Peterborough MP Stewart Jackson has offered his ‘100 per cent support’ to independent agency Anne Corder Recruitment’s campaign to delay the introduction of new legislation which could threaten thousands of temporary roles.
Mr Jackson described the Agency Workers Directive – which will grant equal treatment to agency workers after 12 weeks – as ‘self-defeating’ and said ‘we need to keep the pressure on the Government’.
Anne Corder Recruitment, based in Park Road and with a satellite office in Lynch Wood, Peterborough, has joined forces with trade body the Recruitment and Employment Confederation to delay the introduction of the legislation. It believes it could add more than 20 per cent to the cost to employers of using temporary staff – and increase the administrative burden – both of which could result in a significant fall in demand.
“We have noticed an upturn in the demand for temporary workers following the much talked about lull at the beginning of the year,” said consultant Karen Dykes. “We believe the introduction of this legislation will go some way to crushing that increase in demand with employers unable and unwilling to stand the extra cost.
“We have been fighting the introduction of this directive but as the necessary rubber stamping has now happened we are asking for the introduction to be delayed until the last possible date detailed which is October 2011. We have asked Mr Jackson to take up the case in Parliament.
“We understand there would be a need for this legislation if temporary workers felt they were being exploited but that doesn’t happen if they work through reputable agencies. Many temps are worried the new rules will mean assignments lasting longer than 12 weeks will disappear. After this period employers will have to give temporary staff equal treatment to permanent staff. We are looking for clarification on this point and suggest that anything beyond the implementation of the same hourly wage – for instance bonuses, gym membership or lunch vouchers – would incur prohibitive administration charges.”
During a visit to ACR’s office Mr Jackson described the directive as ‘unworkable’.
“If temps felt they were being exploited I could understand the need for it but it doesn’t seem as if they do,” said Mr Jackson. “If the Conservatives form the next Government I would hope this could be killed off – or at least watered down – before it needs to be implemented.”
The date for the introduction of the legislation is due to be discussed in Parliament on a date yet to be announced.
“We very much hope Mr Jackson takes advantage of that opportunity to raise our concerns before Parliament,” said Karen.