New European employment legislation which came into place over the weekend, is set to hit thousands of employers in the region who use temporary staff.
Under the new Agency Workers Regulations Act 2010, temporary workers will be entitled to ‘day one rights’, and ‘12 week rights’, giving them the same rights as permanent employees.
From day one temporary workers will be given access to the hirer’s facilities, including crèches and canteens.
After 12 weeks the rights increase further, giving employee staff the same rights as directly employed staff regarding working hours, rest periods and annual leave.
While the legislation is intended to give temporary workers more rights, Ian Storer, managing director of recruitment agency Core People believes the legislation could create more problems than it solves.
“The new legislation is set to have an opposite of what is actually intended, because many businesses cannot afford to pay temporary workers more than they already do.”
The regulations will also place an onerous bureaucratic burden on businesses, who will be forced to ensure they comply with the new rules. Ian believes it is vitally important that employers familiarise themselves with these rules to prepare for additional expenditure in this already difficult climate.
“Many businesses across the region will now be forced to reconsider how they manage their temporary workforce, and some will be forced to terminate assignments because they cannot afford to pay more,” he continued.
“While the legislation intends to drive more people into permanent work, it could actually increase the instability of temporary work. Now there are set to be even fewer opportunities when the opportunities aren’t there in the first place.”
Ian believes the regulation will now cost the UK billions of pounds per annum, “at a time when we can ill afford it”.
He added: “This is just another case of European over-legislation. The previous government knew what they were doing when they passed the regulations although the current government tried to water the provisions down, it had a momentum of its own.”