MEP criticises stalling tactics on temps rules

Dutch MEP Ieke van den Burgh has hit out at the minority of EU member
states, led by the UK, for blocking progress of the new European Temporary
Agency Work Directive.

The controversial directive, which would give temps the same employment
rights as permanent workers, has stalled at the Council of Ministers after
staunch opposition from British and Irish employment ministers, supported by
their German and Danish counterparts.

Speaking at the 2010 Work Odyssey conference, Van den Burgh – who is
responsible for drafting the directive – expressed disappointment that the
amended proposals were being blocked by the group of member states, despite
being approved by the European Parliament.

She claimed the directive would maintain "the right balance"
between flexibility and security, while providing basic protection from day one
to vulnerable temporary workers.

This view is supported by the European temporary business organisation
CIETT, which represents several big staffing firms including Adecco, Manpower
and Randstad.

Euro CIETT chairman Fred van Haasteren told the conference that the new
legislation was necessary to lift ‘unjustified and unnecessary’ restrictions,
allowing companies to offer staff more flexible contracts of employment.

Meanwhile, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) estimates that in the
UK alone, as many as 160,000 permanent jobs could be at risk from the

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