A TUC dossier delivered to DTI ministers contains first-hand reports from temporary workers cataloging abuses, including illegal low pay, unlawful deductions from wages and the withholding of holiday pay.
The report, published to coincide with a TUC conference about the problems facing many of the UK’s 600,000 temporary agency workers, challenges the view that temps do not need or want improved employment rights.
The government should listen to these genuine reports of mistreatment in UK workplaces and act on its commitment to try to get laws for equal pay and better protections for temps.
An EU directive, the Temporary Agency Workers Directive,which would have afforded temps the same rights as employees, is one of 68 draft directives that the European Commission plans to shelve in a bid to cut red tape.
TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: “Temping is vital to today’s modern economy, but with no proper protection too many agency temps are suffering working practices from the dark ages.
“Too many are treated like a throw-away second-class workers and have to take it or leave it. If they complain they lose their assignment and any chance of more work with the agency.
“Europe-wide rights for agency workers would make temping the quality step into, or stop-gap between full time jobs that it should be.”