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European Parliament ensures temporary agency workers gain equal rights - UK workers after 12 weeks

Date

22 Oct 2008

Sections

Innovation & Enterprise
Social Europe & Jobs

The European Parliament adopted a directive on temporary agency work which enables temporary workers to be treated equally, from day one, with those of the employer company. However, following agreement reached in May this year between the social partners in the UK, agency workers will get the same pay and conditions as permanent staff after being employed for 12 weeks. This is the final stage in the process and Member States have a maximum of three years to transpose the directive.
The agreement in the UK means the Parliament can adopt the directive after being blocked in Council since 2002.
 
UK position - 12 week rule
 
Under the proposed deal, Britain's 1.3 million agency workers will get the same pay and conditions as permanent staff after being employed for 12 weeks. The revised wording of the Agency Workers Directive allows the UK to implement the agreement between CBI and TUC which means that an agency worker is entitled to equal treatment (at least the basic working and employment conditions that would apply to the worker concerned if they had been recruited directly to occupy the same job) after 12 weeks in a given job.

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