Does the principle of “Equal treatment” under the Temporary Agency Workers Directive (“the Directive”) require that an agency worker in a temporary job be given a right to apply for that job, and/or get preference ahead of an employer’s permanent employees?
No, held the EAT in Coles v Ministry of Defence.
The Claimant was an agency worker for the MoD. After redeploying redundant permanent employees, the MoD filled the Claimant’s role, without offering him an interview. The Claimant had been informed of the vacancy, as required by the Agency Workers Regulations 2010. The Claimant stated the failure to allow him to apply for the post, and/or to give him preference ahead of permanent employees breached his rights under the Directive.
The EAT held that for agency workers, “the principle of equal treatment is confined to working time and pay”.
The EAT refused to make a reference to the ECJ on whether the Directive required employers to provide opportunities for agency workers to find alternative employment beyond giving them information on vacancies.