By Claire West

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), in partnership with Adecco, today publishes a guide to help employers prepare for the impact of the Agency Workers Regulations 2010. The Regulations, which come into effect on 1 October 2011, implement an EU Directive requiring the basic employment terms and conditions of agency workers after a qualifying period of 12 weeks to be no less favourable than those that would apply if they had been recruited directly.

Mike Emmott, CIPD Public Policy Adviser, said: “Many employers are already reviewing their recruitment strategies so as to take account of the impact of the Agency Workers Regulations. Some employers have made clear that they will carry on using temporary staff supplied by agencies for periods of less than 12 weeks, but stop using agencies for longer-term assignments. Some others will stop using agencies to recruit temporary workers and take staff directly onto their own books instead.

“It is important that employers should make their own assessment of how the regulations will affect them, based on an understanding of what they say. Agency working makes a significant contribution to the UK’s flexible labour market and it would be damaging if employers were to make decisions about their recruitment strategies based on misunderstandings around the scale of the impact the Regulations are likely to have on their business, or stories about “gold-plating”. Employers should feel reassured that the Regulations will not present an unmanageable obstacle to their continued use of agency temps.”

Andy Smith, Head of Regulation and Employment at Adecco Group, who produced the guide, said: “Our research shows an alarming lack of awareness about the Regulations by many employers. Publication of guidance by the Government has been delayed by its deliberations over a possible review and is not expected until sometime next year. But many organisations need to understand the potential impact of the Regulations now because they are developing their HR and budget plans for 2011. That is why this guide is so essential.”