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Confusion abounds over management of temp workforce

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HR management are unaware of the rules regarding the management of temporary workers, according to a recent survey.

The survey conducted by HR management consultancy, Reflect shows that line managers are unaware of their own failings when dealing with temporary workers.

Reflect found that 69% of line managers did not understand the rules, while HR decision makers had confidence that procedures were being followed by management.

28% of the 250 respondents surveyed showed that line managers did not understand the possible risks of treating temporary workers like permanent employees.

31% of HR decision-makers admitted to line managers appraising their temporary workers using existing performance management processes designed for permanent staff.

Reflecting on the concern that HR managers are advising line managers incorrectly, Justin McAvoy, Managing Consultant from Reflect commented:

“For HR to be saying the line understands the risks and in the same sentence confirming that temps are being performance managed clearly demonstrates that the organisation is at risk – neither the line or HR understand the law. There is arguably no greater demonstration of exerting control than performance management”, he said.

54% of respondents admitted to having made no provision for line manager training.

The survey also demonstrated that confusion abounds over the extent of ‘control’ that should be applied to temporary workers in comparison to their permanent colleagues.

Temporary workers, employed as ‘contractors’ that are deployed to client organsiations and given the same degree of control as the permanent workforce could submit an Employment Tribunal claim disputing the status of their contract.

McAvoy says: “What this means is a contractor could claim for unfair dismissal, redundancy payments, and potentially discrimination.

“HR is taking a big gamble to assume that the Line understand right and wrong behaviours and the associated risks if they are actually doing nothing proactive to ensure they are compliant.”

Overall, 28% of HR decision makers confirmed that their line managers do not understand the risks.

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Annie Hayes

Editor

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