Temporary workers get a raw deal in the workplace

Temporary workers are still getting a raw deal in the
workplace, according to research by the TUC published today.

The TUC survey Permanent Rights for Temporary workers,
finds that 47 per cent of employers pay their temporary staff less than their
permanent staff.

It reveals that nearly three-quarters of employers fail to
offer temporary staff the same access to occupational pension schemes as they
do to their permanent staff.

The survey also reveals that terms and conditions for
temporary staff are poor, with 25 per cent of employers failing to provide
temporary staff access to contractual sick leave.

The TUC claims that the survey shows a two-tier temporary
workforce is emerging; those in high skilled, high-tech sectors who are able to
‘play the field’ and a growing band of those at the lower end of the labour

More than 82 per cent of employers have increased the number
of people employed on temporary contracts in the last ten years.

The survey finds that the biggest growth sectors for
temporary work are in banking and finance, hotels and restaurants, transport
and tourism.

Women make-up 54 per cent of the UK temporary workforce and
people aged under 30 make-up 44 per cent of temporary workers.

The TUC warns that temporary workers in the UK may miss out
on equal rights to pay and pensions if the Government waters down the
implementation of the EU fixed-term contracts directive.

The organisation is concerned that equal treatment on pay
and pensions may be excluded from the directive, which is due to be implemented
next July.

There are 1.7 million people in the UK on temporary
contracts – equivalent to 7 per cent of the workforce.

The TUC surveyed almost 200 unionised workplaces.


Karen Higginbottom

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