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Businesses quake under threat of six-week ‘temp’ rights

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Euro MPS are close to voting on the EU Agency Workers Directive which could give temporary staff the same rights as permanent workers after only six weeks in employment; the CIPD told HRZone the directive would ‘seriously damage’ the temping market.

Recruitment outfit beRecruitment claim the new directive would be bad for business.

Carole Fossey, MD of the firm commented:

“Current legislation already works to the advantage of both temping staff and businesses, and this change would dramatically increase the cost of recruiting temps. Secondly, companies would be forced to change their staff every six weeks, instead of every six or twelve months.”

Fossey believes that the legislation would devastate the temping industry.

“Instead of some temporary jobs being a platform into permanent positions, temps will constantly be reassigned as clients will not want to take the risks involved with offering permanent employment rights to a temp, and these opportunities will be wiped out altogether.”

Under the proposed legislation, temporary staff would still be able to leave their post without notice, whilst being entitled to the same benefits as their permanent counterparts, such as sick pay, holiday, employment rights and financial rewards.

Fossey warns that if passed, the new legislation could cause resentment between temps and permanent employees:

“It should be at least twelve months before temps are entitled to the same benefits as long-serving, permanent staff.”

Mike Emmott, Employee Relations Adviser at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development told HRZone that adopting the draft directive in its current form would ‘seriously damage’ the temporary recruitment business as well as employers’ ability to manage peaks and troughs in demand.

“This would seem to be directly contrary to the EU Commission’s objective of promoting labour market flexibility. Temporary workers in the UK already have statutory protection in respect of for example the minimum wage, working time and discrimination.

“Many people who might otherwise have difficulty accessing higher paid or permanent employment use temporary work to get started. CIPD believes that, if additional projection is thought to be needed, it should only apply to temporary workers who have been working for the same employer for at least 12 months.”

Share your views by posting your comments in the box below.

One Response

  1. The Temp becomes a business service
    Yes, there is no doubt it is a piece of crazy legislation however the same happened with IT recruitment and new legislation. The solution was to have a contractor set up a limited company or use an “umbrella operation” where it is managed for you.As a limited company a person provides a service to a company and just provides an invoice.
    Interestingly, we prefer to engage with temporary staff in this manner, and they end up with more pay, less tax, and the end user company get a straight purchase invoice.

    Hope this helps

    Regards
    Simon Neale

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