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Supply teachers! Have you got an AWR claim?

Samina Randall, Leicester NEU District Supply Teachers' Officer
15th November 2019

In the last six months, have you worked in the same LA school or academy group without a break of six weeks in term time?

If you have, call Leicester District NEU on 0116 2555311 or Advice Line 0345 8118111.

You only have three months to make a claim.

Agency Workers Regulation facts

Many supply teachers are not receiving AWR entitlement to parity pay. Often supply teachers have worked for 12 weeks in the same role, for the same Hirer in accordance with AWR definition.

There appears to be misinformation regarding what is the same role, who the Hirer is, the 12-week qualification period, and parity pay entitlement.

Below are definitions from multiple sources including Gov/DfE, NEU, NASUWT AND ACAS.

Who is the 'Hirer'?

The NEU argues that the local authority should be regarded as the Hirer in community and voluntary controlled schools, enabling all continuous periods of work in such schools to be aggregated for the qualifying periiod. The NEU also argues that all local authority-maintained schools within the same authority should be regarded as Connected Hirers, which would also enable this.

What is the 'Same Role'?

The 12-week qualifying period must be spent in the same role. A role will be considered the Same Role unless it involves a substantially different type of work. In order for the 12-week qualifying clock to be reset to zero, the Hirer must notify the employment agency that the work or duties have changed, and this information must be confirmed in writing to the agency worker (Regulation 7 (3)). The union considers that all classroom teaching conducted by a supply teacher would be the Same Role irrespective of the subject and the age range of the pupils being taught in any school.

Calculating the 12-week qualifying period

A week runs for 7 days from the day on which the assignment began. So, if the assignment began on a Wednesday, the week would finish on the following Tuesday.

An agency worker will accrue a week towards the qualifying period:
for any week in which they do any work in the role
if they are unable to work due to pregnancy, childbirth or maternity breaks which take place during pregnancy and up to 26 weeks after childbirth
if they are unable to work due to paternity leave, adoption leave or shared parental leave

The 12-week qualifying period will pause for:
breaks from the role that last for 6 weeks or less
sickness-related absence (that lasts for 28 weeks or less)
annual leave
workplace shutdowns, eg. for Christmas or industrial action
jury service (that lasts for 28 weeks or less)

The 12-week qualifying period will start again for:
any new role
the same role after a break of 6 weeks or more
the same role after 28 weeks' sickness-related absence or jury service

See ACAS, Rights while working as an agency worker

NEU: Agency worker regulations


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Agency Workers Regulations - Another Success Story (23rd January 2019)
Supply Teachers and Agency Workers Regulations (4th September 2018)
Report from the Supply Teacher Conference 2018 (4th September 2018)
Conference 2018: What Every Supply Teacher Needs to Know About Agency Worker Regulations (11th April 2018)
Supply teachers and agencies (8th May 2017)
Supply Teachers Officer Report to AGM, March 2017 (7th March 2017)
Leicester and Leicestershire Supply Teachers' Network (5th October 2016)
NUT Lobby of Supply Agencies (24th June 2016)
Lobbying the supply agencies (4th June 2016)
Leicester and Leicestershire Supply Teachers' Network (25th May 2016)
NUT Lobby of Supply Agencies (6th September 2015)
REPORT: NUT Supply Teacher Conference 2015 (14th August 2015)
Report from Conference (15th April 2015)
Supply Teaching through agencies continues to be a free for all (2nd November 2010)
Supply Teachers’ Survey (18th September 2010)
Re: Curtains For Cover (18th November 2009)
Supply Teachers (20th June 2009)
Supply Teachers (6th October 2008)