Securing your pay rights under the AWR
As an agency worker, once you have completed 12 weeks in the same role with the same hirer, you should be paid as if you had been contracted directly to do the same job. Read our FAQ below.
A strict 3-month time limit runs from when you last worked on an assignment if you’re entitled to make a claim to a tribunal. If you need advice about an assignment that ended more than 2 months ago, please contact AdviceLine.
The NEU has developed an exciting new online tool which will enable members to quickly and easily check if they have a claim, and if they do then based on the information provided the tool will calculate what is owed and provide a pre-populated letter to send to the agency seeking back pay.
Agency Pay Assessor
This online tool enables members to quickly and easily check if they have a claim, calculate what is owed and provide a pre-populated letter to send to the agency seeking back pay.
How do I know if I should have been paid more and how much?
You should claim any difference between what you were paid by your agency and what you would have been paid had you been directly employed, if that amount is higher. If you are clear what annual MPS/UPS point or other rate you should be on, then using the calculation below you can arrive at a daily rate that you should have been paid after 12 weeks.
There is further advice below which could be used to substantiate the daily rate cited, but please be aware that under the Regulations the onus is on the agency to pay what is owed or, in a written statement, to explain why not.
Further guidance if required:
Each school should have a pay policy setting out how pay for new appointees is determined. You can ask your NEU rep or local NEU district secretary to send you a copy of the school pay policy for teachers or support staff.
The NEU model school pay policy for teachers includes a commitment to pay portability and sets out recommended annual pay scales. The daily rate for teachers employed on a day-to-day or other short notice on a day to day contract is calculated by dividing the MPS/UPS rate by 195 (194 in the years 2021/2022 and 2022/2023).
You can calculate the difference between the pay you should get under the school pay policy and the amount you have received from your agency.
To help you make the calculation, you may use:
A range of pay slips – recent ones to confirm your gross daily rate in the assignment, and others to show your daily rate when you were last directly employed as a teacher.
The school/college pay policy – At any point you may want to justify what you think your daily pay rate would be if you were employed directly in this role with this school/college, and why. The most straightforward way is if the school/college pay policy states that new recruits will be paid in line with the salary they were paid in their most recent permanent appointment (pay portability).
You can ask the NEU rep in the school/college or the local NEU district secretary to send you a copy of the school pay policy for teachers or support staff, or ask at the school office or simply search online. If the pay policy does not include such a clause, or it is not clear, you can also ask colleagues or seek out adverts for vacancies at the school as evidence of what rate direct recruits are paid.
You should be able to use these documents to calculate the gross daily rate that you think you should have received had you been engaged in this role directly, that is, not via an agency.