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The Final AWD Regulations Have Been Published Comment

The Final AWD Regulations Have Been Published Comment

The REC delighted with temp to perm win but flags areas of concern for recruiters

The final regulations for the UK implementation of the EU Agency Workers Directive (AWD) have just been laid before Parliament. This is the latest milestone in what has been an intensive eight year lobbying campaign by the REC to ensure that potentially hugely damaging regulations are workable for the industry.

REC Chief Executive Kevin Green was notified of the imminent publication and some of the key outcomes in a conference call yesterday afternoon with the Minister for Business, Skills and Innovation, Pat McFadden. One of the major developments is the fact that the RECs campaign to protect current temp to perm fees has succeeded with the Government agreeing to not impose potentially damaging restrictions in the form of a reasonableness test on the fees charged by agencies.

There are some other important wins for the industry in the final document in particular with regards to the exclusion for self-employed workers and the delayed implementation date although a number of areas give cause for concern. One of our key priorities moving forward will be about how 12 weeks service is measured when a temp returns to a hirer on an ad hoc basis. We cannot have a situation when the burden on agencies making the shortest assignments is highest. We will continue to work pro-actively with the Department for Business to find workable solutions to this issue.

Commenting on todays outcome and on the implications for the UK recruitment industry, Kevin Green says:

The positive outcome on temp to perm fees and the delayed implementation date are vital wins for the industry. We are pleased that a number of the practical recommendations from our Agency Work Commission have been taken on board despite heavy Trade Union pressure.

There are of course a number of areas in the final regulations that give cause for concern and our priority now is to work with Government on the official guidance documents and to influence the way that the new requirements on recruiters will be interpreted. The industrys voice has been at the forefront of the political debate on AWD implementation, the next phase is about giving recruiters the practical tools to work with clients and prepare for implementation.

The REC will continue to engage positively with Government in particular with regards to the development of the supporting guidance documents for clients and recruitment agencies.

The REC will also be producing a specific AWD tool-kit for members and will continue to build links with the Conservative Party's business team.

CBI REACTION TO AGENCY WORK LEGISLATION

The CBI today commented on regulations laid before Parliament to implement the EU Directive on temporary agency work.

John Cridland, CBI Deputy Director-General, said:
"These regulations are bad news for the economy as they will hamper job creation. Employment agencies help over a million people find work and these proposals will make it more expensive for companies to use agency temps by increasing bureaucracy.
"In a week when the benefits of a flexible labour market have shown themselves in better-than-expected unemployment figures, it is regrettable that the Government is implementing European legislation that will harm that flexibility.
"The Government has gone further than it needed to under EU rules by forcing employers to include temps in performance appraisals designed to set pay for employees. This extra bureaucracy will only discourage firms from taking on temporary workers when theyre unable to create permanent jobs.
"Agency temps employment relationship is with the employment agency, not the agencys client, and the law should recognise this. The economy would benefit from a much simpler definition of pay, giving agency workers equal treatment without the substantial burdens in the Governments approach.

"However, companies will welcome the delay in implementation until the end of next year, and the Governments rejection of union demands for a much more heavy-handed approach to imposing the new rules."

Government must publish Agency Workers guidance well before implementation - EEF

Commenting on the regulations implementing the EU Agency Workers Directive which were published today, David Yeandle, EEF Head of Employment Policy, said:-

Manufacturers will be pleased the Government has confirmed that this legislation will come into force in October 2011 and that it has resisted pressure for its earlier implementation.

However, we remain concerned about the costs and administrative burdens that this new legislation will impose on employers and, in particular, about the decision to include some bonus payments in the definition of pay that will be used for equal treatment.

It will now be important for the Government to publish clear and practical guidance for employers on these Regulations well before their implementation in October 2011.

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