EEF sends delegation to change temps directive

Officials from the Engineering Employers’ Federation are travelling to
Strasbourg tomorrow to join forces with their German counterparts to call for
changes to be made to the draft EU Agency Workers’ Directive.

The EEF is concerned that the directive, which as currently drafted will
give temporary workers the right to the same pay and conditions as permanent
staff after six weeks in employment, will damage UK workforce flexibility.

The delegation, which will also include representatives from the EEF’s
member firms, will meet with the Socialist MEP responsible for the directive,
Ieke van den Burg, and her counterparts from the Conservative, Liberal and
Green groups.

David Yeandle, deputy director of employment policy for the EEF, said the
employers’ body and its German sister organisation would be calling for member
states to be given flexibility in implementing the directive.

Yeandle said the EEF wants temporary workers’ pay and conditions to be
compared with other agency workers, not permanent staff.

If this is not acceptable to the European Parliament, the EEF is calling for
the qualification period, when agency workers’ pay and conditions must match
those of permanent staff, to be extended to at least 12 months.

Yeandle also said that the agency workers directive as drafted would make it
harder for EEF members to employ specialist temporary staff who are well
qualified and rewarded.

"The three or four individual companies which will be attending the
meeting will be able to raise the real practical difficulties they will face as
the directive stands, and its impact on labour market opportunities," he

The directive will have to be considered by the European Parliament and the
Council of Ministers before it is implemented.

By Ben Willmott

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