Latest legislation to mitigate against portfolio working

by Barrie Hopson on January 26, 2010 · 0 comments

in Flexible working,New ways of working

In a recent post I reported the level of European legislation that was working against the development of temporary and agency work. No surprise therefore to see this creeping into the UK care of this G’ment which seems to have little idea about the new take on jobs that is developing rapidly. Go out there and get a proper job! And if you can’t and can only  get temporary work we will ensure that it is as much like a proper job as possible. Employers will not like this – well tough – as we are not going to encourage them to promulgate alternatives to real jobs…..

New rules from Europe laid out before parliament yesterday means that employers will find agency workers less attractive  according to  law experts.

Implementation of the Agency Workers Regulations 2010 has been delayed until October 2011. But once the changes become law, after 12 weeks of employment Britain’s 1.3 million temporary workers will gain the right to the same pay, holiday and other basic working conditions as permanent staff.

Mark Hammerton, partner at law firm Eversheds, said: “The majority of agency assignments are already for less than 12 weeks, but 45 per cent are for longer. The initial reaction of employers who offer assignments over 12 weeks may be to limit them to less than 12 weeks.” However, these employers should be warned that the regulations contain provisions for penalties of up to £5,000 for avoidance tactics such as moving staff between different roles to avoid the 12-week period, he added.

He said that the rules may also drive employers to reduce their reliance on agency workers by recruiting more employees directly, or creating an in-house bank of casual staff. Other employers will simply expect their existing workforces to absorb the “extra” work rather than hiring additional temporary workers, he said.
Employer groups have reiterated their concerns about the cost and administrative burden of the new rights, saying they would hamper job creation and harm flexibility.

But business minister Pat McFadden described the legislation as a “sensible and balanced package”. The TUC are all for it of course but John Cridland, CBI deputy director-general, claimed that the government had “gone further than it needed to under EU rules” by forcing employers to include temps in performance appraisals designed to set pay for employees.

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