in the next day, the recruitment guy will then tell me not to go even though he knows they want me to work. He says I take my orders from him and not the company.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.
Whilst this may amount to potential discrimination on grounds of nationality/race, you will only be protected if you can show you were an employee.

Agency workers are rarely employed by the end-user client as they would usually be employees of the agency who then supplies them to the end user. Therefore, you can only be seen to be an employee of the end user if you have an express contract with them. That does unfortunately mean that an agency worker discriminated against by an end-user will not usually be able to rely on the normal "employment" provisions of the Equality Act 2010.

Saying that, agency workers are often protected against discrimination by the end-user under the "contract worker" provisions contained in section 41 of the Equality Act 2010: the end-user will be the agency worker's "principal" for these purposes.

This is a rather complex area of employment law so I will not get into the technical details of it and to be honest in these circumstances it would be for a tribunal to decide whether you would have protection or not, something which would depend entirely on your employment relationship and the finer details of your employment arrangement.

This does mean that if you wanted to challenge this further you would only be able to do so if you consider making a claim for race discrimination in the employment tribunal, who would then consider your circumstances and decide first whether you are able to make such a claim based on the potential issues explained above, and then whether the issues you are complaining about are discriminatory.

I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating. Your question will not close and I can continue providing further advice if necessary. Thank you

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