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An employment tribunal has held that a temporary work agency which transferred a group of agency workers from zero hours contracts to "pay between assignments" contracts complied with the Agency Workers Regulations 2010 (SI 2010/93). The tribunal found that the new employment contracts, which had been issued by the agency under the "Swedish derogation" provisions of the Regulations when it faced pressure from the hirer to do so, had been entered into before the beginning of the first assignment under those contracts, even though the workers had previously carried out a series of assignments for the hirer under their old contracts.
The decision, believed to be the first to consider the Swedish derogation provisions, casts some doubt on BIS guidance on this aspect of the Regulations and, subject to any appeal, resolves uncertainty about whether the Swedish derogation can be used where there has been an existing relationship with a hirer. (Bray and others v Monarch Personnel Refuelling (UK) Ltd ET/1801581/2012.)