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Agency workers to win equal rights after 12 weeks

In a move which has been applauded by UK unions and received a lukewarm welcome from UK business leaders, the government has today launched a consultation paper on agency workers and equal rights. On the back of the European Agency Workers Directive the government is set to put in place legislation which will give agency workers equal rights (to fulltime workers) with regards to holidays and overtime after just 12 weeks in a job.

There are differing opinions as to what impact this may have on the UK employment market and in particular the agency employment market. While the introduction date for the new regulations has yet to be confirmed it is known that the unions are looking to 2010 while business leaders are looking to 2011. This is the latest in a raft of legislation issued by the UK government in relation to equal pay, equal rights and the promotion of certain areas of the workforce.

While there will be a significant cost to many businesses in the UK, as and when the regulations are introduced, it appears as though the bandwagon has started and will not be stopped. The introduction of yet another layer of cost for the UK business arena could impact upon the speed and strength of any recovery in the UK economy.

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