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AWD Replies & Reaction

AWD Replies & Reaction

Following the Governments consultation launch on the UK implementation of the European Agency Workers Directive BERR is inviting replies via the attached link to access the consultation document.

Responses to the consultation must be received by 31 July 2009.
Details of how to take part in this process are in the consultation document.

Commenting on the significance of the Government consultation on implementing the Agency Workers Directive launched today, REC Chief Executive Kevin Green says: "The stakes are extremely high for business, the 22million temp market and for the employment landscape in the UK.

A poorly drafted and unhelpful implementation of the EU Directive could unleash a regulatory wrecking-ball through the UK's jobs market. Over a million temporary and contract workers are on assignment each week and it is crucial to ensure that the equal treatment measures do not reduce employment opportunities.

After what has essentially been a political debate in Brussels, it is time look at the practicalities of making the Directive work in the UK. The REC's Agency Work Commission has already paved the way for this with a series of practical recommendations that were presented to Employment Relations Minister earlier in the year. The REC will ensure that professional recruiters, who will apply equal treatment, will continue to lead the debate."

The Agency Work Commission is made up of recruiters, employment lawyers and employers.

The initial recommendations presented to the Department for Business were as follows:

The scope of equal treatment should be limited to basic salary and other basic statutory rights
Equal treatment must be easy to establish
The 12 weeks qualifying period must be easy to administer
Liability must rest with the end user as well as the agency
Measures to limit the increase in employment tribunals must be promoted
The provision of the Directive should be limited to individual workers
UK regulations must support legitimate means of derogating from the principle of equal treatment
A clear communication strategy is essential for effective implementation
Implementation must be delayed until October 2011

The REC will be consulting members on this document at its third Agency Work Summit on 4th June, further details of which can be found at:


The CBI commented on the launch of the governments consultation on the implementation of the EU Agency Workers Directive.

John Cridland, CBI Deputy-Director General said:

Although this directive has been agreed in Brussels, there are still lots of questions that remain about how it will be implemented in the UK.

The example of France is a good case study for how not to do it. When changes to agency working were made there, it resulted in the number of agency jobs halving.

It would be a nonsense to introduce redundancy rights in a company where agency staff work but are not employed.

Agency working is important for the UK economy and we mustnt undermine it with clumsy regulation.


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