Temps equality Bill to exclude IT and engineering contractors

A controversial Bill that would give temps and agency workers equal rights with permanent employees is likely to exclude high-earning IT and engineering contractors, after intense lobbying by recruitment agencies.

Labour MP Andrew Miller, the architect of the Temporary and Agency Workers (Equal Treatment) Bill, confirmed in a statement that he did not want to include providers of professional services who chose to work through agencies.

The Bill was “designed to exclude professional IT contractors and similar people”, he added.

The Association of Technology Staffing Companies (ATSCo) has been in contact with Miller throughout the progress of the Bill, and also briefed the government, backbench MPs and the Conservatives.

Ann Swain, ATSCo chief executive, said: “ATSCo has constantly pointed out that temporary workers in IT and engineering usually earn significantly more than their full-time counterparts and choose to work as contractors because of the flexible lifestyle benefits. This message is finally getting through to UK lawmakers.”

Recruitment consultancies in the technology sector said the scope of the Bill could have seriously damaged the competitiveness of the sector.

The committee stage of Miller’s Bill is scheduled to commence in the next few weeks.

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