UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

The 12 week qualifying period for Agency Workers Rights - a shameful concession made in Britain

In the original version of his controversial speech yesterday the Labour shadow Immigration Minister Chris Bryant criticised Next PLC for hiring hundreds of Polish seasonal workers ‘to avoid Agency Workers Regulations which apply after a candidate has been employed for over 12 weeks’. The fact that agency workers are vulnerable to exploitation has nothing whatsoever to do with nationality (as a Next spokesperson was quick to point out) but everything to do with the shameful and unnecessary concession granted to employers by the TUC and Labour Government when adopting the EU Agency Workers directive in 2010.

Unlike other EU member states where equal rights for agency workers apply from day one, in Britain a 12 week qualifying period was conceded under pressure from big business in particular the employment agencies trade lobby. Is it too much to ask for a Labour 2015 manifesto pledge to end this grotesque capitulation to a flexible labour market?

For more on Agency Workers read: http://unisonactive.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Agency%20workers