The EU Commission’s draft Agency Workers Directive, which is
supposed to protect the interest of temps, will misfire and damage those it is
designed to help, according to research.
The directive would give temporary workers rights to equal pay
and conditions as permanent staff once they have worked for an employer for
longer than six weeks, if introduced in its current form.
The survey of 4,000 temporary workers by the Recruitment and
Employment Confederation (REC) shows that 70 per cent of agency workers believe
temping improves their ability to gain a permanent job.
The REC claims around 50 per cent of temps accept an offer
of permanent employment within 12 months from an organisation they have been
assigned to as a temp.
More than half of the respondents report that one of the
main reasons they temp is to suit their family and lifestyle better because
they have more freedom in choosing the hours they work.
Commenting on the survey Tim Nicholson, chief executive of
the REC said: "The Commission pays lip service to the social and economic
benefits of temporary work, but these proposed regulations are clearly founded
on a misconception that agency workers are stuck at the bottom end of the
labour market in poor quality, low paid jobs. The directive is supposed to make
this sort of work more attractive to workers and employers, but instead jobs
will be lost because of extra costs and inflexibility, and great damage will be
done for no good reason."