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Government publishes business guidance on new agency worker laws

06 May 2011
Government publishes business guidance on new agency worker laws

New guidance has been published by the Government to help employers and the recruitment sector understand changes in employment law.

The Agency Workers Regulations are being brought into UK law on 1 October but have been on the statute book since January 2010, following negotiations between the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and the Trades Union Congress (TUC).

They will give agency workers the right to the same basic employment and working conditions as if they had been recruited directly by the hirer, if and when they complete a 12-week qualifying period in a job.

Now the Government has introduced guidance to detail what the changes mean for businesses and recruitment firms.

Employment relations minister Edward Davey said: "Our focus therefore has been providing the best possible guidance to help everyone affected understand these regulations. We have collaborated with key organisations including employment agencies, employers, trade unions and representative bodies to develop this guidance and I believe the resulting document will help prepare everyone for the forthcoming changes."

Chief executive of the recruitment and employment confederation (REC) Kevin Green said: "Implementation will create some challenges, but the regulations do not fundamentally impact on the crucial flexibility that agency work provides. The publication of the guidance is the latest milestone - it is now up to agencies and employers to come together and make it work."

The Agency Workers Regulations Guidance can be found at www.businesslink.gov.uk.

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By Gemma Rowbotham

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