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What is the Agency Workers Regulation?

The AWR give equal treatment rights to agency workers and came into force on 1 October 2011. Agency workers who are deemed as in-scope will have the right to equality of treatment with comparable entry-level direct recruits of the hirer in respect of certain basic working and employment conditions relating to pay, the duration of working time, night work, rest periods, rest breaks and annual leave. 

Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations 2003

We will ask you to decide whether you wish to opt in or out of the ‘Conduct Regulations’ otherwise known as ‘EAA’. These regulations were created to offer increased protection to contractors.

There are a number of implications to you and you should seek independent advice before making your decision:

If you opt out:
You will not receive the benefits outlined, however most genuinely self-employed freelance contractors want to be treated as a business for tax purposes, and find that the protection offered by the legislation is outweighed by the benefits of being classed as genuinely self-employed [see IR35].

If you opt in:
You will receive some benefits akin to those of a PAYE (Pay As You Earn) worker with added security, however this will affect the assessment of your status for tax purposes [see IR35 below].


The IR35 legislation is aimed at eliminating the avoidance of tax and NI through the use of intermediaries. As such, any contractor who is deemed to be genuinely self-employed or operating properly through a Limited Company are deemed outside of IR35 rules. Contracts of services and working practices must demonstrate that you are working outside of IR35 rules.

This is a complex piece of legislation and you must seek independent advice when considering the implications.