Votes remove six-week qualifying period of temps’ Directive

worst wears about the adverse impact of the Agency Workers Directive on the
flexibility of the UK’s labour market have been confirmed by last night’s
series of votes in the European Parliament’s Employment and Social Affairs
Committee, according to the Engineering Employers Federation (EEF).

particular, the votes removed the key six-week exemption period. This brings
much closer the prospect of agency workers having to be given the same pay and
conditions as comparable permanent employees where they happen to be working
from day one. The EEF believes such a move will not only increase employers’
costs, but also threaten the flexibility of the UK’s labour market.

committee also rejected the amendments that the EEF arranged to be tabled which
would have excluded specialist technical and professional workers, who are
generally paid well in excess of comparable permanent employees.

deputy director of employment policy, David Yeandle, said: “This confirms our
worst fears that, unless it is significantly amended, this European Directive
will not only increase employers’ costs, but undermine the UK’s flexible labour

By Ben Willmott

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