By Max Clarke

The single biggest upheaval in temporary workers’ rights comes into effect in two weeks time, with the advent of the Agency Workers Regulations (AWR).

The move, intended to bring UK employment law in-line with EU regulations, has been both welcomed, bu trades unions, and criticised by business organisations. The UK’s biggest recruitment agency, the Recruitment & Employment Confederation, advocate a compromise, calling for a comprehensive review of the new regulation one year after implementation.

Recent letters to Prime Minister David Cameron and to the Department for Business have underlined the need to closely monitor how the regulations play out on the ground and to remedy and disproportionate or unforeseen implementation issues.

In his letter to the Prime Minister, Kevin Green, the REC's Chief Executive, underlined the fact that the AWR is 'the biggest regulatory challenge ever to face our industry' and emphasised the benefits of an early review. Despite rumours last week that the Government was prepared to take some last minute action, a change of tack at this late stage was always a long shot. However, a commitment to review the Regulations within a year of them coming into force is a realistic way forward.

“As with any EU legislation, wriggle room may be limited but committing to a one year review would send an important message to the industry,” said Tom Hadley, the REC's Director of Policy and Professional Services. “This is something we will continue to push for and we are pleased that leading business organisations such as the CBI have supported our call.

"We have worked closely with the Department for Business on both the regulations and the accompanying guidance to mitigate the impact and make the regulations as clear as possible. Recruiters are now getting on with the job of briefing their clients and preparing for implementation and we will ensure that the ongoing feedback from members is captured and fed back to Government."

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