The Cranfield School of Management thinks the implementation of AWR will cause small business owners to think more carefully about using workers from umbrella companies.
The Agency Workers Directive went live on the first of October. This EU-inspired legislation is designed to put temporary workers on a par with their permanent counterparts after they’ve completed 12 weeks in the same role.
Dr Clare Kelliher, from Cranfield School of Management, said a lot will depend on the reason why businesses employ temps. Companies that use temporary workers to fill seasonal peaks in demand will more than likely continue to do so, although they may find it costs them a bit more. On the other hand, businesses that saw temps purely as a way of cutting costs will need to rethink their recruitment strategy.
ACAS recently warned employers that they could be fined up to £5,000 by an Employment Tribunal for breaching AWR.
There are currently about 1.4 million agency workers in the UK who rely on recruitment agencies to match them with employers. However, a study conducted by the REC shortly before implementation date discovered that only 10% of employers were fully prepared for the new changes.
As well as being entitled to the same pay and conditions as permanent employees after the 12 week qualifying period, they will be allowed to use collective facilities such as the canteen, crèche and transport, from day one. Agency workers are also entitled to be made aware of any job vacancies that arise in the company.
Temporary workers will not be entitled to childcare vouchers, season ticket loans or subsidised gym membership and they cannot claim unfair dismissal, maternity leave or redundancy pay from the employer.
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