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New bill to exclude IT contractors

07 Apr 2008

New bill to exclude IT contractors A controversial parliamentary bill to give people in temporary jobs and agency workers equal rights with permanent employees is likely to exclude high-earning IT and engineering contractors, it has emerged.

The architect of the temporary and agency workers (equal treatment) bill, Labour MP Andrew Miller, confirmed in a statement that he does not want to include providers of professional services who "choose" to work through agencies.

According to the MP, the bill was designed to exclude professional IT contractors.

The Association of Technology Staffing Companies (ATSCo) has been in contact with the government throughout the process of the bill.

Its chief executive, Ann Swain, said that despite supporting the protection of vulnerable agency workers, the ATSCo is pleased that Andrew Miller has publicly acknowledged that contractors in the technology sector should be excluded from the bill.

"ATSCo has constantly pointed out that temporary workers in IT and engineering usually earn significantly more than their full-time counterparts and choose to work as contractors because of the flexible lifestyle benefits.

"This message is finally getting through to UK lawmakers."

The bill was introduced to parliament by Andrew Miller last December and is set to reach its committee stage in the next few weeks.

Amicus, the manufacturing union, reports that there are over 1.4 million agency workers in the UK.

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