Recent research reveals that the introduction of the Regulations in October 2011 has seen many businesses converting temporary agency staff into permanent employees.
The question is however whether such changes are as a result of the impact of the new Regulations or a reflection of an improvement in the long term outlook of British businesses.
For those that are not familiar with the Regulations, they were introduced (following the European Union’s Agency Workers Directive) in order to provide temporary agency workers with the same rights to “basic working and employment conditions”, such as pay and holidays, as enjoyed by directly employed staff carrying out the same work.
If the increase in companies opting to convert agency workers to permanent employees is due to an increase in business confidence, then this is naturally to be welcomed. It is difficult however to get too overly excited about this potential change in business fate as it is not possible to conclusively confirm that it is business as opposed to Regulation success that has driven the change.
What is to be welcomed (and can more affirmatively be read as an indication of the impact of the Regulations) is that research has also shown that the majority of employers either convert their agency staff to permanent staff or give them the same basic conditions as permanent hires from day one of their assignments (despite not being legally obliged to do immediately). Whether this approach to giving enhanced rights from day 1 is as a result of uncertainty as to how the Regulations operate, or a genuine desire to improve conditions for agency workers, is unknown, but encouraging nonetheless.
If you would like to discuss your obligations under the Regulations and how they impact your business please contact the Company Commercial team.