EU Agency Workers Directive

71 per cent of employers believe their business will suffer if the EU Agency
Directive is introduced as drafted

Seven out of 10 employers believe that their businesses will be damaged if
the draft EU Agency Workers Directive is implemented.

A major survey of almost 1,000 organisations by Personnel Today and Manpower
reveals that 71 per cent are concerned the directive would have a negative
impact on their company.

The survey results coincide with a key discussion being held in Europe today
that will help shape the final content of the draft directive. This seeks to
give temporary workers the right to the same pay and conditions as permanent
employees after just six weeks of employment.

The research also shows 79 per cent of employers think the directive would
increase their staffing costs and 73 per cent predict it would lead to more red

Public affairs manager for Manpower, Ruth Hounslow said the survey
highlights employers’ serious concerns about the directive, which could be
adopted by the EU as early as this time next year.

"As drafted this directive will have a significant negative impact on
the UK. Employers will be deterred from using a flexible workforce because it
will no longer be nearly as convenient to take on agency workers," she

Almost half the employers predict the directive would damage the
competitiveness of the UK’s economy.

Hounslow believes that multinational employers would be discouraged from
locating in the UK if the directive is allowed to damage workforce flexibility.

The survey also finds that more than half the firms surveyed typically hire
temporary workers for longer than six weeks.

"We very much hope the qualification period is extended significantly
beyond six weeks. If it remains as it is or is reduced it will put back
temporary work by 20 years to providing short-term cover for holidays and
sickness," said Hounslow.

She added that many employers are concerned the directive would mean they
would have to disclose confidential information on their pay rates.

By Ben Willmott

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