The Employment Agency Act, 1971, provides that any person carrying on the business of an employment agency must obtain a licence to do so from the Minister for Enterprise, Trade & Employment.
Agency workers are persons who register withemployment agencies that make temporary workers available to an employer
Complex legal issues arise in characterising the duties of care and obligation as between the parties in an agency arrangement. In recent times legislation has been introduced that improves the status of agency workers and these workers are now covered in the same way as direct employees in respect of the following rights.
• Payment of Wages
• Unfair Dismissal Legislation
• Maternity Protection Legislation
• Adoptive Leave
• Holidays, Holiday Pay, Rest Periods and Rest Breaks
• Information about Terms of Employment
• In certain specific legislation e.g. Unfair Dismissal (Amendment) Act, 1993 persons engaged through employment agencies are covered by the scope of the legislation and for the purposes of dismissal the party hiring the individual from the employment agency is deemed to be the employer.
Also the Protection of Employees (Part-Time Work) Act, 2001 protects agency workers from being discriminated in relation to their terms and conditions.