AGENCY WORKERS TO BE GIVEN SAME PAY AND PERKS AS FULL-TIME WORKERS (WELL, ALMOST)
The Telegraph reports that EU legislation will give agency workers the same rights as other employers with regard to holiday time, pay, maternity leave and other perks. These rights to equality will be available to agency workers after twelve weeks. While I am glad this is at last to happen, what a pity we have to rely on European legislation to be treated equally. What a pity an agency worker will have to wait 12 weeks to get it; because I can see employers laying off agency workers after 11 weeks, and reemploying them a week later.
Employers are unhappy that the government has agreed to this, with claims of job losses, risks to the recovery etc. the same claim that employers have always made when an improvement in workers’ wages or conditions is enshrined in the law. The same was said about holidays; the same was said about paid holidays; sick pay; health and safety; equal pay for women. Who, even if they believe it to be true, would dare to say today that women should not be paid the same as men? Why then should an agency worker be paid less than the man or woman working next to him; purely because the employer would rather let an agency take the risks rather than employ somebody directly?
My most earnest hope is that this will bring about a change in employer attitude, and they will start to employ directly, rather than through agencies. And that equal pay will be from day one, not 3 months after you start work.