Agency Workers Directive must come into force in the UK by 5 December 2011

The Agency Workers Directive must come into force in the UK by 5 December 2011, the European Union (EU) has announced.

The EU set the implementation date as it published the official wording of the directive – which will give temps in the UK equal rights to permanent staff after 12 weeks with an employer.

The UK secured this 12-week qualifying period due to a deal previously struck by the CBI and the TUC.

All other member states have to give equal rights to temps from their first day – unless they reach such an agreement domestically.







Pinsent Masons employment lawyer Nicola Johnston points out that following the EU announcement, whilst agency workers can expect improved rights by 5 December 2011, it does not follow they will be on an equal footing with employees as some reports are suggesting.

However, UK employers remain keen that the government does not bow to trade union pressure to bring the directive into force earlier than the late 2011 deadline.

David Yeandle, head of employment policy at manufacturers’ body the EEF, said: “We are urging the government to use the full three-year period that is provided before implementing this directive in the UK.”

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