Temporary workers to get new rights – in 2011

Author: By Alan Jones, Press Association

The EU Agency Workers Directive was due to be introduced in the UK as early as
next Spring, but ministers decided earlier this year that the measure will
come into force in October 2011, the last possible date under EU law.

The Government said today the directive will be implemented in a way that
meets its twin objective of providing greater fairness for agency workers
while maintaining the flexibility the sector provides for employers and
staff.

The purpose of the regions is to give fair treatment to agency workers and
maintain labour market flexibility, said the Government.

The regulations will provide an entitlement to equal treatment on pay,
holidays and other benefits after 12 weeks in a job.

Equal access to child care and transport services will also be offered, as
well as improved rights to expectant mothers such as time off to attend
ante-natal appointments.

The measures will benefit around 1.3 million agency workers employed
throughout the UK.

Business groups had welcomed the delay in implementing the directive, warning
of the additional costs firms could face as they struggled to cope with the
recession if an earlier date had been announced.

But unions attacked the Government over the delay, saying they had been
expecting the new rights to be brought in much earlier.

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