EU agrees time limit for agency workers change

The controversial EU Agency Workers Directive will be
finalised by June, after member states agreed to impose a time limit for
discussions.

UK employers have opposed the draft directive, which will
give temporary staff the right to the same pay and conditions as permanent
staff after six weeks in employment, over fears it will damage the flexibility
of the labour market and increase costs.

After five years, temps would get equal rights from day one.

In a public debate at a Council of Ministers committee
meeting, social affairs ministers agreed to accelerate the decision-making
process and promised to complete the directive by the end of Greece’s EU
presidency in June.

The ministers identified three key areas of contention that
must be resolved, with member states split over the qualification period, the
restrictions on the use of temps and whether the directive should apply to
temps that are re-training.

David Yeandle, deputy director of employment policy at the Engineering
Employers’ Federation, believes the UK Government is now fully behind employers
in this country in seeking to have the qualification period extended.

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