Recruitment agency chief Kevin Green has defended the value of temporary work to the UK economy in the wake of the controversial sacking of 850 agency staff at BMW’s Mini plant in Oxford.
Angry workers claimed they were given just one hour’s notice of redundancy at the end of their shift. Union leaders described BMW’s treatment of the workers as “disgraceful”.
Green, chief executive at the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC), which represents 8,000 agencies, said that because demand for new cars has slumped, agency workers allow employers to flex their workforce to meet demand.
“It doesn’t mean that these workers are being left stranded, however,” he said. “The whole point of agency work is that once one assignment comes to an end, the candidate can go back to their recruitment agency to find a new one, and there are still vacancies that need filling.
“The fact that employers can flex their labour requirements quickly with agency staff means that more jobs are created in the economy,” he added. “We should not lose sight of the benefit that this brings workers and employers alike when firms make difficult decisions about who to make redundant.”
Unite general secretary Tony Woodley said: “The manner in which these cuts were announced was disgraceful.”