June 23, 2005

TUC wants stronger rights for temporary workers

by brian_turner

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The TUC has said that temporary workers must be protected from “cowboy” job agencies and employers that pay them less than permanent staff. The organisation said that the government should speed up the implementation of a proposed EU directive to improve the rights of temporary staff.

According to the TUC, the UK is one of three EU countries where temps are paid less than staff for the same work. It said that under UK law, temps do not have access to sick or holiday pay. They have fewer rights than those in many EU accession countries such as Poland and Slovenia.

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) said that the UK had a successful labour market and extra regulation would result in job losses. It argued that temporary works are well protected under UK law and many skilled temporary workers are paid more than their permanent counterparts.

Gareth Osborne, managing director of The Recruitment and Employment Confederation, which represents temping agencies, questioned the validity of the research and said the report was a “gross misrepresentation of the UK temporary work market”.

Under the EU’s proposed Temporary Agency Workers Directive, all temporary staff would have the right to equal treatment with permanently employed colleagues on such issues as pay, working time and holidays, maternity rights and protection against discrimination.

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