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Equal treatment for agency staff after 12 weeks welcomed

20 May 2008 by
Equal treatment for agency staff after 12 weeks welcomed

The Government's announcement that agency workers in the UK will only receive equal treatment after 12 weeks employment has been welcomed by the CBI.

The EU directive on agency temps currently proposes equal pay after between none and six weeks assignment with a company - which would have been a "nightmare" for hospitality employers, according to business groups.

But after consultation with employers and unions, the Government has today agreed the longer qualifying period.

Under the agreement, pay is covered, but occupational benefits such as sick pay and pensions are excluded.

Business secretary John Hutton said: "Today's agreement achieves our twin objectives of flexibility for British employers and fairness for workers.

"It will give people a fair deal at work without putting their jobs at risk or cutting off a valuable route into employment."

John Cridland, CBI deputy director-general, said: "Agency work is good for temps and for the firms that use them, and forms a central plank of the flexible labour market that is so important to our country's prosperity.

"Half of agency assignments will be unaffected as they last less than 12 weeks - protecting businesses' ability to deal with peaks and troughs in demand and shorter-term staff absences," he added.

Flexible working and rights for temporary workers met with mixed reaction by industry >>

Industry warning over temps' rights >>

Christmas temp workers must have same rights as other staff >>

By Daniel Thomas

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