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The Impact of The TAWD

The Impact of The TAWD

A recent survey conducted by business law firm Lawrence Graham LLP (LG) looks at the governments proposals for new equal treatment rights for temporary agency workers in anticipation of the regulations which are expected to come out later this year.

LG surveyed 168 people in 134 companies and received a significant response from organisations across all sectors who between them either supply or use over 17,500 temporary workers a year.
Helga Breen, an employment partner at LG, said: "The government's proposals arguably go further than is required by the EU Agency Workers Directive in a number of respects. Undoubtedly the proposals will add both a heavy administrative burden and an extra cost both to the supply and use of temporary agency workers."
"The respondents to our survey have strong views on these proposals even though they may use (or hire out) a comparatively low number of temporary agency workers (62 per cent use or hire out an average of below 50 a year). We feel that this shows the degree of burden expected by businesses due to any implementation," she added.
The government recently launched a consultation exercise over its proposal for new regulations to implement the EU Directive on Conditions for Temporary (Agency) Workers. It proposes to implement the Directive by adopting the joint Government/CBI/TUC Agreement of May 2008 which allows for equal treatment to apply after the temporary worker has been in a given job for 12 weeks.
The survey found that an overwhelming 81 per cent of respondents which use or supply temporary agency workers are not in favour of the proposed 12 week qualifying period for equal treatment 76 per cent think temporary workers should only qualify for the same rights as permanent employees after a much longer period (26 or 51 weeks) in a given assignment.

There was a also a strong consensus that agency workers should not be entitled to the same contractual benefits afforded to permanent employees such as bonuses and payment of overtime.

Over half the respondents (56 per cent) consider that the hirer should be at least partly liable for any equal treatment claims while a minority of 23 per cent believe that a temporary worker should not qualify for equal treatment at all.

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