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New regulations could mean end of cheap labour

New regulations could mean end of cheap labour 

Recruiters are stealing themselves for a change in the law that could mean the end of temporary workers being viewed as a source of cheap labour, says James Tucker operations manager of Bournemouth-based hospitality industry specialists Towngate Personnel.

Under the European Union's new Agency Workers Regulations, which come into effect on October 1, agency staff that work for an employer for 12 weeks will be entitled to the same basic working and employment conditions as staff hired directly by the employer.

"In broad terms this means the temp must be paid at least as much as a comparable permanent worker and have the same holiday entitlement, overtime rates and bonuses," says James.

"Effectively it should mean the beginning of the end for those employers who just look at temps as being cheap labour rather than a valued part of their workforce, which ultimately cannot be a bad thing."

The new Regulations also entitle temporary workers to have the same access to the employer's collective facilities such as canteens, cr&egraveches, car parking and free transport.

"The AWR originated in Europe where the amount of temps working through agencies is substantially lower than in the UK, often with little or no employment rights," adds James.

"In the hotels industry it may affect some agencies who supply rafts of operational staff such as room attendants on minimum wage, although in many other cases where the temps are experienced professionals and are often paid more than their permanent counterparts there will be little or no change."

He also sounded a word of warning to some of the less scrupulous recruitment agencies in general.

"These new regulations mean those agencies who pay low and charge high will have to look closely at their margins."

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