Johnson Underwood

Quality temp jobs available

in Northampton

At Johnson Underwood we specialise in offering quality temp jobs for skilled candidates. This service is available for companies across Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire, Milton Keynes, Cambridgeshire, Leicestershire and beyond.

We have an excellent selection of temporary workers, all with different skills looking for work in and around Northamptonshire. Fill out our temps booking form and get your temp booked in now!



Your questions answered

Method of payment

Method of payment

More about payslips and method of payment

Absence & sick pay

Absence & sick pay

Our legislations on SSP and more

Agency worker regulations

Agency worker regulations

All the information you need

DBS service

DBS service

Previously known as CRBs

Workplace pension

Workplace pension

You could receive automatic enrolment


What do I do if I want to go for interviews for permanent jobs?

That is fine. All we ask is that you book your interview at a time to suit where you are temping and that you give us one week’s notice once you have secured a role.

What do I do if more than one agency tells me about the same role?

You must choose one agency and go with them for the role. Hedging your bets doesn’t work – more often than not, it works against you as clients are fearful of having to pay two or more fees.

I am desperate for a job; I don’t mind where my CV is sent. Is this ok? Will it increase my chances of securing a role?

Make sure you know where your CV is sent. It is a legal requirement for agencies to tell you about a role and agree for your CV to go forward before sending off your CV. (Specific agreements may be made re: certain clients – this is agreed upfront with your consent)

If I just pop into your offices at any time will someone see me?

We would love to say ‘yes’ to everyone, but this is not always possible as we book appointments for candidates. This ensures that we spend one to one time with our candidates (if you really need to come in and see us at short notice, please ring first so we can try and find a slot for you).

Why do you work with Managed Services? It is all very confusing!

We are obliged to use Managed Services for certain contracts. We have no choice in this matter. Managed Services are there purely to keep costs down for their client, and to improve their own profitability in whatever shape or form they choose. They engage with agencies to supply staff as well as using their own agencies affiliated with their Parent Group.

They do not have any relationship with our temps and should not contact our temps directly; to do so would be construed as being an “employee/employer” relationship. At Johnson Underwood we are glad to be responsible for our temps’ wellbeing, and for paying them correctly and on time. Remember that “Managed Services” are very corporate; they speak corporate talk and make statistics their “raison d’être”. Some even have agencies named after them, which further confuses the issue.

Why do we have to come in and register with Johnson Underwood? This is something I find very refreshing.

By law, all agencies must meet their candidates to ensure complete compliance. This includes viewing all original documents proving eligibility to work; Skyping will simply not suffice for this. We also like to meet our candidates in person as we see recruitment as a twofold process. Candidates want to be happy with their roles, and clients want to know that we have really worked hard on their behalf to earn our fee! Trust is absolutely paramount.

Method of payment

Your timesheet will be processed on the Monday following the Friday of the week you have worked. Payment will be made directly to your bank or building society account via Telepay (details of your relevant account must therefore be submitted to us on the form enclosed with your first timesheet). WITHOUT YOUR BANK OR BUILDING SOCIETY DETAILS WE ARE UNABLE TO PAY YOU.

Who should I contact if I have a query regarding my wages?

Simply call us on 01604 626 162 or email

I worked Monday through to Sunday last week, why didn’t I get paid for all if it this week?

Payroll runs from Sunday to the following Friday.


Payslips are emailed to you by close of business Tuesday. Please check to ensure it is accurate. If there are any discrepancies, call or email us and we will rectify the error immediately.

How do I receive my wages slip?

By email – should you not have email, please call into the office to collect.

Absence & sick pay

What do I do if I am ill and unable to go into work?

Please call us on 01604 626 162 and let your line manager know ASAP. Please do not email as emails are not always read in time.


Do I have to pay sick pay?

Most employees are entitled to claim Statutory Sick Pay for the first 28 weeks of sickness, after which time they are transferred to Invalidity Benefit or State Sickness Benefit (SSB) which may be available earlier if the employee is not able to claim SSP. Temporary workers who are paid subject to PAYE and NI contributions are also entitled to Statutory Sick Pay, providing they meet the statutory criteria applicable to all employees.

The legal obligation to pay SSP is contained in the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992 (the 1992 Act and the Statutory Sick Pay Scheme are the Statutory Sick Pay (General) Regulations 1992) (The 1992 Regulations).

Who is entitled to SSP?

Statutory sick pay is payable to all employees and agency workers paid PAYE even though they may be engaged on contracts for services. For ease, any reference in this section to employers and employees shall also include employment businesses and agency workers. An employer is liable to make a payment to an employee who has a day’s incapacity for work in relation to his/her contract provided all other considerations of the scheme are satisfied.

The definition of an employee under the 1992 Act includes anyone who is over the age of 16, employed in Great Britain and subject to income tax under Schedule E. This is extended by Regulations to include “employed earners” and this category includes temporary workers supplied by an employment business to provide a “personal service subject to the supervision direction or control” as to the way in which they provide their service of the person to whom they are supplied.

The description of an “employed earner” includes a temporary worker who is engaged by an employment business under a contract for services and who is supplied to a client. Therefore, temporary workers are deemed to be “employed earners” and consequently are to be treated as “employees” for the purposes of the Statutory Sick Pay Scheme.

Prior to 27 October 2008 agency workers only qualified if they worked on an assignment or a series of assignments totalling 13 weeks or more. The case of HMRC v Thorn Baker Limited and others determined that agency workers whose contracts are for a specified period of three calendar months or less are not entitled to SSP with the result that an agency worker on a fixed-term contract for less than three months is not entitled to SSP.

Since 27 October 2008 the Fixed Term Employees (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) (Amendment) Regulations 2008 has entitled all agency workers to claim SSP from day one and without any qualifying period.

To summarise, a person will be eligible for SSP if they are either:
An employee with a contract of service; or
to be treated as an employee if they are an “employed earner” who renders a personal service and is subject to supervision, direction or control and who is paid by a third party or where fees are charged by a third party for the continued employment of the person employed i.e. an agency worker.

In the following circumstances an “employee” will not be entitled to claim SSP:

  • Normal weekly earnings of the “employee” are less than the lower earnings limit for NI contributions which is subject to change in each tax year. If there are no normal weekly earnings, then an average must be calculated from gross earnings that attract National Insurance contributions before any deductions. The period of calculation is eight weeks ending with the last payday before the period of incapacity for work began.
  • During a period of 57 days ending immediately before the relevant date, the “employee” had at least one day on which he/she was entitled to invalidity pension, sickness benefit or maternity allowance. The receipt of benefits during any absence will normally be notified to you on a form that the “employee” will be given by the Department for Work and Pensions.
  • The “employee” has done no work for his employer under his contract (e.g. a temporary worker has not started an assignment with an employment business)
  • The “employee” is away from work because of participation in a trade dispute.
  • The “employee” is, or has been, pregnant and the relevant date for ascertaining liability for SSP falls during maternity leave.
  • The “employee” is in police custody or is in prison on the first day of their incapacity for work.
  • The “employee” is outside the EU area at any time on the first day of the period of incapacity for work.

The 1992 Act lays down certain circumstances in which the exclusions cannot apply and reference should be made to Schedule 11 of the Act if there is any question as to whether someone is excluded from liability.

If an “employee” is not entitled to Statutory Sick Pay by law, a Form SSP 1 should be completed by the employer, which will enable the “employee” to claim Social Security Benefit. The form must be given or sent to the “employee” no later than seven days after they have notified the employer of sickness. Any doctor’s notes and other documentation relating to the period of incapacity for work should be returned to the employee with the SSP1.

Who is liable to pay SSP?

Employment businesses, as well as other organisations that employ staff, fall within the definition of “employer” under the 1992 Act if they are liable to pay Secondary Class 1 National Insurance Contributions in relation to any earnings of their “employees” under a contract.

How does a worker qualify?

There are three qualifying conditions for entitlement to SSP. Entitlement can only arise if all these conditions are satisfied. They are:

  • That the day of sickness falls within a period of at least 4 consecutive days known as the “period of incapacity for work”.
  • That they are employed at the time and it falls within the “period of entitlement”; and it falls on a “qualifying day” i.e. in practice a day on which they would normally work.
  • Period of Incapacity for Work (“PIW”)An employer is liable to pay SSP provided the “employee” is off sick on a day on which they would normally work as part of a “period of incapacity for work” (PIW). That period must be four or more consecutive days of sickness and can include Saturdays and Sundays if they normally work on those days. If there are less than four consecutive days there is no PIW and you need take no action.

SSP is not payable for the first three Qualifying Days (QDs) in a Period of Incapacity for Work (PIW). These are called Waiting Days (WD).

If an “employee” has more than one period of sickness, each of which lasts for four or more calendar days in a row, and those two periods of incapacity for work are separated by periods of no more than eight weeks, i.e. 56 days, they will be treated as one single PIW. The effect of this is that if Statutory Sick Pay is payable in respect of the first PIW, it will automatically be payable for the second PIW. A series of periods of incapacity for work will therefore be linked if the breaks in between are no more than eight weeks in duration. The maximum entitlement is still 28 weeks. However, if there is a break of more than eight weeks between periods of incapacity for work, the maximum liability of 28 weeks will begin again. For example, Worker X is absent for 2 weeks but returns to work for 12 weeks and is then absent again for a further period of 28 weeks. In that case, the employer’s liability for that worker will be 30 weeks.

It is not necessary for the sickness to start on a QD, for example where the sickness began on a day when they would not be working. Where PIWs are linked and not all of the three WDs have been served in the first PIW, the remaining WDs must be served at the beginning of the next linked PIW. But once served there is no need for them to be served in any further linked PIWs.

Period of entitlement

Any day of incapacity for work must fall within a period of entitlement. This begins with the commencement of a PIW, i.e. the first day of sickness, and ends when the employer’s liability towards that “employee” ceases, when the first of the following occur:

  • Termination of that PIW, i.e. the employee is no longer ill;
  • The day on which the employee reaches his maximum entitlement to statutory sick pay (a total of 28 weeks);
  • The day on which the “employee’s” contract with the employer concerned expires or is brought to an end;
  • In the case of an “employee” who is or has been pregnant the day immediately preceding the maternity pay or maternity allowance period.

Qualifying days

The third condition for SSP eligibility is that the day of incapacity for work is a “qualifying day”. A qualifying day is a day of the week when the employee is required by his contract with that employer to be available for work or a day or days which is/are chosen to reflect the terms of that contract. Where qualifying days are determined by agreement between an employee and his employer, there shall be at least one qualifying day in each week (beginning with a Sunday). So a contract should specify which day or days of the week are to be qualifying days.

Where the contract does not specify a qualifying day or the days on which the employee must be available for work, the 1992 Regulations provide that the qualifying days will be either:

  • The day or days on which an “employee” is or was required to work for that employer; or
  • If the employer and “employee” agree that there are no specific days on which an employee is required to work, the qualifying day will be the Wednesday in any week;
  • If the employer and “employee” cannot reach agreement about the days on which an employee is or is not required to work, the qualifying days will be days that none of the employees are or were required to work, e.g. Saturdays and Sundays.
  • On the basis that temporary workers are generally free to work when they wish and cannot be “required” to work on any particular day of the week, it is open to an employment business to argue that the qualifying day will be the Wednesday in each week worked in accordance with paragraph (b) above. This would have the effect of reducing liability to those cases where a worker is absent due to sickness for a period of at least four weeks.

However, this argument should be used with caution and only in relation to the truly casual worker who works intermittently with no set pattern of work.

Statutory sick pay - when is SSP payable?

An employer is required to pay SSP on the usual payday, i.e. the first day on which the employee would have been remunerated for his work on the day for which he/she is claiming SSP.

Statutory Sick Pay is only paid for qualifying days. The daily rate is the weekly rate divided by the number of qualifying days in the week for which you are paying SSP. If there is only one qualifying day a week, the entire weekly rate is payable for absence on that day. For SSP purposes, weeks begin on a Sunday.

SSP is treated like pay and so deductions for PAYE, Income Tax and National Insurance Contributions must be made before payment.

An employer can treat any payment which counts as earnings for National Insurance Contribution purposes, e.g. wages or Occupational Sick Pay Scheme payments, as payments towards SSP for the same day, or vice versa.

SSP is not payable for the first three qualifying days in any period of entitlement. These are called “waiting days”. Therefore, if an employee agrees with his employer that he is required to work Monday to Friday and he falls sick so that he is unable to work on Tuesday, he will only be able to claim SSP if he remains off work through sickness Tuesday to Friday inclusive.

If an employment business can argue that the only qualifying day is Wednesday, there will be no SSP due until the worker has been away sick for four consecutive Wednesdays.


Temporary workers, whether part time or full time, are entitled to 5.6 weeks (i.e. 28 days) effective 1st April 2009.

To competently administer this, Johnson Underwood will show the holiday pay, paid to you, the temporary worker as a separate calculation on your payslip, along with the normal hours paid at the set rate agreed. Temporary workers must give the client (companies where temporary workers are working) and the Agency notice that they want to take leave. In the absence of any agreement, the notice period that a temporary worker must give should be at least twice the period of the leave to be taken. It is open to clients to set the times that temporary workers may take their leave, for example, a Christmas shut down.

A week’s leave should allow the temporary worker to be away from work for one week, i.e., it is the same as the length of time the temporary worker works in a normal week. Holiday entitlement may increase once qualified AWR.

Any temp wishing to take holiday pay, just needs to email how much they would like deducted from their holiday accrual (holiday pay carried forward box) and when.

Do I receive holiday pay?

Yes, see the notes with your contract and it shows on your wage slip every week. Please note: You must email reception to confirm you want the holiday to be paid (the same goes for bank holidays).

How is holiday pay calculated?

28 days pro rata each year = 12.7% of rate

What happens to my accrued holiday pay should I leave?

This is paid in full to you.

Agency worker regulations

Day 1 rights

  • Shower facilities
  • Waiting room
  • Prayer room
  • Access to internal vacancies (even if it is on a pin board or by intranet)
  • Other collective facilities on site which may be specific to individual companies/organisations

Week 12 rights (A guideline)

  • Same basic terms and conditions of those employed in the same role
  • Shift allowances
  • Annual leave and public holidays
  • Overtime
  • Commission
  • Bonuses – only relating directly to work done
  • Hours/rest periods/breaks
  • Vouchers – e.g. lunch, transport
  • Paid off time for ante-natal appointments

Johnson Underwood will endeavour to ensure equal treatment by obtaining the following and any other relevant documentation

  • Standard contracts of employment
  • Pay scales or pay structures
  • Relevant collective agreements
  • Handbooks
  • As members of the REC (Recruitment and Employment Confederation), we have access to their helpful legal helpline for up to date guidance and legal updates.
  • Complaints Procedure

Should Johnson Underwood be unable to satisfy your questions and concerns and you believe that your issues remain unresolved and that your rights to equal treatment have been breached, then this is the procedure you must follow:

The temporary worker must request in writing, for information regarding their issues to be addressed in writing within 28 days of the request. Written response from the agency must include relevant information relating to basic working and employment conditions of the workers of the hirer, factors considered when agency formulated these conditions and any other relevant information.

Should the agency not comply after 30 days have elapsed, the agency worker may then request information directly from the client in relation re basic working and employment conditions. However, should the temporary worker believe that their rights to the clients’ collective facilities have been breached, they are able to discuss this with the client directly at any time. Naturally, with any new laws there will be grey areas; however, as REC members we have access to a specialist legal team who will help us to help both our temps and clients.

Rest assured we have all of our interests at heart, as always.

When I reach the AWR 12 week qualifying date I have been told that I am entitled to bank holiday payment. Is that right?

Your current holiday entitlement is based on 28 days of leave per year (20 days holiday plus 8 bank holidays) so bank holidays are already reflected in your current holiday accrual.

If the company you work for has a more generous holiday allowance, you will be entitled to that same allowance once you reach the 12 week qualifying date. However, you will still accrue a holiday fund in the same way that you do now; it will just be at a higher rate (e.g. 15% of hourly rate instead of 12%) and you will still only be able to use the amount that you have accrued.

DBS service

At Johnson Underwood, we have a number of positions requiring a DBS, (previously known as CRBs). We use an umbrella company to process our DBS applications. They have written to inform us that the DBS fees have been increased by the DBS body themselves. An enhanced DBS will now cost £60 effective from August 2017.

At Johnson Underwood we do not charge anything extra for processing your application and offer a two stage payment system – £30 on applying and £30 once your DBS has been issued.

Documents you need to produce to obtain a DBS:

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    Passport or full birth certificate
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    Recent utility bill (no older than 3 months)
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    Benefits letter (no older than 3 months)
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    NI card
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    For full list of criteria, visit the DBS service website:

What is brilliant about a DBS nowadays is that you can make it transportable by following a few simple steps. On receipt of the certificate, you have a window of 14 days to apply for your DBS to be made transportable. There is a small fee for this service. However, it will mean that you can take your DBS anywhere; an employer will not have to apply for another DBS again. This means you are immediately employable!

In addition, in 12 months’ time, you can renew your DBS yourself at the DBS service direct for a small fee and never have to pay the £57 again! It is a marvellous system and we encourage all candidates to be aware of the benefits. Even if a corporate body obtains your DBS for you, you can still make it transportable on your own.

Workplace pension

You will still want dancing shoes when you’re 70! Nights out won’t stop when you retire, and neither will the other good things in life. Changes in the law are giving people across the UK new pension rights at work. This means millions of people will be automatically enrolled into a workplace pension scheme. When workers contribute, their employer and the government will usually contribute too. To find out more go to

In accordance with workplace pension law, every employer must Automatically Enrol all workers into a workplace pension scheme provided they meet the following criteria:

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    are not already in a workplace pension scheme
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    are aged between 22 and State Pension Age
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    earn more that £10,000 per year (correct as of April 2014)
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    work in the UK

Johnson Underwood will automatically enrol all their temporary workers who meet the above criteria on the first weekly pay day of each month. This is something we are required to do by law. We use the government pension scheme NEST.

We calculate contributions based on your qualifying earnings (correct on April 2014). Johnson Underwood pays: 1% per cent of your qualifying earnings per week. Temporary Worker pays: 1% per cent of your qualifying earnings per week. Your contributions will be deducted from your qualifying earnings.

For example:
John puts in £20 each week
We put in £20 each week
Tax relief of 20% may be available
Total paid into your pension pot each week = £48

Temporary workers who have been automatically enrolled are entitled to opt out at any time after their Automatic Enrolment. NEST will send you your enrolment package, including “opt out” instructions. If you do not meet the above criteria, you will be able to ask to join the Johnson Underwood Workplace Pension scheme. Just contact us.

The Johnson Underwood Workplace Pension scheme is provided by NEST, Nene Hall, Lynch Wood Business Park Peterborough, PE2 6FY. To find out more go to

Johnson Underwood

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