Fears that the Agency Workers Regulations would spawn a flood of union-backed claims on behalf of agency workers have not been realised – at least for the moment, according to a lawyer specialising in the recruitment sector.
Frances Lewis, head of Osborne Clarke's recruitment sector team, says that among the half dozen claims of which she is aware "probably one or two have union involvement".
Fears were raised in the run up to the introduction of AWR in October last year that trade unions would be the main instigators of employment tribunal claims based on unequal treatment of agency workers after the 12 week-qualifying period.
However, Lewis tells Recruiter: "From what I have seen the claims have come from individuals."
However, she adds that this may change. "Unions are going to be looking for some sort of compensation."
Lewis says that while she is aware of six claims in total, "there must be double that, and maybe a lot more, and a lot more threatened.
"It's not a tidal wave but things are starting to happen."
• For more on AWR, see Managing agency workers 2012, a supplement in Recruiter's August issue, out 17 August.