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REC supports agency workers commission

12 Mar 2008

REC supports agency workers commission The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) has declared its support for proposals to create an Agency Work Commission.

Labour MPs, led by Ellesmere Port and Nestons' Andrew Miller and supported by a number of the big trade unions, have been promoting a private member's bill in Parliament that would give temporary workers the same employment rights as permanent staff.

The government is considering setting up a commission as an alternative to the bill, and while the REC has been lukewarm about the proposal until now – calling its value "open to debate" in February – it has this week written to the prime minister putting its weight firmly behind the plan.

Director of external relations Tom Hadley said: "The REC would welcome an objective evaluation of the agency work landscape in the UK and a pragmatic analysis of how proposed new regulations would actually benefit workers."

Tony Woodley of Unite, however, has claimed that a commission "would not be enough" in backing the bill.

The REC represents employment agencies, and has previously voiced concerns about the feasibility of implementing the equal treatment requirements in law.

With powerful vested interests at loggerheads over the issue, the commission proposal may come to nothing, but with France taking over the presidency of the European Union in July, the long-delated EU Agency Workers Directive could be brought back onto the political agenda.

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