UK agency workers are the least protected in Europe, according to a new report.
Even agency workers in Poland and Slovenia have more rights than UK temps, a TUC report out today claims.
The EU Temp Trade shows that the UK is one of only three European countries where temporary workers are paid less than people doing similar jobs full-time.
It is also one of only four other countries which do not operate a licensing scheme to protect temps from cowboy agencies.
The TUC claims that negotiations about the Temporary Agency Workers Directive have deprived UK temps of decent pay and basic rights while almost all EU countries have already acted to protect their temps, with no adverse economic effects.
Business groups have lobbied hard against the directive, saying it will restrict business competitiveness.
The TUC is urging the government to make good its earlier commitment to try to break the logjam delaying the directive.
TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: “The temp trade should not be about getting workers on the cheap, holding them back from quality permanent jobs and throwing them on the scrap heap when employers and agencies are done with them.
“Most European countries have realised that if they are going to increase temping, develop a competitive job market and cut unemployment, they need to make sure that temporary workers are paid well and treated fairly.”