By Max Clarke

A leading recruitment body has reacted to Prime Minister David Cameron’s apparent desire to dilute the impending Agency Workers’ Regulations, deeming the move ‘unlikely’.

The regulations, set to come into effect from 1st October 2011, essentially extend the same rights and benefits to temporary workers and contract employees as for full time staff, and are being implemented in line with EU regulation. Therefore should Cameron step in and overhaul the rapidly impending changes, he would be in direct contravention with the Union.

“If the Government was to go head to head with the EU in simply refusing to introduce the new laws, there would be legitimate questions as to why this option was not pursued before as agencies have already invested substantial time and money in preparing for implementation on October 1,” observed Kevin Green, Chief Executive of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation.

“One realistic way forward would be for the Government to agree on an early ‘one-year’ review of the Regulations. This is something the REC as called for in recent discussions with Ministers.”

The Freelancer and Contractor Services Association have also put forward a compromise, that need not directly flout EU regulations, nor incur the anger of unions in support of the measure, but that would simplify directive from a small business point of view:

“A simple but effective move would be to change the 12 weeks qualifying
period to the maximum allowed under the legislation which is 6 months.
This would mean a significant number of temporary workers would not fall
within the regulations, thus reducing the burden on business."


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