Temps set for equal rights from day one

Concerns
are growing that a key vote in Europe this week will support plans to give
temporary workers the right to the same terms and conditions as permanent staff
from their first day of employment.

The
European Parliament’s employment and social affairs committee was yesterday
(Monday) due to debate the amendments to the controversial Agency Workers
Directive before deciding its final content.

The
draft directive currently gives agency staff equal rights with permanent staff
after six weeks of employment.

However,
the Engineering Employers Federation’s David Yeandle was pessimistic about the
probable outcome of the vote. He said that his discussions with MEPs had
indicated the committee might remove this qualification period altogether.

The
EEF and other employer bodies in the UK had been lobbying to have the
qualification period extended to at least a year.

"There
does not seem much chance of the qualification period being extended. I think
it will be reduced or removed completely," he warned.

Yeandle,
the EEF’s deputy director of employment policy, was also unhappy that the
committee was unlikely to support the EEF amendment to the directive, which
would exempt highly paid temps with specialist skills.

He
said that once the committee had voted on the directive’s content it was
unlikely to be changed when debated by the full European Parliament.

However,
amendments could still be made by the Council of Ministers.

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