The proposed implementation of the European directive relating to agency workers will be implemented in 2011. The directive will close the door to employment opportunity for many of the most vunerable people in our communities, the young, the old and those with caring responsibilities. Temporary/contract opportunities often provide a gateway to employment for people, offering the chance to build experience, confidence and to bridge the gap to full time employment.

Although the core aims of comparable pay and conditions for contracted workers are positive, implementation in the current economic/employment cycle will result in large numbers of medium and long term opportunities being lost and significant numbers of contracted workers facing unemployment.

Why is this idea important?

The government should work to protect and develop the overall flexibility of the UK labour market at a time when the ability to compete is key to our long term national success. The agency sector within the UK currently is the most developed in Europe and the flexibilty it provides to both public and private sectors of our economy is very significant. 

As growth within many regional businesses remains fragile the use of flexible staffing gives the opportunity and confidence to expand without the costs and commitment associated with fixed expenditure. 

Agencies do not take advantage of their staff and in most cases pay rates which equate well to those of the host organisation. The implementation of this directive will have a negative effect on staff, business and the economy as a whole.

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