Employers reject EU ‘temps’ rights’ proposals

Employers
are concerned that a draft EU directive that would give temporary workers the
right to the same remuneration as permanent staff will prove unworkable and
damaging to the UK  labour market.

The
directive, which is being opposed by the CIPD and the CBI, could mean temporary
workers would receive the same pay and conditions as permanent staff, including
pensions and holiday provision and other benefits such as health insurance and
share schemes.

The
CIPD claims the proposed EU directive on agency workers will damage the UK’s
labour market flexibility.

"Agency
workers allow employers to rapidly meet changes in business demands and
staffing crises. Also, temping is a useful route into work for the unemployed
and young people, and provides versatile employment for people who do not want
to tie themselves to a permanent job," says CIPD Employee Relations
Adviser Diane Sinclair.

"The
EU proposals are wholly inappropriate for the UK. They will restrict
flexibility without significant benefit to anybody."

Sinclair
called on the Government to resist the proposals and to lobby for a practical
approach that protects flexibility for workers and employers.

The
draft directive on agency workers was due to be published on February 27 but it
has now been delayed until March.

It
will then go to the EU’s Council of Ministers for discussion and then, if an
outline is agreed, to government officials of member countries.

By Ben Willmott

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