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AWR latest New data flags more upbeat approach from clients

AWR latest – New data flags more upbeat approach from clients

With just a month to go before implementation of the Agency Workers Regulations (AWR), a significant proportion of employers have indicated that they are not planning to make  significant changes to the way the manage and use agency workers.

According to the REC's latest JobsOutlook, some  42 per cent of employers are not planning to make any significant changes. This compares to 46 per cent in July and perhaps reflects the fact that on closer examination, the Regulations will not have the significant impact that may have been feared. The latest data confirms that the overall need for flexible staffing will continue and in some cases increase, once AWR comes into force on October 1..

However, many employers are still either unaware of the changes or are undecided about how they will amend their workforce planning as a result.  A surprisingly high number of employers – 23 per cent – remain unaware of the new regulations. A further 44 per cent - four in ten employers - are still undecided about what changes they are planning to make to their workforces ahead of implementation on October 1.  This confirms that there are still opportunities to influence the way that client organisations approach new equal treatment measures.

At the same time, just 14 per cent of employers have said they will definitely be making changes due to the AWR. Of those planning to make changes, an increasing number have said that they will be prepared to pay higher rates of pay for some staff - 13 per cent this month, compared to eight per cent in July.

And whilst 23 per cent of those planning to make changes said that they would consider decreasing their use of temporary staff, it is interesting to note that that the overall number of employers planning to maintain or increase their use of agency workers over the next 12 months has actually increased.  Some 83 per cent of employers say their use of agency workers will either grow or stay the same over the coming year, compared to 80 per cent last month.

Commenting on the findings, Tom Hadley, the REC’s Director of Policy and Professional Services, said: “The data on general hiring intentions is encouraging.  Although some employers may see reducing agency use as an obvious short term option, the need for flexible staffing arrangements will outweigh concerns over the AWR in most sectors.

“With nearly a quarter of employers still unaware of the changes the Regulations will bring, and a further 44 per cent still unsure of what measures to take, there is scope for one final concerted push to raise awareness and address common misconceptions.

“Despite some alarmist media stories on the potential impact, the latest data supports the view that the AWR will be workable in most sectors. It also confirms that crucial role that recruiters can play in helping clients to gear up for implementation and to manage potential risk factors.”

Practical support and materials to help agencies engage with their clients on AWR implementation are a key element of the REC’s Your AWR Advisor, details of which can be found at: http://www.rec.uk.com/awr.

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