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Does an agency worker have the right to preferential treatment when applying for a job with the end user?

No, advises Employment Lawyer, Paula Stuart following the EAT’s decision in Coles v Ministry of Defence.

In this case, the Claimant worked for the MoD as an agency worker. Following a restructuring, permanent employees were placed in a redeployment pool. The Claimant’s role was then filled by a permanent employee without first interviewing the Claimant. The Claimant claimed that the MoD had breached his right to ‘equal treatment’.

The EAT held that the Agency Workers Regulations 2010 provides a right for agency workers to be informed of vacant posts at the end user but there is no further right to an interview or to have preference over other existing employees. It then went on to conclude that the MoD did not breach the regulations by failing to offer the Claimant an interview and by giving preferential treatment to the employees in a redeployment pool.

Paula Stuart advises that ‘This case is as a reminder that an agency workers right to be informed of a job vacancy is a standalone right and is not to be confused with an agency workers right to equal treatment in respect of working time and pay’.

If you need employment advice on this or any other matter then contact Paula Stuart on 01908 689345 or pstuart@geoffreyleaver.com .