The Government is consulting on how it is going to implement the Temporary Agency Workers Directive (2008/104/EC), which affords agency workers equal treatment in basic employment and working conditions as if they had been recruited directly by the end user.
The Temporary Agency Workers Directive provides that basic employment and working conditions are the duration of working time; overtime; breaks; rest periods; night work; pay; and paid holiday entitlement.
The Directive allows for a qualifying period before agency workers have the right to equal treatment, on the basis of agreement between social partners at national level. In May 2008, the UK Government reached agreement with the CBI and TUC that the qualifying period for the right to equal treatment will be 12 weeks' employment.
Once the Government has published its response to the findings of this consultation, it will conduct a second consultation on draft regulations and accompanying guidance. Member states have until 5 December 2011 to implement the Temporary Agency Workers Directive.
The closing date for responses to the consultation is 31 July 2009.
Legal Q&A: The rights of agency workers Agency workers often have less protection and receive
lower pay and fewer benefits of employment than the full-time staff they work
alongside. Huw Cooke, associate, Burges Salmon, answers queries on agency
workers and their legal position in the workplace.
Temporary workers The XpertHR employment law manual gives further information about temporary workers, including details of forthcoming changes to the law on temporary agency workers.