11 Jul, 2013

AWR and reforms to teachers’ pay

11 Jul, 2013

The radical transformation of the education landscape continues apace.  With the increasing commercialisation of the education space, not least amongst the changes is the reform of the pay framework for teachers.

The reforms to teachers’ pay will come into effect on 1 September 2013. This will have repercussions across the sector as maintained schools will be given greater flexibility to determine pay and conditions for their teachers. However, perhaps of most interest to specialist recruitment agencies is how the reforms relate to the Agency Worker Regulations (AWR).

With individual schools undertaking the significant task of revising pay structures (with minimum and maximum thresholds retained as a point of reference only), equal treatment after the 12 week qualifying period  for a supply teacher who is an agency worker will depend on the pay structures the school in which they are working adopts.

What does this mean for agencies? Employment businesses that supply teachers to schools will need to ensure that they obtain up to date information to ensure that they are able to continue to comply with the Agency Workers Regulations 2010. The REC legal team advise that, as ever, the question to be put to the school/local authority when seeking to ascertain equal treatment information is: ‘on what terms would this agency worker be engaged if you engaged him her directly after completion of the qualifying period?’

The answer to that question for maintained schools would previously have been dictated by the School Teachers Pay and Conditions Document. With the reforms, though that framework remains a point of reference, any changes to the schools pay structure must be taken into account. This is particularly important when that school provides equal treatment information to employment businesses about the terms (pay in particular) that should be applied to a supply teacher who is an agency worker, once they have completed the 12 week qualifying period.

A revised School Teachers Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD), setting out the new arrangements for teachers’ pay, and Departmental advice to help schools reflect these in their own policies are now available on the DfE website. A further revision is expected to be made available in August 2013 to update the pay tables.
Author By Chris Wilford, Senior Policy Advisor