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Agency workers to be granted equal pay

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Agency workers and regular staff will soon share the same pay cheques and employment rights under new government legislation.

The Agency Workers Regulations 2010 commits all employers to offering the same pay, holiday and other basic entitlements currently enjoyed by full time staff to those agency workers with a company for more than 12 weeks.

There are approximately two million agency staff currently working in the UK and employers have been warned to start preparing for the financial and legal implications of the Act, due to be enforced next summer.

David Yeandle, Head of Employment Policy at manufacturers, EEF, has questioned the need for such a radical reform in equal pay and spoke of the dangers to businesses.

“We remain concerned about the costs and administrative burdens that this new legislation will impose on employers and, in particular, about the decision to include some bonus payments in the definition of pay that will be used for equal treatment,” said Mr Yeandle.

Companies found guilty of not giving agency workers equal treatment under the rules face pay outs of up to £5,000 and a minimum of two weeks’ pay for each worker. But the government believes such rights are needed to secure the employment opportunities of those struggling to get full-time work.

Commenting on the new legislation, Business Minister Pat McFadden, added: “This change in the law is aimed at ensuring fairness for agency workers in relation to the permanent employees they work alongside.”

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Written by Andrew Hodges

January 25, 2010 at 4:55 pm

Posted in Comment, LinkedIn

Tagged with , ,

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